7 End-of-Summer Survival Tips for Work-from-Home Moms

Summer can be complicated if you work from home. Day camp, swim lessons and school reading assignments may have now run their course, and the kids may be spending more hang time around the house—aka your office. Here, our experts weigh in with smart practices to help make the final weeks of the season work for you.



Trust Your Calendar


If the best defense is a good offense, consider your planner the leading tackle. While long-term summer plans may be crystal clear, the little details of day-to-day living can blur when there are many players in the game. “Before you kick off each week, sit down and decide what activities your kids are going to participate in, what work tasks on your schedule need to be done uninterrupted, what tasks can be done with the kids around and what tasks can be done during non-traditional office hours,” says Holly Reisem Hanna, publisher, social media correspondent and founder of award winning website The Work at Home Woman


Go with the (Kids’) Flow


“For successful routines, it’s essential to plan your workday in advance," says Lisa Leslie-Williams, fine living writer and founder of The Domestic Life Stylist. "Fortunately, younger children come with timers called 'naptimes' that you can use to base your work schedule around. Depending on how long they nap, plan on getting one to three hours of solid work hours in." But no worthy road comes without a few bumps. Whether a fever sends your child home early from camp or a project deadline of yours gets moved up, staying calm is the best way to handle unexpected stresses, especially with little ones. You got this!


Respect Summer Down Time


Many kids perform well when their days are structured, but a whole school year of jam-packed activities can leave them exhausted. As they gear up for back to school, leave room for some down time. “It’s imperative that mothers set realistic expectations around multitasking when working from home,” says Stacy Steinberg, JD, professor and associate director for the Center on Children and Families at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.


At the same time, Steinberg acknowledges the importance of free play for kids. It's perfectly fine for older kids to watch a movie or two or redecorate with a living room pillow fortress while you tend to work. For younger children, consider hiring a responsible teen to watch them for a few hours a day as they play at home or at a nearby park.


Stock Up and Work Easy


Fill the fridge with healthy favorites so your caregiver is all set with snacks for your kids. And load the car with day trip essentials. That way, you won’t be stressing when you have to take a last-minute conference call and angelic Grandma has to step in for some spur-of-the-moment babysitting.


Be Safe to Stay Sane


Be sure your safety precautions are in place and up to date, so kids of any age can stay out of harms way while under your roof. Dr. Steinberg cites her own children, ages 9, 4, and 2, as examples. “My 9-year-old’s favorite toys could pose a danger to our younger two children," she says. "Even when working from home, parents need to be on guard and aware of their children and surroundings. I also recommend keeping emergency numbers, including the number to poison control, handy.” Nothing derails a work-from-home day like an unforeseen emergency that might have been prevented with a little advanced planning.


Believe in the Team


Whether you employ day care, sitters, family or neighbors to lend a helping hand, don't hesitate to reach out when you need it. Your little ones can benefit from a change of scenery if you are suddenly booked up with work for a few days. Look into back-up day care programs, a drop-in local day camp or a weekend escape to Grandpa's.


Cherish Togetherness


Remember to appreciate the true gift of having your children around. Though working from home during the summer presents an occasional challenge, do what you need to do so you can fully enjoy the icing on the cake—family time. “Just as you respect work hours, honor the time with your family,” says Lisa Leslie-Williams. “After all, the reason we work from home is to spend more time with our family and our kids. Never lose sight of that."


By Janine Puhak

Source: workingmother.com