How to be omnipresent at Christmas

It’s that time of year when there is no such thing as balance in either life or work. has some survival tips.

faking it


It’s the time of year when energy may be flagging, but, ironically, when parents are expected to be at their most energetic. If, during the other months of the year, you feel like you need a cloning machine, this is the time when you need at least five. So how can you be omnipresent and retain your sanity over the next week? has some tips for getting through the coming festivities.

1. This is the time of year where both work and life are in total imbalance. The September to December period is designed to test even the hardiest of individuals. Not only is there non-stop work, end of year reports, office Christmas parties and general stress, but on the home front, the kids are knackered, your body has been exposed to an exotic cocktail of illnesses and festive nits and there is the whole Christmas thing to organise with all the expectations foisted on you by Christmas films.

And this year, as an extra special treat, there is the prospect of years and years more of Brexit. The good thing is that all those new year articles about planning for the future will not be worth the paper they are written on. Think short term. Focus on today and tomorrow and divvy up tasks into manageable bundles. You survived the end of term. You can do this.

2. Get fit. Forget the gym and those keep fit videos. Limber up with a few sudden dashes up the road to/from the shops, preferably carrying everyone’s stuff and a baby. It’s the only time you’ll have for “fitness”. Bear in mind that this will only mean you are good at last minute dashes so don’t think it will qualify you for a marathon any time soon despite the fact that your whole life is a marathon with no beginning or end.

3. Think of juggling parenthood and work as a kind of permanent crisis management course and reward yourself for your prowess, even if it is only to give yourself a virtual pat on the back.

4. Delegate. This is when parenting most needs to be shared. Rope in the kids, lower your standards, big up how delegation is about building skills, etc, etc, rather than offloading the stuff you don’t want to do. NB you may need to throw in some ‘fun’ tasks like decorating to disguise your ulterior motives.

5. Cut back on unimportant things. However, always ensure you are clothed when you leave the house and that those clothes are on the right way round.

6. Stock up on energy bars etc. You may end up with indigestion and obese, but they created Kendal mint cake for this kind of emergency.

7. Always be in mobile contact with wherever you are going so you can warn them you are “on your way”. They may feel you are already there if you send enough messages.

8. Investigate cloning or be very, very nice to a close relative or friend.

9. This is for the more advanced practitioner of the art of being everywhere: leave clothes, etc, lying around, for instance, a jacket on a chair, leave the phone off the hook, books open on the desk…People will think you have just popped out rather than that you are stuck in Primark, getting a last minute present for your niece. You can always catch up later, in the small hours and sleep through all the Christmas films again.

10. Invent a time travel machine.

Happy Christmas from everyone at!

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