Guilt-Free School Holidays

The school holidays are here and while children are squealing with delight at freedom from school rules, itchy grey uniforms and prescribed bed times, in contrast, many parents are filled with dread. All the balls are thrown in the air with weeks of school holiday time to fill, not to mention the financial pressure that can cause. Sound familiar?

‘I feel really guilty shoving the children from pillar to post during the holidays; I should be around for them.’ Expert, author of Rocking Your Role and female breadwinner, Jenny Garrett, is on hand to explain the ways in which parents can maximise their time with their children and provides tips to maintain happy relationships during the long school holidays.

Here are five top tips to help alleviate the guilt and anxiety.

Just Ask

Angela says, “Make sure you take time to invest your interest in those around you; grandparents, aunts/uncles, children’s play friends and their parents. This will not only enrich your life, but also make holiday periods a lot less stressful.”

There will be many parents in the same situation as yourself. Even if you can’t reciprocate, ask anyway, as it often takes the pressure of parents when their children have company.

The 4 P’s

Prior Planning leads to Pleasant holiday Periods.

Leaving holiday activities to chance could prove extremely stressful. Do your research; there will be a number of activities laid on for children in your local area, both paid for and free of charge.


Don’t assume you know what children want to do, discuss it with them, their requests are often less financially and physically demanding than you might think. In addition, know when you are working and when you are not and communicate that clearly and stick to it, so everyone knows where they stand.

Be Present

Rather than working even on those days when you are supposed to be with the family, take some time to be truly present when you are there. Not every day has to be action packed. A duvet day together watching films and eating popcorn can be fantastic bonding time and a relaxing time for you too.

“As a working mother of four school aged children, I try to work flexibly, be home on time, not sit on my laptop in the evening, and make sure I do fun things with them when I am not working!’ says Sharon.

Try Something New Together

Remember its quality time, not quantity time that matters. Have an adventure with your children, whether that’s a walk in the forest, a trip to a farm, a cable car ride, in door skydiving; an experience that will be a first for both of you and a memory for years to come.

Final Thought

Share the positives that work gives you with your children, rather than it being seen as the thing that comes between you. You are role-modeling for your family and leaving a legacy for the future.

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