When I was a kid, I used to look forward to summer. No school for 2 months and you get to do anything you want!
Now that I’m a work at home mom, I’m starting to dread summer vacation. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with my daughter and nephew. I do, I really, really do. But I have to work and I really can’t be there to entertain them all the time.
So I talked with other WAHMs (my sister, neighbor, and cousin mainly) and we came up with a few strategies to keep our kids entertained and help us get through the summer with our sanity intact.
This works really well if you know other WAHMs who have kids the same age as your child(ren). The regular playdate my daughter has with our neighbors has helped squeeze at least an hour and at most 3 hours of work time.
At my daughter’s insistence, I enrolled her in a kid’s summer Bible camp offered by their school and it has been a lifesaver. She’s fully occupied for 4 solid hours everyday for an entire week, allowing me to work like mad everyday from 7:30am to 11:30. It has worked so well I’m enrolling her in summer music classes after this.
Working in the Library.
I’m lucky that we have a wonderful public library here in Davao. My daughter and nephew gets to read and use the internet and they’re supervised by library aides the entire time. They’re even forced to keep it down because they are in the library, allowing me to focus completely on work.
Working by the Pool.
My friends and sister have been planning this for weeks but so far, we haven’t had the opportunity to push this through. But the idea was to let our kids soak up the sun and swim until they’re exhausted while we have a mini-vacation drinking smoothies by the pool as we check our emails. We figured we can have a a little bit of work done in the morning (nothing that demands too much attention, we still have to watch the kids after all) and work like crazy in the afternoon while they’re napping.
Work While Getting a Mani/Pedi.
We have a spa nearby that offers free Wifi to customers. I wouldn’t really be working but at the very least I’ll be able to check my email or update my social media and relax at the same time.
Big projects are a great way to get kids completely occupied and be productive at the same time. But this would only work if your child really wants to have a personal summer project. My husband has several DIY projects for summer like minor repairs and painting. If I’m lucky, our daughter would cooperate and sincerely try to help. If not, I could just…
Give In and Have Fun
Summer, and childhood, can’t last forever. I know as work at home parents, we’re always swamped with things that we need to do. But sometimes, for our own sanity, it’s best to just give in and to have fun for the day.
I chose to be a work at home mom so I can be part of these moments. There will always be deadlines. I’ll always find ways to sneak in work everyday. But it’s not everyday I’ll see my daughter try to build a sandcastle, talk to animals in the farm, or fly a kite by herself for the first time.
Summer has ruined my work schedule. But I can’t deny that it has also given me some of the best parenting moments of my life. The next few months will be crazy and chaotic, but I’m sure they’ll also be a whole lot of fun.