Last half-term

Tomorrow something momentous will happen. It might feel like a pretty ordinary day, but it’s a real milestone, because it’s MY LAST EVER DAY OF ANNUAL LEAVE.

One of the hardest parts of being a working parent is finding childcare to cover the school holidays. I’m lucky that I only work three days a week and I have family nearby. It must be impossible for people who don’t. Yes, there are holiday clubs, but they’re usually much shorter hours than work and of course they cost money. Money which multiplied by three adds up to rather a lot.

And, actually, it’s not always about convenience and finding someone to look after the kids, it’s also about wanting to take a break at the same time as the kids, to relax and enjoy their company and do something other than taking them to ballet and Cubs and nagging them about homework.

Every school holidays it makes me sad when people say: “What are you doing tomorrow/ next week?” and I have to say: “I’m going to work”. I don’t want to go to work! I want to be with my kids. I want to laze around the house in pyjamas or go on days out, I don’t want to get up at 6 and leave the house before they have even surfaced.

February half-term is always a tough one. It’s the holiday where I realise those lovely extra weeks I took off over summer and that extra day or two at Christmas mean I have no annual leave left. When I put in forย voluntary redundancyย I had just one day’s leave left – to cover half-term plus the secondary school inset day beforehand and the primary school inset day afterwards. So my husband and parents are kindly covering all those days I can’t do.

I still don’t want to be at work in half-term, but this time it doesn’t seem so bad, because I know it’s the last time. Come Easter and May and summer, I won’t be juggling and worrying and running out of leave, I will be WITH MY KIDS.

I can’t wait.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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24 Comments

  1. Yes, there’s lots I miss about the office, but holiday flexibility is one of the big pluses of jettisoning the 9/5. And hopefully you’ll have the decent weather!

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  2. I worked in a school when my sons were children so I was lucky to have most of the school holidays with them. Previous to this, I’d worked in a private nursery where, like you, there were always school holidays that I had to work because I’d run out of days. Kissing my kids goodbye for the day during school holidays upset me, especially to go and look after somebody else’s children.
    I don’t knock anybody who has to work in order to pay the bills but, for me, spending quality time with my kids came first. The bills still got paid but we made some great memories. You can’t put a price on your time when it comes to your children.
    Wishing you all the best on your next adventure. x

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  3. Congratulations! It’s a money poorer lifestyle, but it carries it’s own richness ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Like you I worked 3 days a week until Syd was born, the last couple of years of school hols have been so relaxing without the worry of childcare! (although I still miss my regular wage packet…!)

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  5. With your kids….and trying to work from home too! Seriously, I’m so excited for you that you’ve made this leap. Woohoo!

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  6. I’ve had a 10 year maternity break and can honestly say I have loved every minute – ultimately you’ll never reach the end of your life and say “oh I wished I worked more” x

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  7. How exciting. I work from home and look after the children-it has it’s moments but it’s brilliant most of the time. They grow up so fast and you never get that time again ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Oh, so jealous! If money wasn’t an issue I’d love a term-time hours agreement, as I hate being at work knowing the kids are at home with their grandparents.

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  9. Ahh I love the comment from Brick castle – definitely richer in quality of life with the kids!!

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  10. I love Brick Castle’s comment too, Notmyyearoff! Thank you all, ladies, for your lovely comments.
    Tracy – love what you say about you can’t put a price on time with your children. I think I’ve been away from them for too long.
    You make a brilliant point, Natasha, I must remember that!
    Reassuring to know you’re doing it Redpeffer and it’s working well. x

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  11. I have only been ‘in school’ for 4 months so can completely empathise. Like you, I’m only 3 days a week with family nearby so fortunate but I would like to be lazing around too with Beaver during half-term. February feels like a good time to be doing that, doesn’t it? I have taken drastic action to avoid the summer holidays. Getting pregnant with no. 3 so I can go on maternity leave. Ha ha. Now that’s extreme measures just to get childcare sorted. ‘Enjoy’ your last day x

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  12. I’m being made redundant too from my annual hours term time only job. I’m quite relaxed about the redundancy but am a little worried that I’ll not find another decent part time job to last until children are through school. Good luck! #pocolo

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  13. I so remember those days of working and juggling childcare, I was a single mum of two and even though I loved my job, all I really wanted to do was to take time off with my kids. I think leaving work was the best thing I did, good luck with your new ventures x

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  14. I know that feeling, can remember being in that position with my eldest two. I decided to work from home when I had my youngest, best thing I did. He’s in year 1 now and I’ve still not gone back to proper employment hehe. Extra special summer for you guys this year then…hope we have nice weather :)xxx

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  15. Thanks very much for your lovely comments, everyone! Getting pregnant really is an extreme way to deal with it, Amy ๐Ÿ˜‰
    It’s nice that so many people are positive about not going out to work and that it has worked out so well for so many families.
    Good luck to you too, Christine. It’s a scary time, but hopefully an opportunity to do something you really want to do.

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  16. This is so lovely to read. I used to work full-time and with 4 weeks annual leave a year hardly got to spend any down time with L, then I decided to retrain as a childminder instead of going back to office work after C was born, and it is so wonderful to get to spend school holidays with my kids. Enjoy!

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  17. yay ๐Ÿ™‚ i briefly went back to work after having no3 but with limited ‘free’ childcare we struggled. So i stopped working and am setting up as a childminder. ๐Ÿ™‚ good luck with the new venture.

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  18. That must be a lovely thought. I’ve cut back on my freelance writing for a while and the last two holidays I’ve had so much more time for H.

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  19. I think one of the best things is being there for your children when they get home. I do miss the money but I can always try and earn that again – I will never get back Grace’s childhood. Thaks for linking to PoCoLo x

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  20. I will stick out as the only geezer to comment on this page. I gave up full time work to hold the babies almost three years ago. With the eldest now at school my wife and I have assessed the situation and I will be following in your footsteps. It’s a little daunting, but if am looking forward to it. I’m going to use it as an opportunity to retrain

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  21. Thanks very much, everyone. Lovely to read such positive things about working at home and spending more time with the kids. I suppose a little part of me regrets that I didn’t do it a lot sooner as they’re not getting any younger.
    Interesting that both Franglaise Mummy and Mrs Tutey have trained as childminders. I reckon I’d be a dreadful childminder! I’ll stick with writing.

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