We are in the full-on mode of summer over here...shorts, tank tops, a little bit later bedtimes, more salad-eating than usual. Summer just reeks of taking it easier, slower, less scheduled. Which is all well and good, but for those of us moms (and dads) that work outside of the home or inside of the home or those that are with the kiddos 24-7 too, it can be one of the trickiest times of the year. That juggle we all do of balancing parenting with work, tending to home stuff, cleaning and all of it...when there is no school, no set routine, it can make the juggling act 13 times harder (and more expensive).
I work from home (yes, typing out words, creating posts like this) and summer, as much as I love it, is really hard for me - logistically and emotionally. I want to be frolicking with Kiddo at the playground, but I have deadlines. Deadlines that -- when met -- help to pay bills and get us health insurance, sooooo, I end up working when I really don't want to be. It's just different. When she's in school, she's doing something. In the summer, not in school, her doing something could be with me, but it isn't always.
How do I balance work and fun? How do I try to create a good relationship between my deadline-y must-dos and summer good times? How is the bit of guilt teetering with the load of logistics during the summer months? It ain't easy, I tell you, so I turned to the pros. Here's what they say:
-- Get organized. Grab a big piece of poster board, put on the summer months, and add on work issues, as well as any other must-dos and set things. Then, look at each week, day by day, and see what you have to do. Schedule in the fun time and days off.
-- Work when you are working, and have fun when you are having fun. It's easy to do the former, but I know I get sucked into checking my phone when we are putting together a nanoblock Eiffel Tower or hanging at the playground. Don't do it. Engage, be present, be in the moment. It makes a huge difference for your psyche and your kids.
-- Outsource. Get a babysitter for certain days and look into a science clinic day at the museum or a week-long camp. Then be sure you use that time wisely. Don't tackle the house cleaning or shopping, do that work.
-- Key in on times that throw the schedule off. When do you get off track? Transition from one activity to another, chatting with the sitter when she first arrives or leaves, driving time. Be sure to include all of those or you may cut into the fun or work time allotted.
-- Find another office. I work from home, but when Kiddo is here with a sitter, I get distracted and am not as efficient. That's when I go to my "other office": the coffee shop.
How does your "juggle" change in the summer? Do you find it more difficult to balance everything in the warm days when the kids are out of school?