As I write this post, I’m reminded of season finales. Another school year is coming to a close and we are properly getting into summer. Most schools, at least the private ones are closing at the end of this week in the U.K. The last few weeks at my daughter’s school has all been about summer concerts, sports day, plays, end of year trips and goodbyes.
In a funny way it’s been quite similar for me at work. My coaching sessions peak at term time and as I coach many mums and mumpreneurs my coaching too seems to fall into this school term mode. Its crazy and hectic during school term and slow during school breaks. I’m not complaining at all as I like this pattern. I get to focus on coaching and sessions during school term and spend more quality time with my family and business development during the holidays.
But there is a specific reason as to why I’m writing this post today. The last couple of weeks as I spent coaching some of my clients I had this interesting observation. As schools close and as people get ready to break for the summer there seems to be a combination of both joy as well as anxiety. For every person that was overjoyed with the summer holidays and break from routine there were equal number of folks getting anxious and worried about the next 8 weeks.
If you fall into the latter category understandably as a working mum struggling with childcare or even if you are a stay at home parent and feel that you are going to lose your ‘me’ time, then maybe it’s a good idea to spend some time talking about how you can gear up for this summer proactively and from a place of strength so you can enjoy the break. Here are a few things for you to think about:
Owning Your Freedom: Having your kids around for 8 weeks can be very daunting. One of the first things you can do is define and understand what freedom means for you. For me freedom is getting my runs and workouts in daily. If I get my run in then I can face the world! For me freedom also means getting 4 hours of uninterrupted time in my day during the holidays to put in time at work – be that business development, writing content, setting up networking opportunities and so on. These are the things that I will not compromise on.
To own your freedom, you need to figure out what that means for you. Before school closes, a useful task this week for you would be to journal or think about what this freedom means. Get down to the specifics and write it all down – it could mean weekly meet ups with your friends, yoga group, time you need to put into your business, a cup of coffee by yourself at Starbucks, book club, anything and everything that you need to own your freedom. The reason I’m asking you to do this simple yet powerful exercise this week is that you can prepare for the summer proactively rather than react to situations when you are unprepared.
Once you have defined your freedom I want you to get down to the specifics. Yes my friends, I am being very coach like! Bring out your calendar and start putting it all in and planning. So lets you are in town for 4 weeks and travelling for the other 4. Develop a holiday routine for the weeks you are staying at home and the time you are away. Remember to schedule in your ‘me’ time moments (from the freedom journal) and use the rest of the time to plan life around your kids – their swimming, holiday camps, park time, sightseeing, beach time etc.
I know this might come as a shock to most of you but the trick to allowing freedom in your life is in planning planning, planning. It’s all in the specifics. We are somehow led to believe that things will just happen and things will just fall into place. But if you really want something to work in your life you absolutely need to create the time and space for that and the best way to create this time and space is by planning.
Once you have your ‘me’ time scheduled in, look for resources to help you to make that possible. Reach out to your support system – your partner, a friend, part time sitters, grandparents, holiday camps and so on. Now that my daughter is older and very independent I don’t need much support or help with childcare. But when she was younger I remember using young university students to babysit her for a few hours each week while I worked. I also relied on some fantastic, local holiday camps. The trick is to plan, schedule and know what you want.
Creating a Holiday Bucket List: This is another task you can do with your family this week before the schools close. Spend some time together and make a bucket list for the things you would all love to do over this summer. This is such a fun thing to do. In my family we are here in London for 4 weeks and travelling the rest of the time and it’s been great just spending time and thinking about the things we want to do this summer. Our own 2018 summer bucket list! Next summer we’ll be in London the whole time as my daughter will be preparing for her GCSEs so we want to do fun, memorable and productive things on our break this year.
Try this out – create the bucket list and once you have it, see how you can make it happen.
I hope you all have an enjoyable and stress free summer. Try the exercises I’ve suggested this week so you can plan and have more control over your freedom from a place of strength. As for me, even though we are breaking for the summer, I’ll still be making an appearance every Monday in your inbox with new coaching related posts, topics and circulating the good stuff! See you next week. Lots of love my friends.
I'm Poornima Nair, Certified Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Founder of Live Authentic Coaching. If you are curious about coaching, interested in being nurtured, inspired and pushed to your edge, to discover and create the relationships, career, lifestyle, finances you are longing for, please reach out to me for a taster of what great coaching does to foster the clarity, mindset, qualities and skills that will allow you to breakthrough.