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?