3 Tips to Survive the School Holiday Juggle

The summer holidays are imminent and for many parents that means the stress of balancing work, family time and childcare is already creeping in. The 6 week holiday can feel long at the best of times but is especially tough when you’re also trying to hold down a job & deliver at work. Then there’s the pressure of making sure your kids have an “insta-perfect” summer (this is BS by the way but we’ll get to that later). 

In this blog I’m sharing 3 tips for how to manage the school holiday juggle, PLUS download my list of over 30 local (Tring, Berkhamsted, Aylesbury) holiday clubs to help with your plan. 

Tip 1: Plan, plan and plan 

OK so this isn’t a secret tip, and is likely something you already do but it will be the key to your survival and sanity. 

The first thing to do is write down all the dates for the whole holiday (weekends/ days off included) – you can do this on a spreadsheet, in your own notebook or on a sheet of paper to go on the wall.

I like to do the latter as then when the holidays roll around it goes up in the kitchen & gets the kids involved. I mean how many times have you been asked “what are we doing today?” – the answer is on the wall chart!  (Download my template here.)

Next, fill in anything you’ve already got booked for the kids and for you – maybe you have time off from work planned, a holiday booked or just some fun things already in the diary. Don’t forget your own work commitments – the things you must do (so therefore the dates you must get cover for the kids).

So now you can see what days you actually need to cover. That total overwhelming feeling of 6 weeks can be reduced slightly here because you can actually see how many days it is (& hopefully it’s not the full 42!). And then it’s time to start looking at your options – relatives, friends, holiday camps etc – and get booking! To help this process a little I’ve been doing the googling so you don’t have and you can download my list of over 30 local summer camps – download it here.

As things get booked remember to add them to your plan. This will help keep things straight and you can plan further activities around it. 


Get your partner involved. The task of sorting childcare often falls to one parent (normally the mother) but childcare is not a 1 parent responsibility – both parents have a part to play so pour yourselves a glass of wine, get the work diaries out and get organised (I can think of better date night ideas but sometimes needs must!).


Don’t forget to put some things on the planner for you! We spend a lot of time focusing on what the kids are doing but you need a break too, even if it’s just booking yourself to go for a solo walk round the block – that sh*t is important and needs a note on the planner!  

Tip 2: Use your network 

When I talk about your network I’m normally talking about your business one, but when it comes to surviving the school holiday juggle (or anything parenting & childcare!) your social network is CRUCIAL. 

You know the saying “it takes a village..” well this is definitely when you need your village. 

Talk to friends & relatives about the juggle you’re facing – what days are currently uncovered, what help you need. 

  • Can a relative help look after the kids? 
  • Do you friends know of any amazing holiday clubs / other activities happening in the area?
  • Can you & a friend share drop off / pick up for a holiday club? 
  • Could you do a childcare ‘swap’? 

I remember when I was growing up a group of parents had a ‘babysitting circle’ where they did babysitting for each other (there was weird wire exchange thing to keep it fair). Grab a group of friends and see if anyone is up for something similar? Maybe you each do 1 day over the holidays – 1 day of your time could get you 2 or 3 days of childcare so it’s definitely worth a try!

Let your people know what you need and see if anyone can help or if they have any suggestions. 

Tip 3: Take the Pressure Off

So I said we’d get to the BS of the “insta perfect” summer holidays and this is it. 

Have you seen those posts that go around with the “you’ve only got 18 summers..” etc? Well I call BU**SH**!!!! As modern parents we already have SO much pressure put on us, this type of cr*p just adds to it and isn’t helping anyone. 

There are only 18 summers until they are 18 but we don’t stop being their parents, loving them and spending time with them when they turn 18 – we get to do that for the rest of our lives. And in fact when I was 16 I certainly didn’t want to be spending all my summer with my parents! 

What to do this summer?

Some of the happiest days I’ve had with my kids are lazy days in the garden or following a spontaneous decision to go on a picnic to the local park. 

One positive thing lockdown did was make us inventive with keeping busy at home – summer holidays is the time to channel those lockdown days (only the good bits!) and see what activities you can set up at home. Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to thinking of things to do, and don’t forget it’s not all on you either – let the kids experiment and plan something!

Just remember the kids don’t need a jam packed adventure for the whole 6 weeks; they need some downtime and rest. It is totally fine to turn on a film (or two) for them to watch whilst you go & get your work done – they need it and you need it.

If you can plan some things in advance, then that is amazing! And if there are some days where you just need to survive by any means possible, then that is more than acceptable. We are all just doing our best. 

Sending Love for Surviving the School Holiday Juggle

I hope these tips have been of some use, or maybe just confirmed what you already knew – do share to a friend if you think they’ll help (maybe start that childcare swap discussion?!).

If you’re local (around Tring, Berkhamsted or Aylesbury) then do download my ‘Summer Holiday Club’ list – details of over 30 clubs in the local area that will help you plan activities and childcare for summer 2024. 

Finally if you have a day where you’re struggling please know you’re not alone; there’s a whole army of parents out there having those same struggles and sending their love (me included!).

Running a Business Over the School Holidays?

If you’re a business owner and wondering how you’re doing to do it all then join us at our Q3 Goal Setting & Summer Planning session on Wednesday 3rd July in Berkhamsted. See the event on our calendar for full details and how to book.

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