Summer…it is my favorite season. I love the weather, the sunshine and the happiness it seems to bring. With it though comes lots of change. The biggest change being my children are home…all…day…long!
I love my girls and I LOVE being able to spend more time with them in the summer but it does make working my business a bit trickier.
I’m sure if you are a mom reading this you can relate to the 7 million questions you get asked every hour and the countless snacks that need to be made. It can be very hard to focus on what you are working on and can honestly lead to a lack in productivity.
BUT…don’t worry – I’ve been doing this for a few years now and have come up with a few tips/ideas on how to manage your time better while your kids are home. I will say this before I start though – this is not a perfect science. Somedays these things work and sometimes they don’t. I am still learning and tweaking as I go but I wanted to share with you some of the things I’ve learned.
Tip #1: Use Morning and Evenings
Being an entrepreneur often means you can set your own hours. You want to work from 12-4 everyday…you do you! Except…it doesn’t work quite like that when you have your kids home in the summertime. I have found the best thing for both my family and my business is to get up before my kids and get some work done before they need my attention. The same goes in the evenings. Sometimes I stay up a bit later so that I can get things checked off my to-do list without interruptions.
Tip #2: Set clear expectations
This one has gotten a bit easier as my children have gotten older but I make sure to communicate with them what the plan is. I let them know what to expect from the day. For example I will tell them I need to work for 1 hour and then we will go to the park. When they know what to expect from me it won’t see to them like I’m always working and too busy for them. They will know that if I can get a few things done then I will be able to give them my attention. (Again…this has gotten easier as my girls have gotten older).
Tip #3: Activities!
Have activities available for them to do while you need to work. Depending on the age of your children this might vary but having something fun for them to do and focus on will keep them from needing you constantly. Also…I just want to put this here…if that means screen time…DO NOT beat yourself up about it. Sometimes you need quiet to get your work done and that is OKAY! Let go of the mom guilt and know you are doing your best to balance all aspects of your life.
Tip #4: Make Plans
I try to make plans for my girls and I to do something together one day a week. So I plan my work schedule around that (or that’s the day I get up early to get more done before we go). We do things like go to the beach, the zoo, the movies, etc. A fun trip they can look forward to. I let them know what day we will be going so that they know and can look forward to the time we spend together as a family!
Tip #5: Give yourself grace
Not every day is going to work out the way you plan. Even if you have the best plan in place, things change and sometimes the unexpected happens. Give yourself grace and try to be flexible. If your kids really need you, then adjust your schedule and know that you will work when they are in bed that night. Your business is so important and deserves your attention but you also only have so many summers with your children – so don’t stress too much about having to shift your days around.
Tip #6: Have a designated work space
Have somewhere you can go to work where your kids know that you are working. Depending on the age of your children, you may not be able to go into another room but use the kitchen table or somewhere close by to where they are playing so you can keep an eye on them but are still able to focus and be productive with your work.
Tip #7: Be okay with asking for help
Have a big project that is due or need to have some client calls? It is OKAY to ask for help. Get a babysitter for a few hours or ask a relative to watch your kids. You will feel better being able to get some work done and your kids will have fun playing with someone else.
Those are a few of the tips and tricks I have used to better manage my time while my girls are home in the summer. Like I mentioned – I am still learning too and somedays work better than others. Give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can and that is enough! You are a great parent and a great entrepreneur and that takes flexibility and balance!
I’d love to know – do you have any tips you could share with us on how you work from home with your children? Share them in the comments!