"While Sam is at school, Silas will do his "schoolwork," which is music and artwork, both that he can, and prefers to do, alone," Barrett said of her younger son. "This gives me time to work on things that require more focus, i.e., making phone calls, creating a schedule/priority list for the week."
The benefit of school is structure. It is easy to manage what is already there to manage. Looking at a blank slate, however, makes my heart begin to race. Just a little, of course. Anyone else with me? We’re moms! We’ve been waiting for our children’s summer vacation for months. We’re excited, right?
Finally, the little person you were finally able to nail down a perfect schedule for during the school term is now standing in front of you, wanting absolutely all your attention. But wait… you work from home. How is this even going to work?
I have stressed, clawed, fought (almost, but not really), stressed again, and had severe anxiety over the last six years due to my inability to have the stay-at-home mom experience. Now, my chance has finally come. But summer vacation is here, and while I want my Little to have the summer of his life, I would also like to be efficient and consistent while running my first business. From the house. By myself. Oy vey!
Obviously, I haven’t tried these survival tactics yet, but they’re about to go into effect in my home. Take a peek, and try them. If they don’t work, we can reminisce about it later – when school starts back.
- Understand what your child would like to do with an abyss of free time. Just ask them! You may have an extrovert who likes the idea of a camp or activity you never would have come up with on your own. You might have a child who was too shy for sports at school but would love private lessons during the summer to hone a skill. While the kiddos are trying something new, you’ve just given yourself some work time. You’re welcome.
- Find a summer camp that doesn’t seem too much like school. I always loved the idea of attending a camp when I was younger, but my mom never liked the idea of a bunch of kids being watched by an older bunch of kids overnight, far away from home. I get it now. There are specialized camps that are not too extreme for those of us who aren’t bold enough to send our children away, but still want to present them with an adventure. Not only will this give you a solid block of working time, but your child will be able to make memories and have something fun to share when school starts back. Every child gets excited about the camp experience.
- Teach your child what you do. While this may not be easy for every profession, if you have a flexible schedule and a career that interests your child, incorporate them in some way. Make them feel included in what you spend a good number of hours doing each day.
- Keep your child’s mind stimulated. Limit the use of television and tablets, and designate study time for your child during a few of your designated work hours. If your child has a desk, put their desk next to yours while you work. Bookstores often have great workbooks for younger children to sharpen their academic skills.
- Remember to enjoy your time. Many parents are unable to spend as much time with their kiddos during the summer as a mom or dad who works from home. Remember amidst all your scheduling, planning, and balancing, to be thankful you can share times that will happen only once!
Marlena Rice is a busy mom and writer who lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband, Rod, and their son, Beaux William. Check out her blog at heartfullybuilt.com.