Sure, you love your kids, but let’s be honest. You can get so much more work done when they are in school (or daycare) than you can when they are home. That’s why the thought of summer coming up (and long days filled with bored kids) is filling you with fear. Here’s how to prepare for working at home during the summer—and not have a cruel summer.
There’s still time to get your kids registered for summer camp. Most camps offer full-day programs, which can mimic school hours. If the camps near you are pricey, you can always look to do a child care swap with some fellow moms. For example, you can watch your kids and theirs for one day a week and schedule fun activities during those days. Then your friends can take your kids on the other days so you can get your work done. (And if grandparents or other family members live nearby, enlist their help, too!) On the days that you’ll have the kids, you’ll need to get your work done earlier or later in the day so you can stay on schedule.
Include Them in Your Workday
If your kids get bored during the dog days of summer (and they will), enlist them to help you during your workday. Based on their ages, there is definitely something your child can do that will help you out—and more importantly, keep them busy. Give them the title of honorary intern for the day and give them something that they can do, such as sorting files, shredding papers, even answering phones if they’re old enough. Reward them with a sweet treat, a movie after work, or even cold hard cash for a day’s work well done.
As much as you have each and every day organized, things are bound to come up. One child might get a summer cold, or another might simply want to stay in your cool air-conditioned home and have a movie day. That’s why you’ll need to be flexible with your time and schedule. There may be moments of frustration, especially if you’re super close to finishing a big project right when your kid needlessly interrupts you for the 10th time that day. But try to take it all with a grain of salt and know that, soon enough, they’ll be back in school again and you’ll have your home office (and your house) all to yourself again.
There’s no better opportunity to introduce your kids to the concept of work flexibility than during the summertime. Try to schedule as much as you can during the week, but be prepared for hiccups that might slow down your workday. Above all, keep a sense of humor when things go awry, and try to score some fun summer moments with your kiddos, too.