There are definitely challenges that come when coordinating school and work schedules during the year, but it pales in comparison to the challenge that is full time working from home during the Summer months.
All year long, we look forward to Summer. We know that there will be tons of fun times to enjoy with the kids and maybe even a trip or two. But there’s also the struggle to keep the kids entertained while working.
My husband or a babysitter could, of course, take the kids to do all sorts of fun activities while I work, BUT I don’t want to miss out on any of the fun with them! So figuring out a schedule that works for everyone is something I’ve been pondering long before the last day of school.
Our schedule looks something like this…
-wake up and cartoons/breakfast (kids) while parents try to embrace the morning. (#notamorningperson)
-coffee & snuggles
I’ve found that STARTING the day with my kids is essential to everyone’s happiness during the day. It takes a little bit of time before my brain is fully engaged enough to be working well anyway, so it makes sense to spend some time watching cartoons and enjoying some time with the kids while the coffee kicks in. They are more likely to play happily for a bit on their own, if they’ve had this time too.
– work time / play time
When the coffee is gone I head to my office (our spare bedroom) and officially start work for the day. The kids play games or explore the backyard for a bit. Now, they are supervised by my husband while they do this, but before he quit his job I’d keep them inside or sit in the living room so I could monitor them out the big windows if they went outside.
We try to fit in some sort of outdoor time, and usually for us, that means a walk. Depending on my work load it can be a quick five minutes OR something even longer!
-back to work and the kids watch cartoons to rest after the walk!
-break and lunch time
I’ll leave my office for lunch and a break from the gray walls in my office. Oftentimes we’ll work on a LEGO project with the kids or something else fun as a family around this time too.
-back to work
Then I’m back to work (doing laundry in between work stuff) while the kids play some more and my husband works on stuff around the house.
I try to finish up around 4pm but depending on the day that may or may not happen.
If I still have work to do, I’ll get to it around 8pm – after the kids are in bed and my husband and I have enjoyed some evening coffee and talking.
Summers are basically built around working late so I can try to get done early and play with the kids OR so I can free up our time to do a fun activity the next day.
On days where we head off to the zoo or the beach things look a little bit different.
-Get up early and head out
-spend some time as a family doing something fun (zoo, beach, park, pool etc) We usually eat lunch out, and I make sure I pack snacks for every one too! The kids almost always have fruit (their favorite) but for me, I’ve been packing these Special K Protein Bites. They are super tasty and I totally need the extra boost they give me to get through the day!
-head home and the kids take baths while I get back to work!
-dinner and then work after bedtime too
It is hard to have to stay up a little later to get everything done, but it’s absolutely worth it! I love that my job is flexible enough so that I can work at night if I need to spend more time play during the day!
You’ll notice I didn’t put exact times on anything here. That’s because while we do have a routine we keep, the times can always be in flux depending on how late everyone stayed up and how late the kids wake up in the mornings. Most days they are up by 6:30, but some days we are lucky and they “sleep in”.
While the schedule does look slightly different each day, a few things are essential to keeping my sanity during these Summer months.
- Clear expectations with the kids – they know when I’m working they need to play and entertain themselves because when they do I’ll be able to stop work and come play with them faster!
- Constant re-evaluation of my time to be sure I’m getting all my work done but also maximizing time with the kids too!
- Sufficient snacks – Special K protein bites have really been saving the day here. I remember last Summer being so stressed I was skipping meals and just trying to do everything as quickly as I could. This year, I’m determined to do better for myself and my whole family. Snacking is an essential part of the creative process and I totally hide these in my office from my kids!
Do you have any scheduling tips for work from home moms? I’d LOVE to hear your ideas in the comments!