The season that kids love and moms have a love/hate relationship with is here. It’s summer. And while your kids probably have a long list of activities and projects that they want to do to make their summer fun and enjoyable, you might be sitting back and wondering how in the world you’re supposed to get all of your work done with your little ones underfoot.
You’re not alone. This is a problem for all work at home moms and can be solved in a variety of ways. One, you can hire a nanny or someone to take care of your kids during the day and sequester yourself in your office. Two, you can move your work hours to the early morning or late night and only work when your kids are asleep. Or three, you can figure out how to balance work and having your kids home.
No matter which option you choose your role as Mom is secure. I’m a big believer in “You do what you gotta do” and that still applies here. You’re not a better or worse mom no matter how you choose to handle the summer. And you’re doing the best you can regardless. So don’t let a fear of not measuring up cause you to miss out on a chance to enjoy the summer season.
So how can your survive no matter how you choose to approach the summer?
Get clear on your priorities.
Does it have to get done this summer? Does it have to be done by you? What can you outsource or automate? What are your priorities for the summer and how can you make them a reality? By asking yourself these kinds of questions you can get clear on exactly what is important to you this summer and what is only on your to-do list if there’s extra time.
Recognize that “balance” is impossible.
Especially in the summer you’re never going to get a perfectly balanced life. What you want is to create a sense of equilibrium so that you work is getting taken care of and is in a good place when you’re having fun with your family and your family is well taken care of when you’re working. Don’t try to keep up the same schedule you had while they were in school, everything will need to be adjusted during this season.
Acknowledge that there are benefits to your kids seeing you work.
I think it’s really important for our kids to see us making time to pursue our dreams even if it means they have to take a back seat for a little while. It’s also important for our kids to know how to entertain themselves. After all, that’s when they get to really use their imaginations and strengthen that muscle that might have gotten rusty during the school year. So don’t be afraid to set aside some time when your kids are awake as work time. Just make sure to explain the “rules” to them ahead of time like what they can interrupt you for and what you expect them to be doing while you’re working.
Don’t forget to take care of you.
Whether you trade out babysitting duties with a fellow mom or talk to your husband about taking more breaks once he gets home from work, don’t forget about yourself over the summer months. You need time not only to keep your business going but also to recharge and refuel yourself. Make a plan at the beginning of the summer and then stick with it throughout the months. You’ll be glad you thought to schedule time in for yourself especially as the summer days seem to drag on.
The beginning of summer can be a huge adjustment to moms who go from having their kids in school a lot of the time to having very little kid free time. While we all love our kids, we know it’s not easy being a mom and when you add in working on your own business the stress can be astronomical. But I know with a few minutes taken to evaluate and plan what your ideal summer will look like, you’ll be much more likely to enjoy the gift that this time with your kids is instead of enduring it.