7 parental tips for spending time with family when working and studying during the holidays.
Photo by Ann Danilina on Unsplash
It can be tough to balance everything during the holidays. Though you’d like to spend time with your significant other and the kids, trying to do everything at once can be overwhelming. This time of the year is busy — from decorating and purchasing gifts to prepping your home for guests and baking desserts. It’s no wonder the holiday season can be stressful, especially for parents who work and study.
It feels like this leaves you no room to relax and spend time with your family. The good news is there are plenty of ways to balance it all and be on schedule. Here’s how.
Plan a time when everyone can get together
It’s easy to get caught up with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but it’s important to remember that it’s not only about gifts and food. It’s also about ensuring you spend time with your family.
Do this by planning a time when all household members will be available. Everyone should agree on the time and place you will be spending time, so there’s no miscommunication.
Create a schedule around work, class, and holiday festivities
Check your planner to see which days you’ll be working, going to class, doing holiday festivities, or traveling. This allows you to schedule a time to spend with your family and study.
For instance, if you’re working during the day and must study for your graduate degree, consider scheduling an hour while the children complete their homework. You can also redirect part of your studying time to help your kids if needed.
Involving yourself in their studies helps students complete more assignments and earn higher grades.
It’s important to set boundaries for yourself and your family. That way, you can focus on your work and studies during the holidays.
Designate an area for schoolwork so you can limit distractions that prevent you from focusing. Let your family know they shouldn’t bother you while you’re in your study space unless necessary.
You should also consider establishing time limits for video games and social media usage so everyone can focus on their responsibilities.
Take family time outside of the house
Colder temperatures can make everyone want to spend more time indoors. However, you and your family may experience cabin fever and stress at some point.
Even though it will be chillier, spending time with your family outside will be a great way to feel refreshed while experiencing festive activities.
Here are some ways to spend time outside of the house:
- Go for a walk around the block or find a path in the woods that everyone can enjoy.
- Visit a park, playground, or beach.
- Go to an art museum or local gallery together.
- Have dinner at an inexpensive restaurant.
Make time for yourself
You must make time for yourself so you can recharge. Self-care can make you more productive and a better parent.
Ensure you’re getting enough sleep and eating healthy food — as there will be plenty of activities for mingling and eating holiday treats around Christmas and New Year.
Consider also scheduling time each day to relax and de-stress. You will need to rest whenever you can. This might include reading a book before bedtime, even for only a few minutes.
Stay disciplined with your work
It can be tempting to put off your studies and check your phone or see what your family is doing when you’re at home. However, it’s important to stay focused.
Consider establishing a study schedule that works best for you around this time of year. Your routine could look like the one below:
- A couple of hours before bed: Do assignments and study for exams.
- Morning: Get up early — preferably before everyone else. That way, your family won’t distract you from getting things done.
- Afternoon: Leave the house or find a quiet place to study for an hour or two after work.
Acknowledge that you may get less work done during this time
One of the most challenging aspects of working and studying while spending time with family is that you might need help to do everything. That’s OK because you can’t be 100% productive all the time.
Everyone has to make compromises in life — a big one is balancing work and family obligations during the holidays.
Try to get back into school or work mode for an hour or two and ask for help when needed. Then, take a break for quality time with your loved ones. Doing so will keep you sane throughout your holiday break.
Enjoy the holidays with your family
Use these tips to make the most of your time with family this holiday season. You may feel like there are times when it’s impossible to get work done.
However, it’s important to remember to stay organized, take breaks and spend time with the people who matter most to you. After all, this is the season of family time, holiday cheer, and giving.