Dare I say this; I had a busy working Christmas - mostly without my children - and I enjoyed myself! BAD MUM ALERT!!!!
The last few months saw me busy with Panto season and away in Birmingham a lot. It's always daunting going back into work (especially when it's so full-on) and I ALWAYS feel guilty. When you give birth, you automatically give birth to guilt. Every decision, move, breath you take, you ask yourself... is that ok? Is it ok for my kids, for my family? Then I say to myself... "you're not just away on a jolly, you're working, making money for your family, showing a good example to your kids!" So why do you feel bad?
I had everything organised since October before heading off, and when I say organised, I mean every move for my family, childcare and grandparents. Anyone involved had the schedule/plan/itinerary! Yet not being there gave me anxiety and guilt. Oh, and if I say I'm ok or having fun, (without them) the anxiety and guilt goes up ten-fold!
Before I went on my Panto adventure, I made sure we had lots of quality time together as a family. Trips to see friends and family, days out... we also got a few days away at Celtic Manor in Wales - such a great place for families and lots of activities for all - I even got a spa treatment in for myself!
My tips for a busy working schedule and a busy family household? Preparation is key!
- planning out a weekly itinerary keeps everyone in order and prevents things being forgotten.
- Meal plans. When you're not able to be home to do daily meals, preparing them over the weekend relieves the stress. It also ensures kids get a balanced diet and there's food ready to warm up when us parents get home. - Constant contact. For me, regular phone calls home to make sure everything's on track and everyone is happy, gives me piece of mind.
- Having as much back-up help as possible. To have this in place in case your children are too poorly to go to nursery or school gives you the safety net, needed when you're busy at work.
- Vitamins, vitamins, vitamins!
Important to have a healthy house! As we mums know, once a bug gets into the house it's hard to get it out. It passes from one member to another, and sometimes a few times over, so, prevention is key!
After such a busy start to the year, we've decided a family holiday is in order. We like to go away over the Easter break and tend to go somewhere we've never been before. Last time we went away over Easter, Raf was only 6 months old. We did a trip to South East Asia, visiting Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. We had an incredible time, although I will admit, it was tricky at times! However, we plan on doing another big family adventure. We are currently toying with ideas... Possibly, Route 66 or an Italian road trip visiting the mountains and lakes! Whatever we do, I can’t wait!!
Read Suzanne's article in the January issue of Mums Magazine.