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Ahhhhhh summer. No school. No homework. No schedules (kinda) and no endless peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for school lunches to make. Bliss.
If you are a work-from-home-pro as well, you probably already know the pros and cons to having family under your feet in your presence for around 3 months…SOLID. Here’s a sampling of my mixed-bag of mixed-blessings thoughts and let’s see how many YOU can relate to:
I am Glad School is Over Because: I will have more time around the kids.
The Downside: I will have more time around the kids. As someone who works 100% from home, I am not looking forward to being reinstated to the Entertainment Committee and fielding a steady stream of “I’m Bored” complaints. Did I mention I am Head Referee as well?
I am Glad School is Over Because: Our 8 and 11-year-olds will have more time to play together.
The Downside: Our 8 and 11-year-olds will have more time to play together. Our eight-year-old Diva In Training just can’t seem to get into her 11-year-old brother’s rousing games of Mine Craft or PixelGun3-D. Likewise, the 11-year-old boy has no interest in Barbie dress-up games or Frozen re-enactments. They do however both enjoy Mom’s Kindle which results in endless squabbling. Like oil and water, I tell you.
But overall, I do tremendously enjoy the summer months with my family. After being cooped up indoors for 8 months of brutal Minnesota winter, it’s pure heaven to “get out and play.” You may remember my No Bummer Summer series last year and we are working hard to form a plan for Part 2 of this adventure. The jist of the No Bummer Summer is that as I continue working from home, once school ends I have to accommodate two small humans into my daily work plan. It’s no secret summer goes by fast and 10 years from now it won’t matter if I wrote a killer blog post, but it will matter that we created awesome summer memories for our rugrats.
Juggling the work-from-home-with kids’ adventure is no small task, but it is do-able. Here are some tips and ideas to help other WAHM’s survive the summer months and still be productive:
Incorporate Work and Play: I don’t know about you, but my community has lots of fun kid-friendly lace that offer free Wi-Fi and play zones (McDonald’s Playland for example). I am not recommending you be “that mom” who remains glued to her technology while her kids run amuck, but it is still possible to get somethings done. Also, take advantage of Hot Spots at parks and pools as well for a little extra work time.
Live by The List: Before summer vacay even started, we sat down as a family and created a chore chart and a Summer Fun To-Do List. Kids do well in school because there is a schedule and hour-by-hour they know what to expect. The same can apply to summer vacation, but with less stringent rules. With lists and charts, kids have a handle on what they need to do (chore chart) paired with something to look forward to (Summer Fun To-Do List). Everybody wins. Read more about our lists and charts HERE.
The No Bummer Summer To-Do list contains fun (budget-friendly) things to do with suggestions made by the whole family. I try very hard to include something meaningful like a craft or activity, but there are some days we are all happy with taking a walk together or having Family Movie Night.
Get Help When Need Be: Many moms feel uber guilty when they work from home, yet hire outside help on occasion. Hiring a sitter or sending the kiddies to grandma’s is not an act of selfishness, it’s an act of business savvy. I promise you that, you will get more done in those 4+ hours while your kids are at the sitter than you will all week. Sitters can be in-home or somewhere else and can also include hiring older siblings to take charge for a few hours.
Be Flexible: Trust me on this, it will work best if you can possibly mold your work hours around your family’s schedule. Some people sleep in during the summer months … not this chick. I still get up at 5:00 and since my kids sleep in until 8:00-ish, that gives me almost three hours of “work time.” I am not on my computer much during the day on weekends because that’s family time, but if everyone is happy, fed, and occupied and I am feeling ambitious and creative, I sneak in a bit more work time. Family is always first though. I am a firm believer that kids and family should be the center of your universe, not living on the outskirts of it.
Want more ideas? Here’s another great post from Tidbit of Experience on 10 Tips for Work at Home Parents.