5 Feb 2016

School holiday struggles

Next week is half term, can you believe it! The kids have only just gone back to school after the Christmas break, and already they have another term holiday. *Sigh*.

As parents who work full time, this is a pretty tricky time for us. Because what do you do? How do you juggle your job and look after the kid(s)?

Like most people, John and I only have 25 days holidays a year, so we can't take holidays every time there is a term break, or we’d be out of days within the first few weeks of the year. And that’s no good because firstly) we still want to have the chance to actually go on holiday some time and secondly) there are always random days that you need to take off for something or other, so I have to be sensible about when to take them, and for what reason.

Last year, for the autumn break, I still had a week’s holiday left, as I had been kind of saving it for Becky’s first half term, and for the Christmas break we all had automatically some time off, so that wasn’t too bad. But now? It’s only early February and I am already having to eat into my holiday allowance just to be there and look after Becky because school is off.

I don’t even begrudge her being off – she is a small child, after all, and maybe she does need the break (though she actually loves school and doesn’t seem to struggle neither with fatigue, nor attention span nor enthusiasm, so I’m sure she could have kept going for a bit longer!).

But, as a fairly freshly baked school mum, this is a tricky and new situation for me. We didn’t have that problem with nursery, as that’s open year-round (which is actually one of the main reasons we decided to go for a nursery setting for the kids rather than a childminder or nanny or anything).

Once again it sucks big time that we don’t have any family nearby who could help out, and it’s just me and John who have to try and make things work. Luckily, we are not entirely on our own – a couple of Becky’s friends’ parents are also in the same position as us – working full time and no other support around – so we have pooled together and are helping each other out.

I have taken two days off next week, John one and Becky’s friend’s parents a couple of days, too, so between us we will look after each other’s kiddies and try to make the best out of this situation.
That’s literally the only way. I’m already dreading the big summer holiday, as I really don’t know what we’ll do then. I might have to ask my parents over for a bit, and we will most likely have to look into a holiday club option, too. Which makes me a bit sad – I so want to be there for Becky and spend lots of quality time together and have fun, but it’s just not possible all the time. Not for all the school holidays anyway.

But I’ll cross that summer holiday bridge nearer the time, and until then, take every term holiday as it comes and make the best of it. Becky and I have already been hedging a few plans for next week, and in all honesty, it might actually be a nice break for me, too, even if it’s just a couple of days here or there.


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