Welcome, summer. As much as I love the sunshine, lake and flip flops, I do miss the routine of our school schedule. Being a work-at-home mom, having kids at home during the summer causes chaos and less interrupted hours in front of the computer. And if you didn’t know, summer is wedding season the Midwest, so my busiest time is when the kids are home from school.
I’ve been working-at-home for ten years (WHOA!) so I’ve learned what works and what does not. So here are a few tips on how to survive summer if you’re working-at-home and you have kids.
Tips to Survive a Work-from-Home Summer
- Summer Camps
Each January, I start scouting out all the summer camps in and around the community. Many of these summer camps have February/March sign up dates, so I start right after Christmas figuring out our schedule for summer. Yes, I’m a super planner so this comes natural to me.
I print off a June, July and August calendar and start to pencil in possible dates that would work with summer camps that I think the kids would enjoy. And over the years, we’ve found camps we love and camps we probably won’t do again. With that, we’ve found camps that are more of an investment and camps that are a pretty darn good deal. So cost wise, it evens out.
When I feel good about the fruit salad of camps I put together, I mark the sign up dates and times on my calendar and make sure to be at my computer when those camp sign ups go live. Some of our favorite camps sell out within minutes. Some others give us time, which is nice.
This has worked well, especially with my older two kids. Most summer camps take Kindergarten through sixth grade, so this year we’re right in that age range. As my daughter grows out of summer camps, the plan is for her to become a camp counselor or get a babysitting gig.
- Summer Daycare
My youngest has been too young to go to summer camps over the past years, so he has stayed in daycare throughout the summer. This keeps him in a routine, keeps him with his daycare friends and allows him to enjoy doing summer things. This also gives me flexibility to get my work done, but also to keep him home once in awhile if we want to take a zoo day or leave for the lake a little early for the weekend.
Last summer, we moved which disrupted our daycare schedule. I had to find something closer to our house before he started preschool in the fall. Luckily, I found another daycare who was able to take him for the summer, on the weeks I needed help. Keri was a lifesaver and Beckett loved his time there. He quickly became one of her favorites. I think we were all relieved that worked out so well.
- Camp Grandpa and Grandma
This is maybe my favorite summer camp each year…camp Grandma and Grandpa. I’m lucky enough to have my parents somewhat close (2 hours away) and parents that are willing and able to take the kids for a week each summer. They love making memories with the kids and the kids love time away from home and hanging out with their cousins. Camp Grandma and Grandpa is super affordable too and allows me one full week to work as much as my little heart desires.
If grandparents aren’t an option for help, think uncle and aunts, brothers and sisters and other family members who could help on and off. It may not always work out, but it’s a great option when it does.
- Work When You Can
It sounds simple, but summer often means not a normal schedule. If summer camps and daycare are not possible, be flexible with your work hours. Right now, I’m writing this blog post at 10:30 at night. Not ideal especially since I’m a morning person, but this week has been crazy and we’ve been on summer break for one day. Yes, one day. I had some time today where I couldn’t work, so I’m utilizing time when I can.
- Give Yourself Grace
As I type this, I need to soak in every word. Summer is a challenge for me. I’m pretty sure my son got 7 straight hours of screen time today. And guess what, that’s okay. Because tomorrow is another day and he’s going to be getting outside more. And in two weeks, his first summer camp puts him outside all day.
I do try to take a few days here and there to enjoy summer activities with the kids. If that’s a trip to the zoo or an afternoon with friends at the pool, summer is a time to get out and enjoy the season.
If you have your own work-at-home tips for the summer, I’d love to hear them! Comment below or you can always email me and reach out.