|Posted on 11 December, 2019 at 5:20|
Photo by Barry Plott from Pexels
I had a conversation with a freelance colleague recently about Christmas and the lessons we can learn from it.
As a freelancer, with a freelancer husband, she was talking about the dilemma of having to work for some of the time during the holiday period, whilst also wanting to give their young children a great Christmas break. This is a situation which many people find themselves in.
We talked through all the possible logistical options, for example:
- deciding in advance which days were going to be their ‘working’ days and which ‘holiday’ days with their children;
- agreeing with two sets of grandparents, very eager to babysit, when they would take the children on treat days;
- setting up one play date in their home in exchange for their children going to other childrens‘ play dates;
- finding out what activities there are in their local area;
- each parent having a special day with the children, whilst the other one worked, etc.
My colleague, already excited about getting Christmas handled, had a real lightbulb moment when she realised she could actually think like this all the time. She could plan ahead, to try and make her work and childcare balance better, giving both her and her children a better experience. And even those of us without children can use forward planning to make sure we make the best use of our Christmas time - and any other time for that matter. (Obviously, life is never straightforward and something will often come along and throw things into disarray, but at least a good chunk of your planning will turn out as you expect.)
The second lesson to take away is that if you have identified a ‘work’ day and a ‘play’ day, then make sure you enter into it fully. Don’t spend your work day feeling guilty about (in this case) not being with your children. And definitely don’t spend the play day feeling guilty that you should be doing working. Be mindful, savour what you are doing and do it wholeheartedly.
However you decide to work, have a happy Christmas!