Workingmums.co.uk gives you some tips on surviving half term.
Is it half term already? Why do September and October fly by as work goes into overdrive? Of course, you may be superorganised and have arranged childcare and things to do back in June, but chances are half term has figured fairly low down on your priority list until it somehow crept up on you now. So how can you get through it? Workingmums.co.uk has some advice.
1. Fall back on family. That means primarily your partner, if you have one, and any other family who may live in the near vicinity. If you can, divvy up half term between a number of family members to spread the load. After all, you've also got to cover Christmas shortly and any number of inset days in between.
2. If family are not available, network with friends. If you haven't already built up a support network of other parents, particularly working parents who know what the deal is, start doing so as soon as you can, even if you don't think you have time. It could be a life-saver. Have all their numbers on speed dial on your phone in case of emergencies. If you take a day off you can have their children over and vice versa. Remember the golden rule, though, that if you ask a favour you have to return one. If you break the code, the whole thing could fall apart. The more friends you can involve the better, but try to ensure your children actually like their children. This can often be tricky territory. Hence the need for multiple members of the network in case of sudden fallings out. Children do not have as much invested in the network as parents do.
3. Try to negotiate some homeworking for you and for your partner if you have one. That way you can be around to ferry the kids to holiday playschemes, which often end well inside office hours. You may also be able to tailor your day so you have time for the kids in the afternoon before you log on again later in the day.
4. Emergency childcare may be necessary if all else fails. Organisations like My Family Care or Findababysitter.com provide emergency back-up, but it can be at a cost.
5. Check our your local authority to find out about seasonal activities in your area and holiday schemes [this should be on their website under Children and Families]. Your school may also have details of holiday playschemes run by local leisure centres or your school may host some. Organisations like the FA run some schemes.
6. If you are taking time off with the kids bear in mind that Halloween falls near the end of half term, shortly followed by Bonfire Night. You could make this the theme of the entire week and tie in activities – Halloween fashion parades, Halloween costume making, Halloween makeovers, Halloween plays, Halloween story-writing sessions, Halloween games, Halloween sweet-making sessions, Halloween decorations, Bonfire night explosion experiments, Bonfire Night cupcakes a la Bake Off special. The possibilities are endless.
Have fun and remember, there are only around 60s days until the Christmas holidays.