The kids are home for summer. For working parents, that can be both exciting and stressful. Having time to spend outdoors in the sun with the kids is a fun prospect, but trying to enjoy activities with the kids and still manage to meet work obligations can be taxing. However, by organizing and developing some plans ahead of time, you can get your work done with time–and energy–to spare for your children.
Split Your Shifts
If you’re able to adjust your work hours, you might want to split your daily work schedule up so that you perform work early in the morning and after you put the kids’ to bed. In fact, these might be the times that you get the most accomplished because there are no interruptions. If you can devote two to three hours in the early morning and evening to work, you’ll be able to free up more time during the day for your kids to hang out at the community pool, beach, or local park.
Rely on the Community
Naturally, you want your kids to enjoy their summer. Spending part of the week around other kids doing fun activities allows them to have fun and gives you some time to focus on your work. Enroll your kids in swimming classes with your park district or other recreational classes like tumbling or tennis. In fact, you can bring along your laptop and work nearby while waiting to bring them home.
Take Turns with Your Spouse or Other Family Members
It’s tough for one person to entertain the kids all day long. Try taking turns with your spouse or a sibling with kids so that you have a day to focus on work. When it’s your turn, you can plan something extra fun like a baking day or a trip to the zoo. Try to make these plans in advance so that you can ensure that you get the toughest tasks of the week accomplished during your full work day.
Share the Work
Waking up early to work or working after the kids go to bed means that there’s less time for chores–unless you fit them in during the day. Encourage your kids to perform some daily chores with you. Take an hour each day to keep up with household tasks like laundry and vacuuming. Find age-appropriate chores that your kids can perform too. Add some music from their favorite Disney soundtrack and your chores will be done before you know it.
Plan Your Day in Advance
By planning activities for your kids in advance, you can also set aside time when you can work. Include activities that you can participate in as well as kids’ only activities. Make sure the kids understand that your work time is important and set them up for success. For example, they’re less likely to interrupt you during an afternoon movie if they have everything they need–popcorn, juice, and comfy seating.
With some organization and planning, you can create meaningful memories of fun times with your kids. It takes a bit more work on your part to shift your schedule and plan ahead, but the effort, you’ll find, will be worth it!