You may be painfully aware that the school year is over. If you work out of your home, the noise level is a dead giveaway. No matter the age of your children, your work and their needs are most likely colliding. I’ve talked to entrepreneurs who are trying to tough it out through the summer months to save on the childcare bills, and others who have hired full-time help to get through the school break. Changes in schedules alone are bound to cause tension in the home. Don’t let the school vacation wreak havoc with your summer. Keep these tips in mind, and add your own personal experiences and ideas too.
1) Know your priorities. If you want to spend more time with your children, do it. Chuck the workaholic tendencies in the baby pool, or work at night, and get up early. Isn’t this one of the reasons you started your own business? On the other hand….
2) Don’t feel guilty if you are unable or unwilling to suspend your own work for the summer. Your children are used to being with other kids and spending some hours away from you during the week, Consider finding activities for them that will give you more work time and them more exercise and fun with their peers. You don’t want them to grow up remembering summer vacation watching TV because you had to work.
3) Childcare options abound in the summer– and there are less costly options. Is there a 14 year old across the street that would love to have a few extra bucks? Even a ten year old who enjoys playing in the yard with your younger child can be a mother–or father’s helper for a couple of hours a day or week. Have you researched your community’s youth programs? Many of the youth camps and classes created by municipalities are reasonably priced and fun. If you can afford a private day camp, consider how much more fun your children will have riding horses and swimming in that cold lake than they would have staying at home.
4) Make rules about your work that are clear to the entire family. Avoid saying one thing and doing the opposite. You can be a good role model by clearly defining the expectations of every family member. Establish order, but don’t count on it to always be orderly. Be flexible. Enjoy Parenthood.