In a new series of blogs we’re turning our focus to the issue of summer holidays. These can be a challenge for parents both in terms of managing childcare around work and in terms of the cost of keeping children occupied. It can be a challenge for separated parents to make arrangements for the holidays and this is what we’ll be discussing in this series of blogs. As always we’ll be doing a Facebook Live on the Friday after the blog goes live to talk about the post in more detail.
The question we’re asking in this week’s blog is why start now? We are more than a half term away from the beginning of the summer holidays so why start talking about something that is weeks away? Well we’d flip this on its head and say if you haven’t already got arrangements for the summer holidays sorted with your ex partner then now is the time to give this some attention. Arrangements can be challenging for a variety of reasons:
• You may each have restrictions on when you can take annual leave over the summer and it may require some planning to ensure that you each can spend the time off you have from work with your children
• If there will be times when both of you will be at work then you’ll need to plan childcare. This may involve asking relatives or doing swap days with friends, or booking some form of organised activity camp. Either way there may be some organisation involved
• Using childcare or keeping children entertained can have a significant impact on a tight budget. Here at LKW Family Mediation we often suggesting including an item in your monthly budget to put aside money for school holidays
•You may find life is busy with children and work and finding time to work out arrangements together can take a few weeks of each of you finding windows in the schedule to meet or reply to emails (depending on how you organise things).
Sometimes people put off getting the ball rolling with this because they know it will be difficult and there may be arguments and so they’re not keen to dive into something they know will be challenging. But arguments can be all the more heated when there is a time pressure and so we suggest starting to make arrangements as early as possible takes that last minute pressure off. Plus if things do become difficult knowing that you can shelve discussions for a week or two whilst you both calm down can also be helpful.
We know some separated couples who plan the entire year of school holidays at the start of the academic year. This doesn’t work for everyone as sometimes it’s not possible to book annual leave that far in advance. Or some people need to see how busy their work schedule is before they can see whether they’re able to take the time off. There is no right or wrong approach, there is only what approach works right for you. If the way you organise things works for you then this is fantastic. If you feel it could work better then stay tuned. In this series of blogs we’ll be giving tips on planning on holidays and talking about what support might assist if you’re finding it difficult.
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To watch the Facebook Live talking about this blog click on the link below: