If you’re a parent, you probably know it.
It happens four times per year.
Most of the time, it lasts two weeks. Once a year, it’s six whole weeks.
There is noise. Chaos, mess, injury, sleeplessness, stress, conflict. There is more complaining and whining than you ever thought was possible from one small group of humans.
Work will not get done. Routines are OUT the window.
Yes, you do know it.
It is the third week of April and, my friends,
I have survived another round of School Holidays.
My work routine didn’t just go out the window, it went flying down the road, across the highway and crash-landed into a sheep farmer’s dam.
But that’s okay, farmers really like routines.
Out of our 6 children, three no longer attend school anyway, and some live with their other parents, so we only had two here for most of the holidays. Who knew two children could take so much time? (I know, everyone with two or more children knew. Sorry.)
I start out at Easter weekend, happily handing out large quantities of chocolate to children dying for a break from the evils of school, and looking forward to some lovely refreshing Quality Time, while I practice my Excellent Parenting Skills and Amazing Time Management.
Two weeks later, there’s not a morsel of Dairy Milk to be found and I’m wishing everyone would just HUSH and FIND SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO DO so I can finally get that ONE work task done.
How good is that first day of a new school term? Aaaahhhh…. I could just duck out for some extra chocolate… but maybe I’ll just sit and stare silently at nothing for a sweet while.
Back when I was a young, idealistic, perfect parent (you know the type), I never would have complained about school holidays. I thought parents who complained about school holidays were mean, terrible parents. I have come to learn the error of my idealistic ways, in my old age, now that I’ve actually lived with tweens and teens. It’s hard work. Sorry, kids, it’s true. I love you.
Running a businesss – a voiceover business – a business that requires a fair bit of HUSH and concentration – during school holidays – can be difficult.
(And here I must say, I know many of you are doing this constantly at the moment because of lockdowns and school closures. I feel you! I hope you’re doing okay.)
Here’s how to do it:
Just chill the heck out.
Calm down. Stop worrying. Cool off. Relax. Mellow out. Take it easy. Take a breather. Take ten. Hang loose.
Sorry, got carried away on thesaurus.com.
Like, for real, is the world going to end if there’s too much noise in the house to record for a while? Chances are, later that day they’ll be back in their bedrooms with their faces glued to devices, so she’ll be right.
Will your voiceover clients send you whoopie cushions and fake spiders if you tell them that turnaround time is a few hours longer than usual this week? Not if you’re an amazing businessperson who is always better and faster than expected, anyway. Which I’m sure you are!
Are you going to have your name etched into the Very Bad Voiceover Artist Book if you don’t do any voiceover for a few days while you take children to appointments and playgrounds and Macca’s shifts and driving lessons? I suspect not. Nobody etches anything anymore.
I LOVE my voiceover clients. And if I do say so myself, they love me too. Even when I’m not ridiculously perfect. The best clients are those who are actual humans (I’m pleased to report all my clients are that), who realise that voice actors are actual humans, too. With lives and families and shit happening sometimes.
Okay… to be completely honest, I’m having trouble not beating myself up for the things I didn’t get done in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps writing this article, reminding you to be kind to yourselves, will help me, too. Let’s remember, if we’re managing family lives and businesses and goodness knows what else in our days…. We’re doing okay.
We can etch our own damn names into the Fabulous Voiceover Artist Book.
Before you go! Please comment here for me and tell me I’m not a terrible parent… I mean, wait, no, tell me about YOUR school-holiday survival mechanisms!