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Survive Summer Break as a Work At Home Parent

Coffee, notebook and laptop computer on a wood desk

By Jody H.

Oh summer break – two whole months with the kids at home! Lazy summer mornings, leisurely walks to the park, giggles of neighbourhood children playing outside, carefree runs through the sprinkler, late night marshmallow roasts… but what does this all mean for mom (or dad) who works from home? Any signs of work-life balance and having a schedule are going to be thrown completely out the window.

Cue anxiety attack!

Here are some tips on how to get work done while having your little darlings around for 2 months, or 8 weeks, or 56 days, or 1344 hours or…

  1. Hire a casual babysitter. Look for babysitters right in your neighbourhood. Reach out to your network and you’d be surprised how easy it is to find a student who is looking to make some extra cash this summer.
  2. Summer camps. There are so many fantastic summer camps for all types of budgets. Camps are a great way for your kids to get out and meet new friends, enhance their skills and burn off some energy while you get your work done. Take a look at some of our recommendations for the Edmonton area here!
  3. Have quick and fun meals planned. Why does making lunch always seem to take forever? These end of the school year ideas are still useful over the busy summer!
  4. Swap childcare with other parents. Talk to other parents in your network to see if they are willing to swap childcare. You grab their kids for a few hours a week, and they take yours in return. It’s a win-win for everyone and the kids will be thrilled to play with their friends. A sleepover swap is also an option so you get an evening off!
  5. Switch your work hours. This may not work for everyone, but for some it could be as simple as biting the bullet and getting up at 4am to get a few hours of work done before the angels get up for the day (or you could stay up late and work after they go to bed).
  6. Set your timer or get your kids to work with you! This may take a bit of training, but kids are sponges and learn fast! Set a timer and explain to the kids that this is your work time and it has to get done in order to have fun later on. Furthermore, you could give your kids a task to do while you work. Kids love to feel grown up, and giving them a little job could turn into some fun for them. It could be stapling papers together, stuffing envelopes, or playing some word games or crossword puzzles, feel free to get creative here!
  7. Prepare activities for the kids. Prepare an activity the night before that the kids can do without your help. Whether it’s a special colouring page, scavenger hunt, or some of these other ideas (and these ones, too!), it should keep them occupied and out of your hair for half an hour!
  8. Plan an independent summer project. This is better for slightly older kids, but once they’re 8 or 9 will work great! Encourage your kid to develop a life-long love of learning by planning a summer research project on something they’re passionate about.
  9. Take time to look after yourself. You become less productive if you’re stressed, so make sure to take some time where you aren’t fussing over the kids, state of the house, meals, and everything else going on. These simple tips may be helpful.

You can do this! Have a great summer.  🙂

Jody is a mom to two highly energetic daughters. She is a WAHM and marketing professional at Between raising her kids, managing marketing for numerous clients, running a household and navigating traffic running her girls to dance and gymnastics, she continues to chase the ever-moving target of finding ‘balance’. You can find her on Twitter (@holajody).