By Claire McEnery 
Welcome to The Summer Survival Series 
Welcome back to the Summer Survival Series, this is week one! Thank you for joining me. Are you a creature of habit who loves routine, or are you ditching it for the summer? This week I'll be talking about the pros and cons of planning and whether we should be keeping a routine this summer.  
If you're a Mum who is at home all summer with your children, then the alarm clock may be off and there may be limited plans that restrict your day. For some of you this will be pure bliss, through away the calendar and go with the flow! However, for some of you, this may be a catalyst for anxiety and feeling out of control. Let's aim to find the balance that is right for you from the very start to keep the control in your hands. 
You may be looking at that first paragraph and thinking "no such luck, work beckons and routine stays whether I like it or not". I hear you, the routine may have altered somehow but free reign probably isn't a possibility. The most important thing to remember here is why you're going out to work and how that benefits your children. There is nothing wrong with needing to keep the cogs turning throughout the summer. 
Planning will differ from parent to parent but you can still keep a level of control. For working Mums it's more likely that you will need the planner, or elements of it in order for things to run smoothly. Mark out your work time and chat to your children about what is acheivable and when. Being open about commitments and setting expectations at the start can make the school holidays a whole lot easier.  
I have created a Summer Survival Plan for you. This plan will work for any type of parent if you would like to use it. I have kept each page individual so that they can be mixed and matched to suit your circumstances. 
Like I have already said, planning isn't for everyone, so take a look at what's there and if it doesn't fit your free reign vibe please carry on doing you. If on the other hand, you need that control to keep those anxiety levels lower, use one page, five or all of them to help everything run the best way that it can for your family. There is also a step-by-step guide here on YouTube to help you make sense of the plan.  
There are a few important things to remember when making a plan. Firstly, a plan can only work if it's implemented! Involve the whole family in creating the plan to ensure everyone understands what is important for you all. Have conversations about how the plan will work and who needs to be responsible for certain aspects.  
Secondly, plans do sometimes need to be adapted. Plans can be extremely helpful, but it is also easy for that plan to become a curse when things take a turn in a different direction. Don't take things too seriously, take time to reassess your plans and make changes where necessary. If you have made a plan for Monday that just can't happen, that doesn't mean the whole plan has to fail. Either write that day off and move on to Tuesday, or move things around a little. Let's not create stress within a plan that is designed to reduce stress.  
So, are you feeling ready? Don't forget to leave me a comment so that I know if the plan is a great idea for you and which parts you have used.  
Have an amazing Summer Holiday.  
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