Luckily, I work freelance from home, which makes life easier than when I had an office job with set hours. But even so, I still need to be strict to ensure I get my work done. Hubby works full-time and is pretty limited on when he can take his annual leave, which leaves me to sort out managing the childcare.
My youngest son is 2 and goes to a childminder, who is fairly flexible, which helps - a lot. My lovely childminder is also happy to increase my 3 (nearly 4) year old daughter's hours over the holidays and will even take my 6 year old son.
The only problem is that my childminder also needs a holiday, and the week she has chosen, just happens to be the week after we go away - so that's already one week of alternative arrangements to be found.
And then there's my oldest son, who has expressed an interest in going to a local football camp, and learning tennis and going to a sports camp at his school.
You can see how easily things can become confused.
So, I created a simple table in a word document with the week days along the top and the week commencing dates down the left hand side. I started off by marking in our booked holidays. I then hunted for some activities for my older two (football for my oldest son and a dance camp for my daughter) while my childminder is on holiday and begged my dad and a friend to take Wilf for two mornings. Once the holiday cover was sorted, I inserted my oldest son's remaining activities and then booked my younger two into the childminder on those days. Once I had sorted the childcare, I highlighted the days where I had childcare and marked those as my work days. I then noticed a couple of weeks where I didn't have enough working time, so I asked my childminder to take all three for a couple of days and I was sorted.
The spreadsheet has now been printed out and is on the fridge door so we can easily glance up and see who's doing what, when and where during the school holidays.
For once, I feel organised.
How do you manage childcare over the school holidays?