Only a few weeks of school left! Is anyone else in “getting by” mode? I’m doing good just to sign the field trip permission slip, let alone remember to send a sack lunch on the right day. That is, IF I even manage to glance through the school papers to see the permission slip. And the backpacks? Don’t even look inside…hard telling what might be living in there by now. Sometimes work at home means certain things just don’t quite get done…
Yet I’m looking forward to summer and well aware that it is quickly approaching. Here’s my quandary: both kids are in school now so I’ve taken on more work at home. Makes sense since they’re gone all day, right? Well, come June, they won’t be gone all day. What to do? I don’t want to just drop the clients I’ve worked hard all year to build. I also don’t want to put off the kids because I’m too busy and tied to the computer.
Time for a game plan to work at home during the summer. Here’s what I have come up with so far:
- Get a plan in place ahead of time. Start researching summer activities, programs, swim lesson dates, etc. Figure out which activities are most beneficial and which ones we should skip. Think about how to plan around my work at home.
- Get input from the kids. I plan to sit down with the kids to explain my work at home dilemma. Sometimes they come up with the best solutions! They understand a lot more than we tend to give them credit for.
- Figure out a good (flexible) summer routine. How will a typical summer day look for us? Usually for the kids it involves a few chores, free time, limited time on electronics, playing outside, and sometimes a trip to town for lessons, the park, library, or whatever. My kids do so much better if they know expectations up front. For example, do three chores on your list and then you can do 30 minutes of computer. I’ll plan my work at home tasks around that.
- Make a chore list for the family. All the kids’ names are on it. Under each name I list the chores they are responsible for at some point that day or week. Even little ones can help with some type of chore. This saves me a lot of nagging and frustration. They can check their list and cross things off. That puts the responsibility on them and gives them a sense of accomplishment when it’s done without me nagging and reminding on every single item.
- Create a summer bucket list. This gives all of us things to look forward to and makes the summer more fun. Sign up for our email newsletter so you don’t miss any ideas!
- Possibly get some help. I’ve thought about having a local teen girl come over for a couple of hours once or twice a week. The kids love to have someone new to play with, and I can knock out a lot of work at home without interruptions. Play dates at friends’ houses are also great.
- Streamlined systems. I’m thinking of ways now to make my work at home as efficient as possible, so when summer comes these processes will already be in place and a habit.
- Adjust my schedule. During the summer I tend to wake up earlier, so I often get up before everyone else and get an hour or two of work in. That one quiet morning hour is usually more productive than three chaotic daytime hours!
- Include the kids in my work. They cooperate more when they understand what I’m doing and can help me out. Several tips on that are here.
Some of my ideas for working at home with toddlers can also be adapted to my school aged kids. How are you planning to handle the summer months with your family and work at home tasks? Any ideas, strategies, or questions? We would love to hear what’s worked for you. Leave a comment below!