Tips for Parents Working from Home During Summer Break
Whether your office is still in quarantine or you discovered that working from home is better for you, you’re about to face another summer break. That means the kids are home from school, and they certainly make some interesting “co-workers.” But, even for people who love their new WFH life, you have to admit having to wipe tushies, make snacks, and watch your little one do a somersault forty times when you’re trying to get work done is difficult.
So how do you manage this year’s summer break and still work full-time from home? These tips might help.
There are a few ways you can play with your hours to make the most of your day. First of all, throw out the idea of a 9-5 job. If you can, that is. If you’re lucky enough to have a job that can be done during early morning hours, after the kids have gone to bed for the night, and during naps, then you’ve already found a way to carve out several solid hours of work.
Another way to make the most of your work time is to set hours and close the door. Okay, we know, closing the door might not be an option. Those of you who barely get a few minutes alone in the bathroom can stop rolling your eyes. But you get the picture. Let your children know that you need to focus on work during these times and can’t be disturbed unless it’s an emergency. Of course, they will test this, but you can stand firm, and it will work out.
Play Dates and Older Buddies
A group of work-from-home parents can be a fantastic resource. If you have a big deadline and need a solid day of work, maybe they’ll take your kids for an extended play date. Of course, you’ll be on the hook to return that favor some time.
Consider organizing neighborhood groups for park events where you have a rotating schedule of which parents chaperone and which get to work for a few hours each day. As a result, the kids get to hang out at the park and run wild, which is excellent because then naptime tends to be longer.
One great way to keep your child occupied while you’re working is to find them an older buddy. Not quite a babysitter, because you’re still home, but an older child who is willing to play with your kids for a couple of hours a day for pay. They get experience babysitting and some money in their pockets. You get to get your work done. And everyone feels good that you’re still there supervising.
Daycare and Summer Camps
If you know that having your child home during the summer when you’re trying to work is too disruptive, it’s time to consider a daycare or perhaps a few summer camp options. Not all summer camps are sleep-aways, and you might be able to find one that covers most of your work hours during summer break.
We have lots of tips for parents sending their kids off to daycare and summer camp for the first time. We also have some practical ways to prepare for these adventures, so they’re easier for you and your brave little one. Just make sure you label everything. Shop premium Camp Labels Here.
The Special Distractions
Some toys can occupy your child for hours, and they forget everything else. Sure, some of those are video games, and you don’t want to encourage that too much, but it might be necessary at times. For example, a movie might work as their distraction, and you can balance the screen timeout later with a scavenger hunt or a little soccer practice. Maybe you’re lucky, and you’ve found the perfect imaginative toy for your little one. The trick is making it special. Having it always available turns that distraction into just another toy, so it needs to be used sparingly.
Give Your Children Jobs
Your kids want your attention. And sometimes, they want to be just like you. That’s what love is all about, and it’s heartwarming. But it can be frustrating when you have other obligations, and those obligations need your time right now. Giving your children chores to do around the house helps. And this can be a great way to keep them occupied, but if they want to be like you, then housework isn’t going to cut it.
This is where you can get clever and a little sneaky. Set your children up to work next to you and give them busy work. You can pretend it’s helping you, and their pride and feelings of self-worth will skyrocket. In the meantime, if you plan it well, you can have them doing things that will help them scholastically – just don’t let them know it’s related to school and learning.
Take Breaks and Make Them Count
One thing that can be hard to wrap your head around at first is that scheduled breaks are okay. Think about your workday. You’re supposed to take breaks in the morning and afternoon as well as your lunch. You should still be taking those breaks when you’re at home. In fact, we think you should be taking them with gusto!
If you schedule breaks and then play super hard during the break with your children, they’ll learn to love that time. They will watch the clock (or set a timer) until that time, and you can resume running around, playing tag, jumping on a trampoline, or whatever it is you want to do during your break together.
Thank you again for joining us for another edition of The Weekly Bubble! We hope this blog post was informative for you and your children. If you have a cool tip about working from home as a parent, feel free to reach out and share it with us. Who knows, maybe your tip will be featured in a future post!
We’ll talk to you next week!