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While we all look forward to the Summer months and school being out, working moms have a bit more preparing to do. Here are five Summer ideas for work from home moms to help you survive Summer.
While most working moms will need to set up daycare or arrange child care of some kind for their children during the summer months, work from home moms can save money by keeping their kids at home. In my opinion this works best for school-age children who can independently entertain themselves. During the pre-school years my son attended full-time daycare at his school during the Summer. After he completed Kindergarten we did a half and half schedule. Once he completed 1st Grade I felt more comfortable having him at home while I worked.
Mom Guilt & Productivity
Work/Life balance can be really difficult to achieve, especially in the Summer months. On the one hand you’ve got the job you’re being paid to do that needs attention and on the other your child who wants your attention. In order to keep your productivity up and mom guilt at bay you’ve got to have a plan to survive Summer as a work from home mom. Here’s what I have found that works to help you save your sanity.
1. Sign-Up For Camps & VBS
After Spring Break it’s time to start scouting out local camps and Vacation Bible Schools.
- Sport Camps – If your child plays sports this is a great place to start. Many associations and leagues offer summer camps. High Schools and Colleges also offer sport camps for Elementary School Children. My son has done baseball and basketball camp through the local high school and soccer camp through a local college.
- Art & Educational Camps– Community Colleges usually offer art, STEAM, robotics and a variety of other camps for Elementary School Children.
- Church Camp– There are many church camp organizations that offer both day and overnight camps. For the past couple of years my son has attended Pine Cove’s Camp in the City and really enjoys it. In the next year or so I’ll probably start sending him away to overnight camp.
- Vacation Bible School– Chances are you plan on attending your church’s VBS but don’t forget about other area church’s programs as well. Your child probably has a number of friends that would love to invite you to their church for VBS. My son is getting his Jesus on this Summer and attending 3 different VBS programs. One of the VBS programs even has an afternoon Sports Camp- score for this working mom, I felt like I won the lottery!
2. Plan Activities
Since you’re probably not going to find a camp or VBS for every week of the Summer there will be days when your child is just home with you. This is when the mom guilt can creep in. To avoid having my child veg out in front of the tv all day I like to plan a small activity to get him outside.
While I do search out some ideas on Pinterest, I find the best ideas are usually the simplest. Water guns, the slip n’slide and water balloons are some of my son’s favorites. Follow my Fun Ideas for Boys Pinterest board for other great ideas.
3. Schedule Play Dates
As a working mom scheduling is key. If you know you have a meeting coming up, talk with a friend about scheduling a playdate at their house. I’ve also found that having a friend come over keeps my son occupied so I can focus on my work.
Now that he is older we’ve also started letting him walk over to nearby friend’s houses to see if they can play. You know like we did back in the day. The only difference now is technology. We bought him a Gizmo Gadget watch to track his whereabouts. It works like a cell phone watch. He can call and receive calls from 10 contacts, send voice messages and preset text messages. Parents control and monitor activity through the app. It even has GPS for locating your child. We’re loving it so far.
4. Set-Up Rules
Setting rules and expectations at the beginning of the Summer will save you from a lot of mom guilt and frustration. It’s best to spell out even the things you think are the most common sense. Things like don’t come into the office while mom is on the phone or a video conference. I like to let my son know when I’m about to get on a call to prevent random and embarrassing interruptions. We all remember the viral video of the kids who interrupted their dad’s live interview. Very funny, unless you’re the parent.
A lot of Summer rules tend to revolve around screen time, typically limiting the amount on a daily basis. My Summer rules take the opposite approach and include a black-out period when screens are required to be turned off. This is usually when he does his activity. To get the screens back my son must complete a simple checklist including brushing his teeth, getting dressed and doing a page out of his Summer Packet from school. My hope is that he’ll get outside and involved with doing something and he won’t even want to turn the TV or iPad back on. This usually works out when he has a friend over.
5. Schedule Breaks
Lastly, it’s important to schedule some breaks into your day to be with your child. Just think, if you were working from an office you would stop to talk with co-workers and listen to their stories. Your child is just your Summer co-worker. Instead of feeling rushed and guilty for taking time out of your work day for your child or guilty for not spending time with your child, set-up a couple of times throughout the day to spend with your child. I usually take a 30 minute break to grab a snack and start my son’s activity in the morning. We spend an hour together during lunch and I take another short break in the afternoon to check-in. It may take you a little longer to get things done but you can always start your day a little earlier or end it a little later.
You can even take a half or whole day off work just to spend with your child. Summer is a great time to take a break from work and just enjoy being together. Whether you spend the day at home or venture out to your local Children’s Museum, you’re sure to make priceless memories.
Writing it all down in a calendar will help both you and your child know what to expect for the Summer months. You will be able to see what days are filled with camps and what days you will need to fill with an activity.
Here are the calendars I’ve put together for this Summer. Each calendar can be downloaded and edited to fit your needs. Click on each calendar to download, edit and print.
How do you survive Summer as a work from home mom?