Whether you are running your own business or working from home in another capacity, summer can be challenging to say the least. One part of you is super excited to get a break from the school year routines and activities, another part is thrilled to spend more time and do fun things with your kids yet another part is wondering, how am I going to get any work done?! If you can relate, you are definitely not alone. To be honest, I’ve been struggling a bit myself so I reached out to several friends for some advice. Read below for the shared strategies along with what works for me. Although these tips are targeted for work from home moms, they can help anyone trying to balance parenthood and any type of responsibilities.
Tips for working from home with kids:
- Time Blocking. A lot of moms mentioned this as the key to getting things done. Setting aside a dedicated time to work and focusing on just work during this time. Here’s more info on time blocking.
- Communicate your needs. It’s important to let everyone in the family know that you need some dedicated time and then you can have fun with them. Using a visual timer can help younger kids know when you are done working.
- Prioritize your task list. Take the time to focus on the most important items. It’s helpful to look at your month/week/day and prioritize the most important tasks. Take the time to review at the end of each day/week/month so that you can adjust as needed and plan ahead.
- Adjust your work schedule. Work around your kids schedules so that you can be present with them. This may mean working more at night or more in the morning depending on your kids’ ages and summer activities. Alternatively, it could mean breaking up your work throughout the day in different blocks or chunks of time so you can spend time with your kids.
- Plan ahead with camps and summer sports. You can focus on your work while the kids are at camp or practice. For example, I’m writing this blog while my youngest is at swim practice.
- Hire help. This could be a nanny, babysitter or perhaps a teenager to help entertain your kids while you work. You could also nanny-share with another mom if the nanny is on board and your budget allows.
- Trade time. You could partner with another work from home mom by taking turns of who has the kids while the other mom works. A great opportunity to plan some fun group activities which can be more fun for the kids as well.
- Alternate schedules with your partner. One of you can take the kids while the other works and vice versa. You will also want to include family time, but alternating schedules can help with the work part.
- Plan fun activities. Kids will be much more encouraged to not disturb your work if they know something fun is in the pipeline. I’m a big fan of kids creating their bucket list and trying to check off as many items as possible. Read here for themed day ideas.
- Get the kids involved in your work. Depending on your work and your kids’ ages, they can help with mailings, stuffing envelopes, database entry, etc. Great experience and work ethic development for the kids while you get to focus on more important work tasks.
- Set realistic goals. Knowing that your time and energy may be thin during summer, plan accordingly. I like the S.M.A.R.T. goal method so that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Limited. If you need help with this, schedule a connection call with me.
- Create busy bags or creative kits. This is great to set up your kids for a bit of independent play and creativity. Be sure to include all the supplies needed with age-appropriate instructions or set them up near you if younger and you can supervise.
- Go to the library or book store. Make it a special outing so the kids can get books that they are excited about. Depending on their age, they can create a craft to go with the book or a “book report” where they just tell you about their favorite parts of the book. Have them join a reading challenge by the library, book store, school, etc. for extra motivation.
- Strategic screen time. No parent wants their kids on screens all summer, but if you have an important phone call or deadline, this could come in handy. You can have the kids “earn” extra screen time by doing chores, reading, helping, etc.
- Take some time off – knowing that summer is when you want to do fun trips and activities with your kids, save your vacation days for summer. It might be wise to not schedule any large projects or launches during this time if possible.
Bonus Tip – Practice self-care as you are an important part of your family as well. Balancing parenthood and work takes effort and you can’t pour from an empty cup. Be sure to give yourself some grace by letting go of perfection and mom guilt. You are doing the best you can and if something isn’t working, you have the power to change it.
Knowing that we have 18 summers with our kids is quite a sobering thought. We want to create fun memories with our kids, but also balance work and other aspects of life as well. Hope these tips are helpful.
Do you have any additional tips on balancing parenting and work during the summer? If so, please share! I’m a big believer in that it takes a village.
If you need help navigating your next chapter in life whether it’s career change or more fulfillment, download my free guide, “Creating Your Next Chapter” or schedule a complimentary virtual coffee chat with me. This could be your first step to a life full of more energy, purpose and joy.
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Show Up with Danielle
Life & Career Coach
Featured Photo by Kaspars Grinvalds, Canva