Summer is tough on working parents. If your kids are school-aged and without a regular sitter/daycare, you have to find arrangements for them, which is not cheap or easy. And don’t get me started on things like camps and swim lessons. Most of them run from mid-morning to early afternoon, which is pretty much impossible for anyone but a stay-at-home-parent or nanny to manage.
With my flexible work schedule, you’d think summers wouldn’t be as stressful, but I still dread them. During the school year, both girls are out of the house every day for a set period of time, which makes it very easy for me to get my work done, handle calls, and take care of other things without interruption. Summer throws that all up in the air.
I’d have a hard time affording full-time daycare for both girls, plus I like the idea of having them home a bit during their break. So I’ve arranged to have a sitter come to the house a couple of days a week, and they go to a sitter at least one day. The rest of the time, as my schedule permits, we’re together.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t have to work. I try to schedule home-with-Mom days for times when the workload is light, but I still have at least an hour or so to do each day. The fact that Mom Home does not = Mom Available to Entertain Us All The Time has been tough for my kids to grasp.
When summer started, I was stressed. And, to be honest, the first couple of days with the home-sitter didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped. I also had to have a pretty direct conversation with the girls about the fact that, while they are on break, I am not, and if they want me to do things like take them to the pool, then they need to occupy themselves and let me concentrate on finishing what needs to get done.
But, overall, things have gone better than I’d thought they would. We seem to have hit a groove with the sitters, and the girls seem to have come to an understanding that, when Mom’s on the phone or computer, they need to make themselves scarce. To say I’m relieved and grateful would be an understatement!
So how is the summer going so far for the rest of you? What are you doing with your kids, and how are you managing? Any summer ideas for working moms that you’d like to share?
5 thoughts on “Summer Ideas for Working Moms”
You have quite the tricky lil’ situation going on there, Sara. It is so hard to work at home when your kids are there — even when a sitter is watching them.
I’ve been enjoying our second summer of a summer sitter. She’s not full time (25 hours a week) but Hubs can manage the afternoons OK while working at home. I can leave the house without having to get everyone else ready and out the door, and come home whenever I need to (even work late once in a while).
Definitely looking forward to our upcoming vaca for relaxing and family time, sans work 🙂
I’m realizing summers are another creature all together since it lacks the structure that school provides. I have a soon to be kindergartener and a 1 year old. My hubby works from home so we are juggling the kids and have child care scheduled part time so they can be home a little during the summer. That equals some work stress for my husband who works from home and results in guilt for me since all i can think is that I’m tossing the kids on him so i can go to my office job during the weekdays. Needless to say, I am eagerly anticipating school starting so we can get our “groove” back, but then not wanting my children to grow up so fast and trying to cherish the moment.
How do you find the balance in the meantime?
Amanda, your situation sounds a lot like my family’s. I actually am a proponent of year-round school since it’s been shown that summer vacation is actually detrimental to a lot of kids, especially lower-income. But until that happens, I don’t know how to find balance. I think we’re all just going to have to do the best we can!