The entrepreneurial school holiday blues

Four days in and I’ve given up the fight.

The tussle and juggle of solo-business owner versus school holidays was over today. It just had to be. Because I was driving myself mad and the kids too, and that’s just not cool anymore.

This working from home (albeit in an awesome custom-built studio!) combined with kids at home scenario just does not work for me, or them.  And I knew that. I know that.  It happens every term, every year.  I head into school holidays with a sense of trepidation and angst – the complete opposite of my non-business-owning or working friends – as well as a huge bag of mother guilt for feeling that way.  The “can’t you just take some time off? You’re the boss aren’t you?” comments don’t help either….

I do love the fact that holidays mean we don’t have to get up every day and get moving, and I enjoy hanging out and doing fun stuff with the kids, but I resent the fact that I don’t get ‘my days’ to do my thing, write my words, be silent.  Yes, I actually resent it. These school-holiday-thoughts literally push and pull me between signing the kids up for every holiday camp going and throwing my hands in the air whilst placing the “Gone Fishing” sign on my studio for two weeks.  The happy medium and elusive ‘balance’ just doesn’t seem possible. Mostly I feel rather shameful that I don’t embrace the holidays with loving arms the way the other mums (or the kids) do.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about my kids.  I’ve got the best little dude and dudette and I LOVE hanging out with them. I’m just not very good at doing it 24 x 7 x 2 weeks…..

There, I said it.

And it’s true.

The thing is, I love my business, my creative time, my clients.  I love what I do and where and how I do it.  Importantly, I love how I feel and who I am when I’m working. So when things impact on that flow I get a little, well, grumpy.  To be fair, the kids are mostly very respectful of my studio space but it’s ridiculous to think I can banish them to the house for hours to amuse themselves whilst I potter away in here and work.  And it’s unfair to get frustrated with them when I don’t get my stuff done in the 15 minute snatch of quiet they afford me whilst watching a movie (before the cry and hue of ‘popcorn please’, ‘water please’, ‘he’s hitting me’, ‘I don’t want to watch this one anymore’).  Honestly, they didn’t ask for this situation, nor are they old enough to truly understand it, so apparently I have to be the grown up and suck it up.

But there’s noone else to get grumpy at! Who can I blame?????!!!

So today I finally had to face it, something had to give. Sometimes I just can’t do it all.  Sometimes I just can’t be it all. Today I had to give up on the dream of being superwoman. Hell, I wasn’t even close to being super girl…ok, let’s face it, today I was more crazy cat lady than Cat Woman.

Something had to change. I could not, can not do it all, especially on school holidays. So I simply gave in to the maternal instincts and love-bombed my kids all day.  I stayed in my PJs until 2pm, drank coffee whilst they ran wild (and I didn’t tell them to be quiet), I built cubbies with them, let them eat crackers and dip in the cubby after I’d just vacuumed the floor (*gulp*), and played gymnastics coach, assistant Lego engineer, waitress and horse.  Oh, and I even played compliant hairdressing client….*ouch*.  I didn’t check my emails and barely flashed an eye over Facebook. I didn’t get the mail, or put the bins out for that matter (dammit!), and I didn’t raise my voice once (small miracle, but isn’t that interesting…?). It was calm and crazy, giggly and serious. And it was great. Bloody marvellous actually.

*Ahem.* The lesson is pretty apparent, no? The reality blindingly bloody obvious, yes?

My business didn’t fall apart and I didn’t fall behind (ok, a deadline may have been stretched a little) and the kids were happy as Larry. Massive big tick in the mummy stakes today.  Great. Awesome.

But there’s still another week to go…..


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