It’s that time of the year that us working parents approach with just a little bit of dread. How on earth are we gonna juggle the school holidays?
Now I am fortunate enough to work perfect hours to suit my family here at itas – I come in early and leave at 2.30pm. Just in time to do school pick up. Starting early means that I do pretty much full-time hours, meaning we can manage our mortgage! Yet I am still there for our children whilst they are young. Work/life balance and all that… This suits my family as usually my husband can sort the kids in the morning and head off to work after he’s done the school run. Otherwise, we do just about manage with early morning drop-offs at nursery.
This Summer Holiday has been a bit different for us. My husband got a new job so is actually coming to the end of 2 weeks gardening leave prior to starting his new role. This has meant that he has been able to look after our 3 children – amazing or what?! My parents will usually help out a couple of days a week but unfortunately, my poor Mum has been unwell so obviously has not been in a position to help. Usually, we basically pass them from pillar to post and struggle to keep track of which one is where! Grandparents. Nursery. Clubs. Friends. The list goes on! Don’t get me wrong – the kids are having a whale of a time. What’s not to like? They’re not in school! They have variety in their days, they rarely know where they’re going to be. They get to have fun with their friends some of the time, make new friends, get spoiled.
Back to Work
For us, the struggle begins next Monday – as I said, hubby is starting a new job and will be away on and off for the coming weeks. Unfortunately, his exact schedule has yet to be confirmed which means everything is up in the air. What will we do with the kids? Well, we have managed to get them booked into a nursery for three days next week but they are fully booked the other two days – ahhhhh! One very lovely friend has offered to look after them one day – a huge bunch of flowers and several other gifts coming her way! What do we do for the other day? Could I leave them in the car outside work? I can see them, leave subsistence for them and windows open? Would anyone notice if I hid them under my desk? (THIS IS A JOKE BEFORE I GET REPORTED!) Well, this continues to be a dilemma…. I do have a few days’ annual leave left but ideally, I’d like to save that for later in the year in case the struggle continues in future school hols.
Anyway, it is not only the struggle to find child care that is an issue – what about the cost? Right, for those 3 days for my 3 children aged between 4 and 9 (not a particularly high maintenance age range) to go to nursery – do you know how much it is going to cost? Well, let me tell you…. £270!! That’s a lot of money eh?! This is at a reduced price as you get a discount the more kids you have there. I am of the understanding that this is fairly reasonable too – I know some private nurseries in cities and more affluent areas are a lot more – like over £50 per day per child! That means that if we were to place our 3 kids in nursery for the entire summer hols it would cost us £2790! I know a lot of people that have no option than to do this. Like I say – we’ve been very fortunate this year so it will cost us less than half of this.
There are loads of sports clubs locally so there are alternatives but the hours aren’t usually as flexible as private nurseries. I will be dropping my children off at nursery at 7.30am as soon as the doors open so that I can get to work on time whereas Sports Clubs don’t start until at least 9 am. It really is tough.
How do you manage?
Anyway – there’s a little bit of an insight into The Evans Families juggling act this Summer Hols – I kinda enjoy a challenge but as I said – we have had it relatively easy this time 🙂
How do you guys manage it – do you take annual leave? Do you save an amount all year to cover the cost of childcare over the hols? I know this is what some of my friends do. Do you think something should be done to help working parents? Let me know!
Nina is our Accounts Expert! Super organised and as tenacious as they come, Nina is Chief Organiser when it comes to team nights out. With three young children, she is a superhero both in the office and at home.