High-fiving the school holiday spreadsheet

home-business-4-1238760-638x425This is the last summer before our daughter properly starts school. Last year we chose the independent school route, but the lengthy school holidays were a big cause for concern.

How do people manage to hold down full-time jobs and cope with the childcare challenges?

I was beginning to feel so thankful for nursery – an 8-6 wraparound care, for 51 weeks of the year.  A safe home-from-home single environment where I knew my child was looked after and happy. (fingers regularly crossed for no sickness and enforced exclusion from nursery).

During one of my many analyses as to whether we would actually, really be able to manage, I dropped a line to a lady who actively promotes women in the workplace.  I shared with her my fears, my guilt at working full-time, my resentment at not having family close-by. I asked how people manage school holidays whilst holding down careers with only twenty five days annual leave.

She gave me an excellent piece of advice:

“Take one year at a time.”

She spoke about the fact that when our daughter starts school I will start to make a network of school Mums and the management of the umpteen weeks of holidays will fall into place.

She was absolutely right.

At the end of the day, and through whatever means, we would get through the holidays. That was always a given, even if it meant downsizing the house and hiring a Nanny (never going to happen, but it was a solution). I just couldn’t see it.

Our daughter started the attached pre-school last year and at one particular party I got talking to another Mum.  A Mum who also worked full-time, whose partner is self-employed, a career-minded Mum who comes from a modest background and is, like me, putting her hard-earned money towards her only child’s education instead of the flash car and luxury holidays.  Our daughters had made friends recently.

It was fate.

Just before the school broke up for the summer, we met up, shared diaries and scheduled specific dates when we’d be able to have each other’s child. With the school holiday club weeks, two weeks leave, three days of Grandparent-daycare, a few days of Daddy-daycare and my new found childcare buddy my school holiday spreadsheet was filled!

tick-1241542-639x444I had done it!

All the worry and anxiety about how on earth we were supposed to hold down our jobs when our daughter only goes to school for thirty-odd weeks of the year was pointless.

Every year will be a logistical Krypton-Factor-esq challenge, the spreadsheet will always be required, but it will work and it isn’t half as bad as you think it will be.

So if you’ve got your school holidays sorted to a tee, I high-five you.  If you’re already thinking about how you’ll cope when you child starts school – Don’t Worry! 

Trust me, just take each year as it comes and you’ll soon find a school holiday routine that suits your family and maybe you’ll even find yourself meeting your own childcare buddy. I wanted to add ‘in the playground’, but realistically for us full-time working Mums, it is much more likely to be at the weekend birthday parties!


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday



Published by

Amelia Salisbury

A thirty-something working Mum of one who devotes her spare time to helping other paranoid, worrying, stressed parents who are trying to juggle careers and parenthood.

14 thoughts on “High-fiving the school holiday spreadsheet”

  1. Well done! This will probably be my battle in a few years. Thank you for the reassurance that it can work! Mind you I can’t imagine anyone would want to take my three lol!! #KCACOLS

  2. Thanks for this Amelia! I work 12 hour shift work and my hubby works 4 10 hr days per week so child care is quite difficult for us. For now our parents have been helping us out, but it gives me a lot of anxiety thinking about the future school years! I can’t rely on them forever, LOL! It’s nice to know that other moms have similar problems and that there are solutions out there!
    Tori @ The Mama Nurse

  3. It is so tough when the summer holidays come and you’ve got 6 weeks to organise. My stepson is now 12 years old so a little old now for summer camps and we are struggling a little, but getting there. As you say we’ll get through it and it’s best to try and enjoy the time together! Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS hope you come back again next Sunday! x

  4. I agree. This is my first experience of a 12 week summer. Luckily I don’t work anymore. I really don’t know how working mums get it all done!! Kuddo’s to you! #KCACOLS

  5. What a great idea! I couldnt actually find childcare that I could afford so I left my teaching job to care for my son and i take him with me twice a week when i nanny for another little boy! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

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