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Make it Through the Long Summer Days Working from Home with These Tips

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Summer can be a fun time to connect with your children. To go on vacation trips, local staycation trips, camping, hiking, museums, etc. But this fun season we call summer can also cause a lot of stress and uncertainty for parents, especially mothers who write and those who work from home. If having the kids home during the pandemic quarantines taught us anything, it's that mothers STILL often bear the brunt of it when it comes to entertaining children, watching children, teaching children, and making sure they have enough fun during the summer to talk about with their friends when they go back to school in the fall.

I am a mother who works from home. I've been doing this since I moved to Georgia in 2013. I have the most involved, most supportive spouse (who also currently works from home), and yet when it comes to keeping our girls busy during the summer, most of the planning and execution falls on me. I've had 8 long years to master working from home as a freelance editor, and 6 of those years to figure out how to work while raising children. Here are 6 helpful tips on how to make it through the long summer days that I've mastered.

Make time for yourself: As with every other season of motherhood, making time for yourself is critical. When we think of making time for ourselves, we sometimes think of grand ideas like going on a solo trip abroad, going away for the weekend. No, not those lofty ideas. I'm talking about carving out one-hour slots after work as "me time," or taking a solo walk around the neighborhood, taking a drive, reading a book, having uninterrupted time. Every day, after work, I go to my room for an hour to unwind. It's become so routine that the girls know it as part of our daily schedule. It's, as they call it, "mommy's time for peace and quiet."

Create a schedule: I will admit that I haven't been great with a schedule this summer. Things have been scattered and mostly unplanned, but survivable. Create a daily schedule of activities throughout the day and use it. If possible, plan each minute of each hour down to the tee, and let the children help with ideas. My oldest daughter who just finished kindergarten this year was so excited to be the one to write down this year's schedule that for the first few days, she was also the one reminding me of what we were supposed to be doing according to the schedule. If it's implemented often enough throughout the summer, your schedule will become part of your children's psyche (habitual) and they'll follow it like clockwork, bringing structure to your days and sanity to your chaotic summer days.

Take breaks: It is typical for me to sit down at my desk in the morning and not take a break until I am done in the evening. Sure, I might run downstairs from time to time, to get a snack for one of the girls, or get them lunch, listen to something they want to tell me, get myself another cup of coffee, etc. but I hardly take a break. My husband, who also works from home, takes a one-hour lunch break from his job. It's paid and it's mandated. It's his time to eat lunch, come chit chat with me, walk or sit outside for fresh air. If I do any of these things, I feel like I'm wasting time, especially if I have an impending deadline. Take breaks! See yourself as a business and take mandated one-hour breaks!

Have Fun and Be positive: Need I say more? None of the things I've mentioned above are possible if you remain negative. Have a positive outlook of summer, see it as a great time to be with your children, to spend time with them, to just have fun and let your hair down. Listen to inspirational podcasts, read positive affirmations, uplift your spirit with inspirational quotes, read your bible, just whatever you do, stay positive. Before you know it they'll be heading back to school and you'll have even crazier days of getting to and back from school.

Seize moments: Moments come a dime a dozen, every day, seize them and make them meaningful. Make them count. Has your child ever come to you and asked, "remember when ..." with the biggest smile on their face? They just remembered a moment spent with you. A moment that made them smile. Seize the little moments throughout the day to make the day count as great in the minds of your children.

Summer is truly a great time to let your hair down. I'm still a work in progress. I take on too much in the summer and easily become overwhelmed. But I do have fun with my girls. We may not go on big trips, but we make the little ones count. For instance, this summer, we are making it a goal to discover and explore new parks across our region, not just in our county or local community, but far beyond that. And we're doing it together, with laughter, giggles, and smiles!

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