Tuesday, November 16, 2010

School holiday heck

Coming up is our first experience of trying to work out how we are going to manage both of us working full time with school holidays. It's only 5 weeks away!

It would be so simple (and actually really nice) if I could just take holidays when TLM has them. But TLM's summer holidays is about 5-6 weeks long. Even if I took a whole year's worth at once, it would not cover her summer holiday. And that's ignoring the upcoming 2011 holidays - Easter (1 week, I think) and three term holidays (2 weeks each).

Of course, we haven't got around to organising anything before now (and when I say "we" I mean "me", because somehow now that the boy is not a house husband, all child-related issues are my issues). The boy says he is going to be ultra busy, and beside he doesn't even get paid leave as he's a contractor, and he just wants to get paid.

Somehow I just assumed that the after school care company did school holiday programmes too, but as far as I can tell they don't have this service in our part of town - though their website is 3 months out of date so I am still waiting to hear back from them. But even if they did, I'd be very reluctant to send her off for whole days away, even for just a few days per week.

Good grief - how do other families do it?!


A said...

How do other families do it? With difficulty- in any week of the school holidays we manage by a combination of one or other of us taking annual leave, my mother covering one or two days, a half day play date with a friend whose parents I know and trust, and one or more days at a school holiday programme.

Over this summer Z's after school care at her school runs a holiday programme but it only runs from 17 Jan so that's 4 weeks we've got to cover unassisted. Last year when Z was not in the school programme I tried a couple of commercial school holiday programmes- Z did a week long computer course in town which she enjoyed and I also tried a local private operator for a few days here and there which turned out to be terrible.It's very difficult to trust your child to strangers or to tell what will be a good environment.

Could you make some sort of reciprocal arrangements with TLM's cousins? Z's aunt, uncle and cousins are moving back to New Zealand soon and I've been wondering if we might go down that road a bit over school holidays.

Deborah said...

I've done a mix of parents, unpaid leave, reciprocity with friends, and paid caregivers. It has always been difficult. And it has always been my responsibility to organise it, even when we have both been working full time...

april said...

I have no idea how things work in your part of the world, but I can tell you that my mother was a working mom and I went to a summer day camp at a local community center every summer, and I loved it.the ymca also does a similar program here.

Cesca Dot Kay said...

How do we do it? Simple answer - we don't. The school holiday issue is the major reason why I'm not going back to full-time work until the kids are old enough to be left alone (high school age).

I remember when I used to work three days a week, school hours (9 til 3). The Christmas holidays were the worst ever - one day my Mum had the kids, the other two they went to a friend's house, but then on my two days off I had my friend's kids with me in return. The kids hated it (no down time, always either going somewhere or having people here) and I hated it.

It's a major issue for so many families! I've just decided to flag a career for now and take low paid weekend work.

Good luck with it! :-)

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about it already too (a little premature, I know) but over here it's quite common to salary sacrifice some of your salary and 'buy' extra leave, so if we both buy extra we should be able to cover the holidays between the 2 of us... but will mean that we're probably not on holiday together a lot..... grandparents?

Violet said...

Thanks for your replies. It seems that most people are managing in similar ways. Unfortunately for us, we can't really rely on the grandparents - my mum is not very mobile and the boy's parents are in the UK (and are sworn non-travellers to boot). I can see why summer camps are so popular in the States -there isn't so much of that in NZ as far as I know. And anyway I reckon TLM is a bit too young for that - maybe when she's ten?
I'm thinking of asking to work term time only - but I won't do that until I'm sure the boy is securely employed!