The stresses of summer holidays as a parent – the effects on a healthy work/life balance

August 3rd, 2023

Working parents can find school holidays tough

Working parents can find it harder than most during school holidays

The summer holidays bring joy, sunshine, and a well-deserved break for children.

But for working parents, it can present unique challenges that are often more stressful than people perceive. 

In the fast-paced, modern world that we live in, balancing the demands of work and family life is demanding at all times of the year, but during the summer holidays when the structure of the school day is gone, it can be especially daunting.

Here at The Therapy Room, we speak to parents every year, both as individuals and as couples, who need help to manage the negative feelings that arise during this period.

So if you are feeling a sense of dread as the summer holidays approach, you are not alone – your feelings are valid and you deserve to be listened to and supported.  

Seven tips to improve your wellbeing as a working parent this summer 

  1. Plan ahead: The key to maintaining a healthy work/life balance during the summer holidays is to try and plan in advance as much as possible. Start by marking important dates, such as family outings and holidays on a shared calendar. Similarly, make the effort to diarise self-care too – whether that be ten minutes of daily meditation or blocking out 30 minutes every other lunchtime to go for a run. 
  2. Establish a routine: While the summer holidays are meant for relaxation, having a structured routine can provide a sense of stability and make it easier to reduce feelings of overwhelm. Set aside specific blocks of time for work-related tasks and create a schedule for engaging with your children. Clearly communicate this routine to your family, so they understand when you need focused work time and when you are available for quality family interactions. 
  3. Communicate with your employer: The likelihood is that you will not be the only person in your organisation who is a parent with school-age children. Therefore, your employer should understand that there may need to be a certain degree of flexibility during this period. Explore flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, to create a better work/life balance during the summer holidays. 
  4. Explore childcare options: Summer camps, day-cares, and other childcare resources can be a lifesaver during the summer holidays. These activities do not have to break the bank – for example, local authorities often put on affordable sessions for children during this period.
  5. Create quality time: Although work commitments may limit your availability during the summer holidays, it’s important to create meaningful moments with your children. Be present during your interactions, whether it’s during meals, days out, or bedtime routines. Put away distractions and give them your undivided attention. 
  6. Plan creative days out: If you are able to plan days out during the summer holidays, they don’t have to cost the earth. Children care more about spending time with parents who love them and who can offer them fun experiences, than about how much something costs. So plan a treasure hunt, an orienteering trip, or a picnic in the park.
  7. Make the most of weekends and evenings: Making the most of your evenings and weekends is two-fold. Firstly, you can use this time to plan special activities or outings with your children – from outdoor adventures to simple activities like cooking or reading together. Secondly, it’s important to use this time to practice self-care. By recharging your own batteries, you’ll have more energy and a positive mindset to tackle the demands of both work and parenthood.

Share how you’re feeling

Talking about how you feel with other like-minded parents, your friends, family and partner, is a great way to alleviate the tension you’re experiencing.

However, if you feel like you need a bit of extra help to get you through the summer holidays this year, then contact The Therapy Room.

Regardless of what is getting you down or giving you anxiety, you deserve to be listened to and being able to talk about the way you feel in a safe, non-judgemental environment, with a trained therapist, can be incredibly helpful.

Our therapeutic approach is based on the understanding that people are complex and lead complicated lives. 

Tailored to your personal needs, we make a commitment to structuring and working for you as an individual.

Founder Jay L Pink Ad.Prof.Dip MBACP PC MNCS (ACC) established The Therapy Room to offer high quality, expert counselling and therapy services to people of all ages, as well as to couples for relationship and partner counselling and groups for corporate and family therapy. Jay’s commitment to anyone visiting The Therapy Room is to unconditionally respect values, lifestyle, background and beliefs, offering a discreet and professional service tailored to their needs.

Therapy is held either in-person at The Therapy Room in Northampton or online. 

To organise a booking, please visit our bookings and payment page.