10 top tips for super busy business parents during the summer break
The summer vacation is here, for those of you who are business owners or entrepreneurs it means weeks of stress and guilt while you try and juggle parenting with working. So here are my top ten tips for super busy business parents.
- Stop feeling guilty!
The more time you spend being guilty, the less spare head space you have for enjoying the time you are spending with your family. If you feel the anxiety or guilt associated you’re your children having care, going to camp or being with others during the holidays, then provided you have planned time with them too, you don’t need to be guilty.
Secretly we all feel guilty for the amount of time we work at times, but at the time we know it is necessary. Apply this to your family time too, you will possibly have to spend less time working, but it’s important that you do to make up for the times we can’t be with them. If it’s easier think of it as topping up the account so you can borrow from it during term time.
- Focus on one thing, do a bit each day
If you are working, then work, if you are being with your family then unless something is life threatening, work can wait for a few hours. Leave the stresses of work behind you, it can be hard to do, but if you spend your time stressing about work whilst you are with your children then you are not giving them the quality time they deserve.
- Plan your memory activities
You remember things you did during your childhood, right? The people you grew up forged memories in your head that you can still remember now. So give those memories to your children too. Plan them, 1 day of gold is worth far more than 3 days of broken promises. You don’t have to plan expensive trips of a lifetime, be creative, the most magical memories could be in your home or local area, they don’t need to break the bank, they just need to be focussed on your family. Get the children to take pictures or film part of the day. You can spend time together as a family looking at these at the end of the holidays.
- Schedule the school vacation (have a plan)
Just the same as in business, we are most productive when we allocate amounts of time to activities and we all know the plan. Allocate times for activities with your family, set these in stone. Make sure your colleagues know, not only are you ensuring they don’t interrupt you for trivial things, you are also demonstrating the importance of a good home work life balance.
Aside from ensuring you are spending time with your children, this reassures them that they are important in your life and gives them things to look forward to. Use a calendar on your kitchen wall to proudly show the plan.
- Be creative
Spend some time during the vacation doing something that let’s your children imagination run wild. Maybe you are going den building in the woods, maybe you are going to the moon in a rocket made of cardboard boxes, maybe you are having a teddy bear’s picnic in the park. Just let yourself go and follow your child’s interests.
- Do something you enjoy
If you can enjoy something you do with your children, they are more likely to enjoy it (I won’t bore you with the science, but its true). The more positive things you do with your children, the more likely it is that this will be the most amazing school break in the world!
- Divert your phone and turn email updates off
Even if you divert your phone to a friend, a family member, a virtual PA, an employee, it doesn’t matter. Many of the crisis that arise often need a few hours to calm down so they can be dealt with. It’s very unlikely to demand an immediate response and if it does then give the person answering your calls your partner’s number. You don’t like it when your children interrupt a work call, so the same should apply the other way round.
- Do something new
Treat your family, treat yourself, do something new. Explore something together, a new activity, something that puts you out of your comfort zone. Allow your children to see you trying something for the first time. They are so used to the super work machine that you have to be, let them see a different side of you. You’ll be amazed at the results!
9. Let yourself go
We spend so much of our lives having to follow rules or constraints, do something wild with your family, something unusual, something fun, something exciting. Your children will love spending time with the relaxed you, far more than the wound up and stressed you.
- Remember a rested field is often the most fruitful
We all need to rest and unwind. As a result our family life will be better as will our business. Force yourself. It won’t be easy for some of you, for others you will be running away from your office, either way we all need a break. There is lots of evidence about the need to step away from a problem to help solve it. Likewise by focussing your mind on something else it helps the brain do the processing in the background. So many business people I know return from a break full of energy and with new ideas.
Juggling family and business demands during the school break is hard and you will find yourself going from one extreme to the other. Just remember to follow these tips to make sure that your family’s holiday is as great as it deserves to be.
You can listen to me talking about this in a bit more detail on episode 11 of the Brand Gladiator’s podcast here.