Sally McLaughlin took a 10-year break from a career in sales and has gradually built her...read more
The summer holidays are all but over for most children in the UK. Scottish schools have been back for a while. For some, including parents, that will be a relief. For others it means facing up to the return to the normal work life routine. How can you ease yourself back?
School uniform is a perennial summer issue. Is it falling apart? Can it last one more year or at least till Christmas? It’s worth making a list and checking it twice while you still have time. While certain branded items can be bought from school shops or directly from schools, who may have second hand stock, others can be more elusive, especially in the last days of the holidays.
NB the supermarkets have been selling back to school stuff since July and most will have been snapped up by now. Don’t forget tights and socks. Find a brand that is built to last. This can take several years of trial and error…
Get children back into a routine. It is possible that your children have got used to staying up later than normal during the holidays. In theory, they should have been gradually going to bed earlier as the start of term approaches.
Bribery, turning the clocks forward and other tactics might work, but in practice, children are very good at resisting such parental plans, particularly teenagers who would ideally only wake up in the twilight hours.
No amount of warnings about going cold turkey into 7am starts will work. They will prefer to squeeze the last drop out of their holidays and pay the price of complete zombiehood for the first week back. Unfortunately, some secondary schools choose this first week back to set tests and resits. Call it teachers’ revenge.
Get fit for the school run. You’ve had time off from the school run, which has its pluses and minuses. Now your life will return to being measured by the minutes and seconds. A different kind of organisational skill is required for the summer holidays and term time.
Summer holiday is more about emergency/crisis planning [particularly if you have left it till the last minute and have had to throw yourself on the mercy of friends, acquaintances and passers-by] while term time requires longer term planning and possibly spreadsheets. It needs to be something that works on as regular basis as possible.
Timing can be everything. Build in a cushion around all timings to allow for unforeseen events…
You may have spent the summer contemplating a new job. Perhaps you are returning to work now the kids are in school, perhaps summer holiday childcare has been the final straw, perhaps you have returned with renewed energy and motivation to do something different or move up.
Check out job sites, like Workingmums.co.uk, and use social media and research potential employers, particularly those that get the full business benefits of offering flexibility, both for them and their employees.
Check out too all the advice on our Advice and Support page, relating to finding a flexible job, childcare, returning to work and employment rights. That way things may be a bit easier next year.
Remember it’s only a couple of months till half term. Work is likely to go crazy between September and December and the Christmas countdown begins around 2nd September. Start preparing now.