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How to juggle marriage and kids over this 11 weeks school holiday

By Winnie Mabel October 25th, 2023 4 min read

To some households, especially in those with many children, schools are more than just educational centers. Some parents feel that schools resemble a form of sanctuary that permits them to ‘take a break’ from their children be it for either five or eight hours a day. Entrepreneurs can focus on their businesses, stay at home parents can focus on any much needed housekeeping and maintenance and parents can experience some rare solitude when their young are off getting their minds shaped.

But then, we are coming up on the end of year school holidays and in Kenya, parents are about to endure approximately 11 long weeks of having to mind their children 24/7. As October 2023 winds down, school going children not sitting for their final national primary and secondary school examinations are set to return home for an extended holiday; and by any measure, this will not be easy on parents who overly depended on schools to maintain some form of sanity. Finances, physical and mental strength as well as the bonds of marriage are set to endure some measure of strain ahead of schools reopening on January 8, 2024.

So then, how can you as a parent juggle your marriage and taking care of your kids without much strain?


First and foremost, you must figure out how to strategically but wisely divide your time between your partner and your children. Some parents tend to invest much time and energy in raising their children and this can leave a partner feeling neglected and resentful. You must find a way to balance, but prioritize, your partner without making your children suffer for it. It won’t mean that you are neglecting your children; it will only mean you also recognize that you need to maintain a strong, loving relationship with your partner- and this will ultimately benefit the family.

Set aside quality time to be with your partner away from your children. You can have date nights once or twice a week- whether in-house or at social amenities or go on short vacations to connect with your partner emotionally and physically; and ensure you are both on the same page about marriage and family. It is during these times that you can catch up on each other’s’ lives, encourage each other in the pursuit of personal interests, evaluate how the marriage is faring now that kids are part of the equation and appreciate each other for the dual roles you play in each other’s lives- that of a partner and a co-parent.

By doing this, you will successfully contribute to the health of the marriage because emotional connections, open and honest communication, bond strengthening, physical intimacy and relationship satisfaction are all important elements to a loving and working marriage. A couple keen on doing this will face life together without a partner having to be relegated to gender roles and stereotypes.


Now that your marriage is healthy and you’ve got all the feels in the world for each other, remember that there are small humans who will wholly depend on your for their survival. 11 weeks is not a short period and you can only ship them to their grandparents and cousins for a while until everyone becomes resentful of minding them.

So what can you do over these 11 weeks to take care of your children without letting the energy and time you have to put in affect the work above that you put into your marriage?

With your partner- and a nanny if one is available- divide the responsibilities that come with taking care of the children. As cliché as it sounds, team work will make the dream work. By sharing the responsibilities, it will allow both partners to individually have hands on time with the kids while the other partner takes care of other household matters or is on a self-care break. At the same time, you can both plan for family time where you engage with the kids on what they enjoy or plan getaways for the kids to also take a break from their routines and studies.

Parents can look into holiday camps that involve religion, educational, sports and arts as long as they align with their children’s interests. If this won’t be your kids’ cup of tea, then volunteer work could also be another avenue you could take them down on. Teaching your children to participate in community service will teach them to be empathetic and have a sense of social responsibility. From these experiences, you can also encourage them to take up journaling about the life lessons they learnt and their observations.

Key to this journaling is that it will significantly limit the screen time many children across the country are exposed to. Dear parents, don’t provide each of your kids with personal devices, don’t keep them busy with your mobile phones and don’t plant them in front of television screens for extended hours because this will expose them to inactive lifestyles, eye strain, disrupted sleep patterns and attention span issues.

At the end of the day, healthily juggling your marriage and your children will lead to the creation of a strong family bond where the children can thrive. At this point, children will view their parents as role models because they observe a marriage that is based on love, trust and shared experiences. Partners who wisely balance a marriage and their children create a foundation for the overall wellbeing of the family and its longevity past their immediate family because the children will want to have for themselves what their parents have.

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