For working moms, summer break can cause a kind of panic you may not have experienced before. If your child was in daycare before kindergarten, that first summer after kindergarten can be a bit of a shock when it first really hits you that your daycare replacement, i.e. school, is not year round.
Most parents I know who work full-time handle summer break by putting their kids in camps for the summer. This is expensive, and it can be a hassle to handle changing drop-off locations and activities every week all summer long, unless you find a summer camp that works basically like a daycare and is available for the entire summer. You may also discover that many camps are 9-3, or 9-4, rather than full day camps. This can all add up to a surprisingly difficult juggling act for working parents.
If you work part-time, juggling summer camp schedules with your work schedule can also be very tricky. Many parents in this situation try to flex their hours a little more over the summer to match their kids’ ever-changing camp schedules, sometimes with more success than others.
If you work from home, you may be tempted to have the kids stay home with you while you work to save yourself the cost of all those summer camps, but suddenly having your home office inundated with kids all day long can be a recipe for disaster for productivity.
There is no silver bullet for getting through this no matter what your situation is – every family I know has muddled through it as best they can.
I can suggest, though, a few Trip Clip activities than can help some with juggling all of those crazy schedules.
I already posted last week about the “screen time rules” checklist. This works especially well if you work from home, or if you have older kids who are spending some summer days home on their own while you are at work.
Another good option is a Summer Schedule. This is especially useful if you work part-time or work from home, and you need to have some structure in your days to help you get in enough work hours while also having the kids with you some of the time. I find it useful for me to have an idea in my head for when I’ll work, and when I’ll spend time with the kids. And I find it’s useful for the kids to know what parts of the day they will need to entertain themselves, and when I will be available to them for outings or games.
This schedule was one I built around giving me work time in the mornings, and play time with the kids in the afternoon. We didn’t always stick strictly to this (friends would call with other plans, or appointments would get in the way), but this gave us a rhythm for our days as a starting place.
Setting expectations ahead of time in general can make a huge difference in surviving having the kids at home all day when you’re trying to work. Here are some great tips to consider:
Balancing kids and work is always a balancing act – but doing some planning ahead of time really can make a big difference!