Let’s face it, juggling between work and taking care of your children is not an easy thing to do and it only gets harder when they are on holidays and you are not!
If we had to take a look back at when school holidays were created, at the creation of school holidays, they were made for children to enjoy and work in the fields according to the harvest seasons. If we had to look at today’s society the school breaks have remained the same whilst the parental working patterns have changed drastically which is why holidays can be a headache for the parents.
One thing that can help you organise yourself as a parent is; to get hold of the holiday schedule as early in the year as possible. This way, you will have time to plan ahead and check what will be done as much as possible.
Even though many companies are family friendly and adapt to flexible working hours or teleworking, it still brings its struggles when you have to work from home whilst minding the children. Others who don’t have such benefits tend to book their leave days around the holiday period so they can spend some quality time with the children. Parents whose leave days might be difficult to be adapted to the holidays might try to work on shift basis in order to make sure that there is someone at home with the kids.
When there is a struggle for time off, it is suggested that as a parent you plan on how others around you especially family and friends can help out. It could be that grandparents or other family members look at holidays as time well spent with the children and are willing to work out a schedule between them to make sure that the children are always attended to. They can organise activities to keep the children active and occupied. There can be some parents of other children within the school or community who might be able to watch over your children which could be a good support system as long as you trust your kids with others.
In cases where an adult is not available all the time, one might check if there are any activities going on as to plan a timetable for the children where they can be occupied for most of the day. This could be days at the scouts or different sports clubs or even camping. Some parents also form part of such community organisations to help their children remain engaged within society. Thus, they make sure to keep activities going through out the holidays and so parents know they can trust their children there, whilst they would be at work.
In cases where you have nobody to supervise your children, especially if they are teenagers, it is important that you make sure that they are in a safe environment. Making sure that you can contact them regularly in order to see how they are doing. It would also be a good idea if you talk with your supervisors at work in order to explain the situation and maybe arriving at a compromise of working whilst the children are still being attended to. There could be the possibility that children are able to go to work with their parent and are being supervised throughout. Another possibility is that you work different working hours that adapt more to the time the children can possibly be home alone. The key to this is communicating with your employer as to the possibility of being more flexible whilst the job is still being done to standard.
Working and having children on holidays it can be quite hectic. It is suggested to plan ahead which can give the possibility of enjoying more quality time with your children when both you and your children can relax and take a break from the daily routine.
Therisa Gambin is the Parentopedia Manager at Willingness, as well as a Willingness Childminder amongst other projects that she handles and this is after participating in an internship in 2017 within the same company. She is a graduated from the University of Malta with a Bachelors in Psychology (Hons.) and holds a Diploma in Leadership and Management within the Business Leaders Malta.