Help – Surviving the school holidays as a wedding business owner!

Show notes:

EEEK the 6 week summer holiday is nearly upon us, and if you are anything like me, you have a mild sense of panic! How are you going to run your wedding business whilst also having children at home!

I get it – it’s the same here which is why I’ve recorded this podcast! In today’s episode I’m going to be sharing some tips to help you keep your wedding business running over the summer and I’m going to be totally honest about how it goes in my house!

You’ve got this!

Transcript:

Becca: [00:00:00] As you know, I like to keep things real on this podcast. And this week is one I’ve been stressing about for a little while now. Ideally love my children, but as the six week, summer holidays is upon us, I know it’s going to be absolute chaos for me. As I balance being a full-time parent with running my business.

If that’s you right now, I’ve got you. And in today’s episode, I’m gonna be sharing some ideas of how you can survive the summer holidays as a parent and a wedding business owner. And just to let you know, I’m gonna be honest. No perfect parent here. I’m Becca Pountney, wedding business marketing expert, speaker, and blogger.

And you are listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get going with today’s episode. Let’s be honest, whoever planned [00:01:00] out the school terms clearly didn’t own a wedding business. It is the busiest time of year for us and all of a sudden, so many of us are now having to juggle work and childcare. And if we’re honest, it can be really hard. Yeah. I’m sure there’s gonna be loads of those lovely Instagram posts about all the wonderful family time everyone’s having just to make us feel really guilty.

If the reality is anything like is in my house. Yes. I’ll be having fun with the kids, but I’ll also be having some minor meltdowns in my brain about the massive to-do list that definitely isn’t getting done. So if that’s you right now and you’re stressing about how on earth you’re gonna survive the summer, hopefully some of the tips and realities in today’s episode will help you.

So my first tip is to get organized. Now I know this sounds obvious, but as a parent, we often have to be organized anyway. As this episode is going out just as the summer holidays are either started or about to start. You might be thinking it’s too late for me to get organized. Well, let me tell you, it’s not, you can get organized right now.

All you need is [00:02:00] to sit down one evening and plan this out now for a start. Why don’t you schedule your social media posts ahead of time so that you’re not spending every day in the summer holidays worrying about what to post. I mean, realistically, you might wanna cut it down and do less posts than normal, but even if you post three or four times a week, schedule them ahead at the beginning of the week, spend an hour getting them scheduled, and then you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of that week.

If you’re even more organized, then get it all scheduled for the whole six week, summer holiday, right at the start. And then you can relax knowing that your social media is posting for you, even when you are having to be at the park at the swings, doing whatever it is that you’ve got going on. I noticed this week that Facebook creator studio has now been updated to meta business suite.

And this is really great. You can use it to schedule all of your Facebook and Instagram posts ahead of time. It’s free to use. And the great thing is they’ve updated the software. So you can now go in and put the same post on Facebook and Instagram. But change it slightly before it goes live. So you can [00:03:00] change the tags.

You can take out the hashtags on the Facebook post and it makes everything really super simple. So if you need some help with scheduling, go and check out that either search for meta business suite or Facebook creator studio within your Facebook and that tool should come up, it makes life so much easier.

When you plan ahead and schedule don’t overdo it. Just get a little bit organized. My second piece of advice for this summer is to lose the parent guilt. We can spend so much time feeling guilty and let’s be honest. It doesn’t help anyone sometimes. It’s okay. If we have to do a little bit of work during the summer holidays, it’s not realistic to expect you to be able to take the whole six weeks off.

So if you need it, find some occasional childcare. Now, this could be from a family member. It could be from a friend who you can ask for your kids to go there on a play date, depending on how old they are. It could be with a local holiday club. I mean, for example, with my children, I’ve booked them into a holiday club, uh, that I know they’re gonna love with their friends at the beginning of the summer.

And I’ve booked them into some dance workshops at the end of the [00:04:00] summer, just so I know I’ve got a few days breathing space to catch up on any much needed admin. Now personally, I’m not one for putting my children in loads and loads of childcare, mainly because it’s expensive. And I wanna spend that time with them.

That’s why I run my business the way I do, but also I know they’re gonna love these things. So I’ve only booked them into things I know they’re gonna love. And I know it’s gonna make me more of a better person because my head space is gonna be clear because I know at least I’ve got a few days each end of the holiday to get my head straight and to get my admin.

If money is an issue for you when it comes to childcare, have a look at what’s going on in your local area. Sometimes councils have summer groups and summer play things which are free of charge to local families. And often churches in your community also might have some clubs or holiday camps going on, which are often free of charge to utilize.

So send them along with some of their friends and give yourself a day. And most importantly, don’t feel guilty for it. As long as they’re having fun, you’re gonna be having a good time too. And like we said, at the beginning, there’s always the option of a [00:05:00] day with the grandparents, perhaps a day and a play date with a friend, but don’t feel guilty for it.

Don’t feel like you’ve gotta be doing something amazingly fun. Every single day of the holidays. What I found myself is when I put that pressure on myself to do amazing things every single day, I’m so stressed about the fact that I’m not doing any work, that I’m probably not being as good a parent as I could be.

Whereas when I know I’ve got a few little bits of breathing space to get that work done, I can put my head fully into what I’m doing with the kids, relax and have fun. So get organized and don’t feel that guilt. My third tip for you is suitable. If your children are just that little bit older and don’t need quite as much help as maybe they do, when they’re a little bit younger.

Now I am this mom, and I’m gonna be honest about that, but I’m always looking to utilize things I have available to me. So my children love soft play. I can’t stand it. My children also love the trampoline parks as well. So occasionally as a very special treat to them, I will book them in [00:06:00] to go to a soft play center, much to my disappointment, or to go to the trampoline park.

Why? Because they love it. They can run around together. They can have fun. They have the time of their lives. I then use that opportunity to take my laptop. Yes. I’m that parent in the corner of a soft play with my laptop, because I know that those kids are having a great time. They’ll come back to me when they want lunch, when they want snacks, when they need help with something, but they’re out there having fun.

And at the same time, I’m able to catch up on some emails, some admins, some editing, whatever it is that I’ve got to do. So don’t be afraid to utilize these facilities that you’ve got available to you. If your children love going to the soft play, I mean, what else are you gonna do? Sit there on your phone, scrolling.

You might as well make the most of it and, uh, go to these soft play centers and don’t feel bad about it. Be there, have your laptop open, catch up on some work while the kids are having. This fourth piece of advice is something that has taken me a little while to understand about myself and to get to grips with.

And I think it’s something that people aren’t really talking about enough. So who better than for me to talk to you about [00:07:00] it today? Because I guarantee some of you are feeling like this too, and having spoken to other parents and other business owners about this issue. I definitely find people resonate with it, even if they’re not talking about it out loud.

And that is to not resent the time you’ve got with your children. On the surface, we can all say absolutely. I’m not gonna resent, spending time with my children. I love my children. I love the holidays. I love spending time with them. Of course you do. So do I, I love having my kids at home. I like nothing better than having an awesome day out at Lego land or just having so much fun in the garden, in the paddling pool.

However, I know my tendencies is when I feel stressed, I can start to feel that resentment, not towards my children. But towards the fact that it feels like they’re taking away my time that I could be putting into my business. And that’s a horrible feeling to have, because then you stop enjoying the time as much, because you’re constantly thinking, but if they’re at school, I could be doing this.

Or if they just weren’t here, I’d be so productive. And all those people that don’t have kids are doing way more [00:08:00] than me. They’re on Instagram all the time. They’re getting all their work done. And here I am stuck at home with a couple of kids and. That’s a horrible mindset to get into because then you start feeling guilty about feeling it.

And that’s why people don’t talk about it. And I think it’s a very real feeling. I think there’s times when often we can feel like that, especially when we look at what other people are doing on social media, or even when we are looking at other people who don’t work or don’t have a business and they’re having all this fun time with their kids and they don’t have all those other things to worry about.

And then we can start resenting our business. So how do we. Over this feeling. Well, what I found has helped me is to totally separate in my brain work time from children time. And that’s easier said than done, but I use some of these tactics I’ve talked about so that I know I’m gonna have specific work time.

So I’ll put in my diary, I’m gonna have two hours on Monday evening. I’m gonna do one soft play day where I’m gonna have a couple of hours in the soft play. I’m gonna put them into one dance camp so that I can have a whole day’s work. And because I know I’m gonna have that time, I then stop [00:09:00] resenting the other.

Because I can absolutely relax and enjoy it knowing I don’t need to worry about this stuff because I know I can deal with it on Monday evening. I know I can deal with it on soft play day or whatever it is. So if you are starting to feel that feeling, it’s probably because you’re not carving out any time at all to work on your business and you need to separate it.

If you’re trying to keep everything going whilst entertaining children, and you’re on your phone, replying to emails, it can all get too much. And when you can try and separate that time out and plan ahead and know which time is fun time with kids. Which time is right now, I’m gonna do a bit of work. It makes life so much easier even to the point where sometimes I’ll say right on this day, I’m gonna wake up at 6:00 AM and I’m gonna smash through an hour’s work in the morning so that I can relax for the rest of the day and not worry that I haven’t got things done or on a Wednesday afternoon.

I know I’m gonna stick on a film that they can watch on Disney. Plus, I’m gonna sit in the lounge and during that hour and a half, while they’re watching a Disney. I’m in the room with them. I can get on and reply to some of those emails. It’s all about making [00:10:00] choices and just living with those feelings and realizing, right.

Why am I feeling this way? And how can I do something about it? And since I’ve made some of those changes and shifted that mindset, I’ve found that it’s so much better because then I much more enjoy those special times. I’ve got with the kids when it’s all about them, we can play a game. I try and turn my phone off or put it in another room.

So I don’t get distracted. And then I also know, well it’s okay. Cause I’ve got this time to. In a short while. Okay. My next piece of advice, some of you might already do this anyway in the week, but I think it’s even more important when you’re trying to juggle a busy time. This might be because you’re juggling summer holidays or just because you’ve got so much work and that is the Sunday evening plan Sunday.

Evening’s a great time to do it. It’s normally a downtime for most people and it means you can look at the week ahead and see what you’re doing. This is a great opportunity to talk to your partner. If you’ve got one about how you’re gonna split your week and what people are going out when and how things.

But it’s also a great opportunity for you to have a look at your plan for the week and what time you [00:11:00] need. Now, as part of this exercise, what I want you to do is to write down some of those things in your head and write two lists essentials. Nice to do essentials. Nice to do now. Essentials are things that have to happen that week.

Like totally non-negotiable they have to happen in the next seven days. Nice to dos are things that have been on your list and you wanna get them done that week. But if it goes into the week after, it’s not the end of the world. So first of all, get your list on paper essentials and nice to dos. Now, depending on how many essentials you have is gonna depend.

How much time you need. So now go back through that list of essentials and look at it and think right, how much time is this realistic going to take me? How many hours does this work equate to? Because now I’ve got to find those hours somewhere else in the week. So if your essential things say, they’re gonna take five hours, well now you need to try and carve out five hours in and probably already.

Busy week now that might be either end of the day, like I talked about. So it might mean that you’ve gotta get up earlier [00:12:00] and do a couple of hours or do one hour extra each morning before the kids are up and about and going out, it might be that you’ve gotta stay up later in an evening or have an evening in to get your work done.

Or it might mean that you need a few more of those soft play days or a phone call to the grandparents to see if they can go and have a fun day with them. If it’s a nice to do, but not an essential, well, then maybe it can. Maybe you don’t need to put it into this week, but you’ve got it noted down on paper and maybe it can move to next week where it might become an essential.

The main thing is though to get into that, thinking ahead, instead of getting halfway through the week and then panicking, ah, I’ve got so much, that’s essential to get done and I don’t have the time to do it, plan for it. And then it won’t come as a surprise. So if you know, you need five hours, look at your week ahead and work out when those five hours can be fit in and how you’re going to do it around all of the rest of the summer holiday madness.

My next tip for you is to get your kids involved in your business. Now, depending on the age of your children is gonna depend how easy or how much they’re gonna be able to get [00:13:00] involved. But I promise you for most children, there’s a way that they can get involved and help you. Now, this is a great way to mix work and children, because one thing I love about owning my own business, especially as a mother is showing my children what’s possible and showing them, you know, how life works.

What’s possible for them and that anything’s possible if they wanna own their own business in the future, create a job that they love, all of those kind of things. And by getting them involved in my business and helping them understand, instead of them thinking mommy’s always working, they suddenly start seeing as work as being really fun.

So some examples could include, say, you’ve got a pack your car for a wedding day? Well, children, as young as three or four can help carry light things out to the car. And often they love doing it. If you’ve got older children, perhaps teenagers, they’re amazing at Facebook and Instagram. So why not get them involved?

Maybe pay them a little bit of pocket money or say that you’ll take them on a day out. In return for them helping you out with your Instagram posts or giving you some tips on TikTok or whatever it is, get them involved. Often they’ve got skills that we [00:14:00] can definitely use and utilize. So obviously I’m not saying take advantage of your children, but if you, if you make it fun and you get them involved in your business, they love it.

My kids love it. There was a couple of times when, um, I had my little girl and she was off sick, I think, or it was maybe it was during the lockdown and she’d come on my accountability, Monday videos, occasionally with my members. And she thought it was the best thing in the world. She loved understanding mommy’s work.

She loved being part of it and everyone thought it was cute as well. I think it’s really important to help children understand what business is all about and what their parents do for a living. And this is a great way to do it. So suddenly you’ve got a couple of extra pairs of hands around the place.

Why not get them involved and see if there’s something fun you can be doing together. Okay. My next tip is be realistic. I’m gonna say that again, be realistic. I know deep down, I will not achieve as much in the next six weeks over the summer holidays as I would in six weeks in term time, I know that my kids are gonna be around.

I know I’m not gonna be as [00:15:00] productive. I know I’m gonna have a million, one other things to do, and that’s okay. I understand that. I knew that’s what was gonna happen and therefore I’m being realistic. Be realistic about how much you can actually achieve. Don’t feel the pressure if you need to post a little bit less on social media, because you’re busy doing other things.

That’s fine. If you can’t go and attend all the trainings you otherwise would. That’s okay. As long as you’re getting those essential things done, like going to a wedding that you’re booked for making a cake that you need to be making it’s okay. If there’s other things that you just dropped the ball on a little bit, it’s only for a few weeks, it won’t make a massive difference to your business.

You’ve got to be realistic. Okay. The next piece of advice is to be honest about your situation with your clients and your audience. If you’re someone that talks about being a small business owner, a local business, supporting a local business, that kind of thing, then your audience will resonate with the fact that life’s a little bit busy right now because lots of other people will be experiencing the [00:16:00] same things.

So be honest with your audience. Tell them I’m about to go into the summer holidays. It’s gonna be chaos, but I will get back to you as quickly as I can or put something on an out of office saying, um, due to being in the busy season, you don’t even have to say it’s because you’re at home with kids due to it.

Being the busy season, I may be slower to respond to messages than usual, but I aim to be back with you within a few days. Be honest with your audience. Don’t try and keep up the facade that everything’s fine. And you can manage with everything because that’s just gonna lead to burnout. Post on your Instagram stories and explain that it’s summer holidays and you’re keeping things going, but things are a little bit busier than normal.

Just be honest with your audience, if anything, it will help them to like you more because they get to know you behind the scenes of the business and what you’re all about. And if they don’t like it, well, maybe they’re not your ideal client after all now. Depending on how you use your Instagram or Facebook will depend at what level of professionalism you need to keep this to.

If you never talk about children, uh, on your account, or you never talk about being a small business owner, then obviously you don’t wanna suddenly [00:17:00] change your messaging, but you can still put out something about how we are in the busy summer season. Everyone knows wedding businesses are busiest in July and August.

And so use that to your advantage, to tell people maybe time to get back to them might be a little bit slower than normal. If you then still manage to supersede that and reply to them quicker, they’ll be really impressed. So be really honest with your audience, explain that it’s a busy time of year.

Explain that you might be slower to get back to them, put it on your Instagram, pin it to your Facebook, send it on and out of office. Go live on an Instagram story and talk about it. Just be honest, but stay authentic to your brand. Okay. That brings me to my final piece of advice. My final piece of advice is to get a piece of paper or save something in your phone and call it to do in September.

this is something I have to do every single year, because all the way through the summer, especially when I’m unwinding and doing other things, inspiration hits, I’m reminded about something. I think about a blog post [00:18:00] to write, or I think about a podcast to record, or I think of a new idea, or I wanna put my prices up.

Everything comes to me when I’m relaxed. Okay. And the same might be true for you. So I start a piece of paper or a note in my phone called to do in September, and I just start jotting down those ideas so that I don’t lose them so that when the kids go back to school in September, and I know I’m gonna have a little bit more breathing space and a little bit more time again.

Guess what I can go to my list. Everything’s there everything’s captured and I can get on and do it. Now. This means I don’t have to action it there. And then in the middle of the summer, when things are busy, but it also means I won’t forget about it because I’ve captured it somewhere important. Then I can grab a cup of tea, enjoy the quietness of my children, being back at school in September and go through that list.

Now something’s on that list. When I look at them again in September, won’t be so relevant anymore and I might even scratch them off, but there’ll be other things that I’ll be glad I’ve written on there. And I can now implement. And action. Let’s recap then all of the tips that I’ve shared in today’s [00:19:00] episode, number one, get organized, schedule some of your social media posts ahead and plan ahead so that you’re not doing everything in the moment.

Secondly, plan some childcare. If you need it and stop with the guilt. Thirdly, use the soft play. That’s one of my favorite tips. Use the soft plate. The kids love it and take your laptop along with you and just get some work done. Fourth don’t resent that time that you spend with them. Enjoy that time and switch off, try and keep work and kids separate and you’ll enjoy the summer much more next.

Write out that list of essentials on a Sunday evening, sit down, plan out your week, work out. What’s essential. How many hours it’s gonna take and then plan how that’s gonna happen in the week rather than getting halfway through the week. And panick. My next tip was to get your kids involved in your business.

Enjoy them. Uh, they love it. They love getting involved, helping you load the car, helping you paint something, helping you with your social media, depending on their age. Next. Remember to be realistic, you can’t do as much as you might do normally. And that’s okay. [00:20:00] Be easy on yourself. Take the pressure off and be realistic with your own expectations of yourself after all it’s your own business.

You can do whatever you like. The only person that’s putting pressure on yourself is. Then we talked about being honest with the audience, telling them that you’re busy right now, and it might take you longer to reply. And finally, don’t forget to start that to do in September list. I hope today’s episode has been helpful.

It’s a very real look at what’s going on right now in that moment. And hopefully it’s resonated with some of you as you go into this summer holidays and think help, how am I gonna do it? Know that you’re not alone. Lots of us are facing it. Lots of us are having this juggle as well. So let me know what your summer holiday tips are.

Send me a DM on Instagram. I’d love to have your best tips and you’ve got this. You’re an amazing parent. You’re amazing business owner. So don’t panic. I’ll see you all next week.[00:21:00]

Becca xo

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