Christmas holidays usually fill me with dread. Christmas is our busiest time of year, as we all want our homes to be perfect before we switch off for our break. Work is crazy from September right through this year until the 23rd of December. Now that our kids are older, they finish school so early, in fact the boys were done by 24th of November, which leaves me with the question, how can I manage the kids while working from home?
In order for this to work, I need to be super organised. That means I need everything done well before the deadline, because there is no doubt in every day there will be at least a dozen times that I will have to stop work in order to sort out some drama. I have become a master at learning how to quickly refocus so as not to loose too much productivity.
I am not afraid to bribe my kids, weather it be game console time, a trip to the trampoline park a visit with friends, in order to get my work done, I am happy to bribe my way through my day. Letting the boys play something on the Wii or Xbox will give me 2 hours solid without interruption, just need to make sure they are fed prior.
Continue To Pack A Lunch
While I really don’t like packing the lunchbox each day, I found I disliked being interrupted 524 times a day far more irritating! I do try to make these lunches different to the ones they have been having ever day at school, toasted sandwiches, noodles etc, all easy ideas they can take care of themselves. A big sanity saver.
Make The Most of Teenagers Sleep Ins
My most productive time of day has always been early morning. I am an early riser, in Summer often 4.30am so this gives me a really good chunk of the day to smash out the work in. Now that our kids are teenagers, this time is extended with long sleep ins that I am very happy to take advantage of. For younger kids, get everything ready for when the kids have their day time sleep and punch through as much as you can then.
I have found that keeping the kids informed is helpful. If I let them know I am working on a blog post for example, and that I need an hour or two to concentrate, then I can stop and do something with them. That something might be as simple as making a batch of Christmas Cookies, or helping with Christmas craft, but that little bit of time with them, actually frees up a larger amount of time for work.
Be Mobile With Your Work
While my kids are too old now for a trip to the park, a trip to the library is still do-able. I can take my work with me, and they can happily sit in the library for an hour or two. I am not past sitting on the beach with my computer as they swim or fish either.
Don’t forget to reward the behavior in your children you desire. For our kids this might be an ice cream for dessert or a special treat on the weekend like a movie or a camp fire. I found this really easy to forget and have actually set up reminders in my phone to ensure the kids know how helpful they are being. As always positive reinforcement creates good behaviors.
All in all, the Christmas holidays are meant to be a time for your kids to rest, relax and recoup. Especially prior to Christmas, we plan lots of slow days, encouraging them to get board and then create their own entertainment. I won’t lie, there will be days where you will want to hide in the cupboard, but with these tips, hopefully that will be less often than the ‘good’ days.
Do you have any tips to share? Do your kids have a games console? Are your kids Christmas crafters like ours?