‘Summertime, and the livin is easy‘ or so the song goes. I love the Ella Fitzgerald version.
Not if you’re a mum?
Not if you’re a mum, right? Often the mums I talk to are in two or three (even four) minds about the school holidays. Glad not to be doing the school run, but wondering how they’re going to fit everything in, and already feeling their stress and overwhelm levels rising.
How to balance business and being a mum
If you run a business, you’ve got a few options available. Some of the mums I talk to don’t do any work on their business during the school holidays: of course that means there is a big emphasis on marketing and business development the rest of the year, this strategy can work brilliantly.
Other mums keep the business ticking over – spending time with their children during the day, and doing the ‘must-do’ essentials early in the morning or in the evening. Or maybe you work as ‘normal’ and use a childminder, or send the kids to their grandparents or summer camp to keep them entertained. Check out more ideas here.
My approach is somewhere in the middle. My husband works in a college so he pretty much has the holidays off. I work ‘as normal’ during July and ‘shut shop’ throughout August. Even in the weeks that I’m working, we plan one or two day trips out. On those days I catch up on email first thing or might schedule a client call early in the morning or early evening. However my children are getting to the stage where they’re a bit older and don’t need constant hand-holding.
What if you’re an employee
In some ways, being an employee is even harder. School summer holidays are at least six weeks but most of us only get four or maybe five weeks annual leave. Even if you have a partner, the sums just don’t add up because you’ve also got to think about terms, Easter and Christmas.
Again it’s a juggling act – and most parents are doing a mixture of summer camps, shared childcare, sending children to stay with family.
When I was young, my parents used to send me to my Nan for the school holidays. She lived in St Ives, Cornwall so it felt like just one long holiday. Her house was amazing – right on the seafront (if you know St Ives, on The Warren).
Midsummer is the halfway point in the year. Maybe you are reflecting and celebrating that you have had a brilliant year already. Some mums are simply relieved to get to this point, especially if your children have been doing GCSEs. However some of us, me included, are wondering how did we get to June so quickly. Maybe you’re feeling frustrated that you’re behind schedule on your plans for the year. Or cross with yourself that you’ve not smashed those goals. Perhaps you’re starting to think “I’m just not cut out for running a business AND being a mum“.
Just imagine how much you could get done in 20 minutes a day when you are really focussed and have no distractions. You can get more done in 24 hours when you need to.
Here’s what you will have achieved in just a few short weeks if you start now and spend 20 minutes a day to:
- develop your survival strategy action plan to keep your kids entertained and your clients happy
- prepare an outline of that online course ready to launch in the autumn
- create a social media strategy to get you noticed after the holidays
- write a series of blog posts that you can schedule for the heat of the summer
- connect with 10 guest post writers to share on your blog
- identify the strategies to keep your business ticking over during the summer
Your first step is to get REALLY clear on what is most important.
- Get very specific about what you want to achieve.
- Brainstorm all the different tasks and steps involved in making that happen. The resources you need. The help you want.
- Prioritise your list of tasks.
- What similar skills or experiences can you call upon?
- What have you done before that’s similar and worked really effectively.
- Reflect on what might get in the way. How likely is that to happen? Identify what workarounds you can use.
- Create your action plan.
- Get accountability – share it with somebody you know or share it here!
Summertime and the livin can be easy … you might just need a little help and a lot of planning. If you’re a mum in business, leave a comment below and tell us what do you do to make summertime business livin easy.