Working from Home this Summer Vacation

Working at home with kids? It's ok to set boundaries. Here are mine.

I’ll be honest:

My kids are wiping me out. Working from home this summer vacation? It’s not really happening. It’s a routine I mangle every day.

The three of them have ample down time, plenty of activities for summer, gads of books. They even have two cherished hours of electronic freedom every day.

Still. I’m struggling to find time to blog, to work with my kids home on summer vacation. The toddler naps, but I want to spend time with the older two. I’m feeling guilty when I send them away. That guilt is later replaced by aggravation when I stare at a blank screen, no work done for the day.

Did I mention it’s still the first week of summer break? Yeah. I need to fix this fast.

Are you working from home this summer? Kids on summer break? It's ok to set boundaries. Here are mine.

After chatting with Brandon (my husband), I’ve brainstormed better ways to balance my work and the kids over summer vacation. Here is what I’m planning – and I hope it helps other WAHMs out there, too.

1. Blog less.

My fingers curled when I typed that, because I don’t want to blog less. Unless I suddenly can survive on no sleep, blogging needs to change for the next three months. This year, I’ve averaged four blog posts per week. Starting today, I’m readjusting my goal. My home responsibilities have increased, and I can’t be a semi-functioning zombie for my kids.

Home activities for kids - painting and learning colors.

Plus, I want to enjoy this time. Watching my youngest discover paint? Watching my oldest pitch a fitΒ because the toddler ruined his paint he just brought home from school? I can’t miss that.

2. Nap time.

I’m readjusting schedules, too. Yes, the toddler naps and yes, I want to spend one-on-one time with each child. This morning while the younger two prepared a picnic (of the pretend food variety), the oldest and I worked on a 550 piece puzzle. Later, the middle one and I will work on her gymnastic stretches together, maybe while the oldest has iPad time.

That way, I’m engaging with the older two kids separately, while the other two play. The toddler? We spend p.l.e.n.t.y of time together. Nap time needs to be down time for everyone – time for mom to write.

3. Flow chart.

I created a flow chart, and Brandon wrote it out for me. The kids can glance at it and know what their day looks like. Before we had summer activities, but they were free for whenever. But, I wasted lots of time limiting screen time or organizing papers. This will give us all a snapshot. It might even create independence in the older two!

Summer activities in a flow chart.

I’m also ramping up the independent home activities for kids. I had activities, but now I have larger projects for each. Ty is working on a scrapbook, and Za is adding to her travel journal.

Finally, I must remember: I am modeling work-life balance for my kids. Mom works, and I think it benefits my kids to see that. Kids can paint or color while I blog; they can build blocks or read independently while I create.

In August, I can’t imagine this is perfect. (Is anything?) Hopefully, it is better than these last few days have been.

I’m going to be honest with them. Mom works like dad, only at home. They get to stay home and have fun, but it will take compromise on all of our accounts. Working from home this summer vacation? It’s a dance, an art really. We can only get better.

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  • Andrea

    Great post! You are so right. I was just looking at my long to-do list that I want to complete during the summer and realized that the only way I can complete it is if I’m on the computer 8 hours a day. And that’ll be impossible to do with my kids home all day for the next 5 weeks. I want to spend time with them during vacation. My littlest starts kindergarten this year. So, I’m cutting back as well. Once they go school, I’ll start crossing off the items on my to-do list, but until then, I’m on vacation:)

    • (author)

      Thanks. Yeah, I’m swamped. I started to make minor edits on a smaller product and poof! It was five hours later. Of course it wasn’t productive time because I was helping the kids, breaking up fights, feeding them…

      Somethings gotta give and I’m guessing it’s me!

  • Ms F

    I plan on slowing the blogging- though I’m not nearly as frequent a poster as you for the summer while I work on revamping old products, creating new ones, and doing other little tasks for my business. I figure many of my readers will be on vacation etc and won’t be as focused on the blog either. I’m aiming for a post every 3-4 days. Right now I’ve been trying for every 2-3 (with vary levels of success).

    • (author)

      You do post frequently! Yesterday I did change a product around, improved it, added, etc. It took five hours! I guess that is the great thing about TpT – another teacher does the leg work for another teacher. I’m glad I did it, but yeah, blogging will have to slow down if I’m going to improve some products.

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