The Reality of Working from Home during the Summer Holidays

The Reality of Working from Home during the Summer Holidays

I’ll just work from home in the mornings and do fun stuff in the afternoons, I thought to myself when I decided not to take August off.

My job is so flexible, it won’t be stressful at all!  I added.

I can hear you seasoned summer school holiday-ers laughing all the way from here.

It started so well.  I would set my alarm early and get straight to the business of writing, editing and scheduling posts and tweets for various clients.  By 10.30am I was free to go about my day and keep an eye on things remotely.  At the end of the day, I’d respond to emails and messages while making dinner, or when the Greek God(zilla) took our son up for a bath.

Then two things happened:

  1. We went to Devon
  2. The Greek God(zilla) started working a later shift

There is no internet at my parents holiday cottage in Devon, which is where we were staying.  But, as the house is positioned in a wi-fi hotspot, I purchased a week’s worth of access.  However, the hotspot only lived up to its name when I was perched on the window sill of one of the upstairs bedrooms.  Move across to the bed and the connection was as cold as the North Devon sea.  Particularly annoying when trying to secretly stream Netflix under the pretence of working, to get out of preparing the 147th snack of the day.

I found I could no longer write in the mornings.  Well, not while juggling breakfast demands, Netflix demands, and ‘please play with me’ demands all set to a background track of the TV, washing machine, and dishwasher playing their tune at the same time.

I found I could no longer write in the evenings.  I am not a night owl. I am well and truly knackered by 9pm.  I’d rather set my alarm for 4am than stay up past 10pm.  Besides, this is when the Greek God(zilla) would return home from work and you know, want to talk to me and stuff.

Netflix!  The little tab is open just there, sandwiched between my inbox and twitter.  The temptation to pass the time waiting for inspiration to appear by watching back to back episodes of Nurse Jackie has sometimes been too strong to resist.

Popping a 4-year old in front of a film, while you meet with the Editor of a local magazine you work for, is a brilliant idea in theory.  Until that is, he decides to join you in the kitchen and insist on sitting on your lap.  When you finally persuade him into the garden, he will play nicely for all of about 5-minutes before loudly declaring to you and the WORLD that he has discovered cat poo outside, which must be cleaned NOW MUMMY, NOW.

Skyping is just as risky, as was no more evident than when he decided to make farting noises in the background of one particular online session.

For some reason the motivation to get out of the house for the fun stuff has come more easily.  We have taken boat trips, surfed in the sea, built sandcastles, been for picnics in the park, visited with friends & family, gone to the cinema, seen huge animatronic dinosaurs, watched a Sky at Night show at the Planetarium, scooted around various different parks, eaten out, run around in trees, and played a few games of snakes and ladders.

As far as my son is concerned, his school summer holiday rocks!

And that is, I guess, exactly the way it should be.


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  1. August 13, 2014 / 11:00 AM

    Yep, you’ve got me laughing! Only because I’ve made the same mistake many a time. When you’re freelance you THINK you have all the flexibility in the world, but in reality I find that means nothing, as I struggle to say no to jobs and end up fitting things in at very strange times. And don’t even get me started on trying to work in the midst of rural idyl! I remember climbing up a tree at my mum’s to get 3G reception at one one point…
    I realised that I was neither working nor holidaying properly this way, so these days I try to make sure that at least one of us is off work whenever the Bean is not in nursery. As you’re finding out too, it’s much more fun that way anyway…

  2. August 13, 2014 / 2:17 PM

    YES to all of this – and like Eline says that as a freelancer you feel you have all the flexibility in the world! It never works out quite that way.

    And also YES to Nurse Jackie – my newest Netflix discovery! Love it x

  3. August 18, 2014 / 2:11 PM

    This made me chuckle. I had grand plans of posting regularly while we were back home for our holidays….I posted twice in 7 weeks.

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