What I Learned About Work/Life Resilience From School Vacation Week
Let me familiarize those of you who aren't familiar with the insane vacation schedule imposed upon families in New England. Just a mere six weeks after the December school vacation, kids are given another week off in mid-February. Yup, I have just survived (by the skin of my teeth) another one of those weeks, and along the way learned a few things from which you may benefit. I learned that....
- Reinforcements help.
Having my parents here for half the week kept my kids entertained and provided me with much needed assistance. Anticipating when I might need support and then actually asking for it makes all the difference.
- I love the break from homework as much as the kids do.
Not having to quiz anyone on their spelling words or remember math concepts long forgotten was such a relief. Don't misunderstand me; of course I want my children to learn. But the respite from our daily "homework hour" was a great reminder that we all need a break from routine once in a while.
- I don't have to be perfect all the time (not that I even could be).
If my home were run by Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, my kids would spend the entire week engaged in all sorts of learning experiences. We did make it to a couple of museums, but to be brutally honest, the TV and Wii were major forms of entertainment last week. I fully credit them for saving the small bit of sanity I had left.
- Work sometimes needs to be put on the back burner.
It was virtually impossible to have 5 minutes of uninterrupted work time (Note that the interruption was usually a 5 y.o. shouting, "Yes, it IS an emergency that I need cookies."). I would have experienced significantly less stress had I been more realistic about how much work I could complete last week.
- Every year school vacation week breaks me.
Despite having the skills to manage my responsibilities and despite the fact that I love my kids with all my heart, I counted the seconds until Monday arrived. There are some days, even some weeks, when I don't manage my life very well. But I'm definitely resilient and I will have the chance to do it better next year. On the other hand, maybe I'll check myself into Canyon Ranch for the week.
Faun Zarge helps people find solutions for their work-life challenges.
She offers her practical, realistic strategies through a wide variety of highly interactive and engaging seminars. Please feel free to contact Faun directly to discuss how she might help your organization.