Did you all enjoy the long weekend? Hopefully you were able to completely unplug for a few days, and welcome the arrival of summer with some grillin’ and fun!
Summer means something completely different for kids, or those of us who have them: Two months of no school and plenty of hours in the day to get dirty, build forts, and watch cartoons.
For Moms and Dads who are also entrepreneurs, the realization that kids will suddenly invade the home work space is somewhat daunting. How will you maintain a high level of productivity and produce the work your clients have come to expect when you’re breaking up water balloon fights or bandaging skinned knees?
These questions have plagued self-employed parents for generations, and although the technology has changed, the challenges remain the same. When searching the interwebs for an answer, I came across this gem on Sparkplugging, called “94 Ways to Keep Kids Busy for the Work at Home Parent“. While not all of the tips are feasible, like “Get kids their own computer!,” some inspired us to whip up a collection of our own tips for WAHMs and WAHDs that will help keep everything in balance.
1. Set up and swap play dates.
Find a friend or two in the neighborhood whom you trust and whose kids enjoy playing with yours. Agree on a day of the week when your brood can hang out at their house, and another day when theirs can come to yours. It can just be from 8 am until noon, or all day if you’re feeling particularly brave. Use the empty house time to escape to Cohere.
2. Utilize the library.
The library has all kinds of summer programs and activities for kids. It’s also a pretty safe place to let your school-aged kids roam around plucking books off of the shelves or playing with toys without direct super vision. Even better, they have free Wifi. You can set up at a table to answer some emails in the air conditioning while the kids are learning. Win-win.
3. Shift your work schedule.
We’re always bragging about how much we love the flexibility of freelancing, and summer is a great time to put those words into action. Have older kids who like to sleep late? Plan on starting your day earlier, when the house is relatively quiet. That way, you can quit by the afternoon when they’re itching to go to the pool or park. The opposite goes for the little ones who are up with the sun but crash earlier. Just inform your clients that you’re changing your business hours for the summer. You can do that, ‘cuz you’re a business.
4. Pay for some help.
Smart entrepreneurs know how to delegate. If you can pay someone to do something better or faster than you, the cost will be offset by the lack of stress. Teenagers are eager to pick up jobs during the summer. Think about hiring one you trust to act as a helper during your work hours. You’ll all be home at the same time, but the helper will be in charge of fixing snacks and keeping kids out of the street while you’re holed up. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Parents! What are your best tips for balancing work and life during the summer months? Share them in a comment.