Summer is almost here!
For work-from-home or entrepreneurial moms, having kids home during the summer can prove challenging, unless you’re among the few who closes down shop for the summer. I love to work during the summer, especially when everyone else is taking it easy!
My boys are 9 and 6 and very independent for the most part. Having said that, here are my
tips for moms working from home during the summer.
1. Set your kids up for success.
- Do something fun together in the morning to “fill their cup.”
- Have activities available for them like activity books, games, puzzles, new art supplies or a couch fort. I treat mine to a new video game on the last day of school, too.
- Provide drinks and snacks they can serve themselves.
- Teach them to respect your work time. When my office door is closed (either because I’m super focused on writing or I’m on a call), my boys know to crack the door open and peek inside before entering. A finger held up to my lips means “come in and whisper to me” but a wave means “stay out.”
- Setting a timer could also help. “When the timer beeps, it’s OK to come in.” Then they won’t feel like your work time is endless.
2. Intersperse quality time together time with work time.
I’ll have breakfast with my boys then set them up with a project (or, let’s be honest, tablets and video games) until lunch so I can crank on my to-do list. I’ll try to do most of my calls or my writing projects during that time.
Then we’ll have lunch together and maybe a bubble break or some time outside. After that, I’ll do my office work but let them come paint or read in my office alongside me, which they love! I can file, do my banking or work on my marketing activities with them nearby.
In the afternoon, I’ll try to do something with them before working my final stretch.
On the days when I need to run errands, I always make sure to get them an ice cream cone or spend an hour at the park while we’re out.
Some days are busier than others, but having my full attention for short periods of time helps them feel like we’re connected, while still allowing me time to focus and work.
3. Plan play dates.
Whether with a grandparent, cousin or neighborhood friend, ask a friend to come play or see if someone will take them out for the afternoon so they can have a change of scenery.
If you need some uninterrupted time, consider having a responsible teen come over to play board games or do a craft project with them.
4. Look for activities that they can do that will allow you time to work.
I love having my boys in karate because it gives me several hours every week to catch up on emails or to sketch out an upcoming class or event while I’m waiting at the dojo. Find activities for your kids that allow you to sit nearby and work, or meet a client. Check your local libraries, community centers and city websites for options.
5. Ask people to come to you.
If you have a hard time finding childcare or leaving the kids behind, ask clients or cohorts to come over. I offer a “strategy tea” or color analysis in my home studio so the kids can play while WE play. Schedule yours –> work with me
6. Take a vacation.
No one should work ALL summer with no break! Plus your kids do crave focused and uninterrupted time with you and out of the daily grind. Even if you just leave town for a long weekend, it’s sure to be one of their most treasured summer memories.
This year, we’re thinking of doing a “stay-cation” in Arizona, either at a cabin or a nearby resort. Our kids love staying in hotels and motels and this mama needs a chance to SIT and catch up on my magazine-reading! Getting out of the house is good for everyone’s mental health.
Remember to practice self care.
Summer can be brutal if you’re working AND trying to keep your kids happy, especially if you’re juggling work with summer camp, visiting relatives and other activities. Make sure to schedule “me time” every day, even if it’s just sipping a glass of iced tea on your porch or reading one chapter of a book in peace.
Self care ideas:
What are YOUR tips for moms working from home during the summer? Share on the Facebook page or tweet to @tabithadumas.
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