This post should probably be called "Childcare and help in the holidays is an absolute godsend".
I don't like to get all moany because I really do love working for myself but *bloody hell* it's difficult being a seasonal worker when the Summer holidays hit. I absolutely love spending special days with Viv (and now Sylvie too) when school's out but this year I've had to really give in to the fact that I'll need proper and arranged-in-advance help with the girls so I can work too. It's so true that parenting often feels like doing a million things at once and doing none of those things particularly well. This year I wanted to manage my time working quite strictly so that on days off with the girls I can 100% be present and do some memorable holiday things.
One thing we decided to book in was Deershed festival. I made an active decision to keep that weekend free so we could have at last one family weekend together in the holidays. I also forced myself to be less proud and "I can do it all myself" and accept very kind offers of childcare from my mother in law and my mum. The diary is chocka with dots for dates with who has the girls which days, days I'm working at weddings and I've made sure there are a few blank days too (*and* a few things for Dav and I to do as a couple.. hello, The Libertines 💛).
I asked Vivienne to make a list of holiday things for us to tick off over the next few weeks and the activities she wants to do are such lovely simple things that make me so glad that we can take time to do things a little slower. The list includes things like going to the park, doing a reading challenge through the local library, making slime (don't ask.. it's some kid craze I think..), going swimming, going for ice cream and making YouTube videos.
When we've had help with the girls they've been getting up to some lovely things too; as much as I'd love to be there for them every day I do feel that this planning this year is giving both of them a really full and exciting few weeks of being off. So far they've spent lots of time with cousins, been baking and making dens, planning tree houses and Vivienne's had a mini party for her cousins ahead of her birthday on Monday.
From my point of view I'm getting so much done in these work windows that it's taken a huge weight off my shoulders. Everything still feels stressful but I can't imagine what it would be like without the support around us these holidays. It really does take a village to raise a child.