School Holiday Musings of a Work-From-Home Mum

Thoughts from the House of Love and Mayhem

Call me crazy but I’ve always loved school holidays. The hiatus from the kids’ extra-curricular activities is absolute heaven. Our tightly-organised timetable is chucked in the proverbial bin and, for two weeks, we are free to go with the flow. It’s fabulous.

Except that nowadays my kids seem to flow in all different directions. It was so much easier when they were little and I carted them all off for an adventure before their afternoon naps. ‘Quiet time’ was a thing. And they were all in bed by 8.30pm.

As a writer working from home, the flexibility is great but it is always a juggle. You’d think it would be easier now the kids are older, but I’m finding these school holidays to be frustrating, exhausting and challenging. Aged from eight to sixteen, I can’t just lump them all together and take them on an outing, or plonk them in front of a movie with a bowl of popcorn. Even though they are largely self-sufficient, their individual needs seem to impact my time so much more than when they were little.

Throwback to Little Miss Three’s past school holiday creativity. Glitter everywhere!

The boys are teenagers; if they’re not holed up in their rooms maintaining their Snapchat streaks or playing Fortnite, they can generally be found in the kitchen searching for sustenance. The problem is the inevitable plan (made via group-chat, of course), which leads to requests for ‘the squad’ to come over, or a lift to the station / shops / basketball stadium. Not to mention the repeated trips to the supermarket.

Same with the girls. They enjoy spending their holidays catching up with friends, chattering their way through sleepovers, trips to the local pool, shops or movies. There is a fairly constant flow of girls-in and girls-out of our house. It’s beautiful and exactly what it should be; I love to hear their giggles as they bake brownies or create artistic masterpieces at my kitchen bench.

School holiday dessert, courtesy of the girls. Yummy…but you should have seen the kitchen!

But the interruptions….. so many interruptions….

My kids are all old enough to understand my work. They get it. But it doesn’t seem to stop them randomly asking extremely important questions. Like ‘Can I have ice-cream?’ or ‘Have you seen my shoe?’ They come to me for EVERYTHING. I’m constantly torn in two – one half of my brain is in work-mode while the other half is endlessly scanning the house to keep track of what mischief my heathens are up to.

And I feel so guilty.

I feel bad when I’m on the phone with a client, waving madly at them to shush. I know they hear the sigh in my voice when I brush them off with an exasperated “I’m writing’. I’m sure they feel I’m constantly annoyed by their existence. I try to not let it show but, when I’m in creative mode, I yearn to be left alone.

Writing while hiding in my bedroom. Even the cat steals my spot!

Yesterday, I found myself unintentionally agreeing to Miss Just-turned-Eight’s request to open the glitter and sand creative art set she was given for her birthday. I’d given up writing in the office because all I could hear were the dulcet sounds of the girls arguing about which Netflix show to watch. I commandeered the kitchen bench, (there’s a heater there and I can keep a strategic eye out for raids on the kitchen cupboards and fridge). Next thing I knew, I had an over excited eight-year old ‘working’ next to me and the cat sneezing in a container of glitter. Oh, the joys.

Sometimes, it’s impossible to do anything work-related. After numerous interruptions, I’m fairly sure my muse shrugs her shoulders and goes off on to search for peace and chocolate.

I might just join her.

How do you manage school holiday mayhem? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Writing while playing hairdressers.
She’s lucky I love her!
Miss 12 practising braiding while I write.
Editing surrounded by holiday craziness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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