Have you participated in Take Your Child To Work Day?
A couple of years ago, I shared my experience working with two of my daughters on Take Your Child To Work Day. It was a day we all enjoyed, and they helped me get a lot done. But it was one day, out of the norm, and life went right back to normal.
Before long, our children will be home every day. Not just one day, because someone declared a fun little holiday. Nope! Every. Single Day. Until that wonderful August day comes along, we usher our kids back to school and return to a peaceful work environment.
We love our teachers, and we know they need a break from our precious littles but sometimes summer break for a parent (or parents) who work from home can be pretty daunting. Okay,really daunting. When the girls worked with me, though, they made a list of ideas for surviving the summer working from home. I’ve held onto that list and every summer, we add a few things. As they get older, responsibilities change.
Today I’m going to share with you their ideas, and a few of my own, for How To Survive The Summer Working From Home.
When one of my children suggested I work at the pool in a swimsuit so they can get their swimming in, I kindly declined. That’s just too much temptation. If I’m by the pool, then you better believe I’ll be in the water! There are other ways to survive the summer while working from home that don’t involve slathering up with sunscreen, or dieting for six months prior.
What’s a working parent to do? When the kids, clients, and paperwork is all needing your attention, how do you strike a balance and turn the perfect storm of distractions into a parenting win? Here are a few the ideas my daughters and I came up with to put your parenting mind at ease.
Adjust Your Schedule
Do you have the flexibility to work a four day week, and take an extra day with the kiddos? Fantastic! Even with the flexibility of working from home, however, it doesn’t mean the kids won’t need you the other four days. There are a few work-arounds for this.
It is summer time, after all, so if you’re willing to let the kids stay up a little later than usual, it could mean a peaceful morning for you. If you can wake up a little earlier, put the coffee pot on auto-brew the night before, and push bedtime back an hour, your productive time could be put to good use first thing in the morning.
I have one VA who takes the first couple of hours after her kids wake up and spends time with just them. They feel invested in, cared for, and are usually pretty good about letting her get her work done the rest of the day. Sometimes kids just need that initial block of time to know you’d rather wrestle with them than tango with your keyboard.
Your schedule is really the only one you have the most control over, so making a few tweaks here and there to maximize your time doing what you need to will be key.
Call In Reinforcements
I am constantly stressing the importance of entrepreneurs realizing when they can’t do it all, and calling in a VA for help. The same is true with parenting. It takes a village, so don’t ever feel ashamed if you need to hire help.
A part-time nanny or grandparents can take the kids to the park, the pool, the museum – Calling in someone to help you keep your kids safe while enjoying those outdoor activities, and keep you employed, is basically a no-brainer.
Get Them Involved
Can we say “internship”? It does not just help you. It’s continuing education for them. These kids are the future of business, and of life as we know it. Why not enlist their creativity and curiosity to help you further your progress?
They can help research topics for blog posts, delete junk email, create quote card images, file receipts… there really is no limit to the work your kids can actually help you with. Find out what they enjoy doing, and employ that passion.
Give Them Lemons
When life hands you lemons, do you make lemonade? Or do you make lemonade, create a business plan and sell that profit-producing nectar?
Give the kids the reigns to manage their own business. Teach them the ins and outs, nurture their developing entrepreneurial skills, and let them spread their working wings! Volunteer to be their taste-tester. Ice cold lemonade for you, priceless experience for your littles.
Not big on lemonade? How about mowing lawns? Washing cars? Grocery shopping? You don’t have to be tied to a stand on a cul-de-sac to be a business owner.
Take time to play
Remember, that you don’t have to keep your nose to the grind every day from 9-5. I mentioned the possibility of a 4 day work week. However, you plan your days, be sure to add a little fun for you, too! Many local movie theaters have kid movie day. They show movies during the day at a discounted rate.
Another option to get moving is Kids Bowl Free. You register your kids on this website and you receive coupons each week to go bowling. For FREE! With a house full of kids, free is my favorite price!
Whether you’re taking your kids to an amusement park, after hours swim (also, often discounted), remind yourself that life is all about balance. You’ve gotta work hard AND play hard.
I know it’s hard sometimes to get work done while the kids are home. The fact of the matter is, you’re still their parent. They love you dearly, and the summer is a short window of time when you take in all considerations. Don’t wish it away.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will spur you on to a successful – and memorable – summer with your kids. You’ve got this!