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Tips for Surviving the Long Summer Days, Especially If You Work from Home

Summer can be a fun time to connect with your children. School's out, and that means vacations out of town, staycations, camping, hiking, museums, and so much more. However, this fun summer season can also cause stress and uncertainty for parents who work from home, especially mothers. 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 edits books, mostly from home. I've been doing this for eleven long years, nine of which were used to figure out how to work while raising children. Here are five helpful tips that have helped me through the long summer days as a work-from-home mom and business owner.

Be available for yourself: As with every other season of motherhood, being available for yourself is critical. We sometimes think of grand ideas like going on a solo trip abroad or going away for the weekend when we mention having time for ourselves. I'm not talking about those, I'm talking about carving out one-hour slots after work as "me time," or taking a solo walk around the neighborhood, reading a book, and 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 "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, but I would recommend creating and sticking to a daily schedule of activities. If possible, let the children help with ideas. My oldest daughter was so excited to write down this year's schedule that, for the first few days, she also reminded me of what we were to do according to the schedule. Your schedule will become part of your children's psyche (habit), bringing structure to your days and sanity to your chaotic summer days, if the schedule is implemented often throughout the summer.

Take breaks: Typically, when I sit at my desk in the morning. I rarely break until I am done with my to-do list. I might run downstairs 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. Take breaks! See yourself as a business and take mandated one-hour breaks!

Stay positive: Need I say more? The things I've mentioned above are NOT possible with a negative mindset. If you see summer as a season to unwind and have fun with your children, your chances of remaining lighthearted, positive, and fun will, most likely, be higher. Listen to inspirational podcasts, read positive affirmations, read your bible, and whatever you do, stay positive. Before you know it, school will resume, and the craziness of school drop-offs and pick-ups will start all over again.

Seize moments: Moments come a dime a dozen. Seize them and make them meaningful. Has your child ever come to you and asked, "Remember when ..." with the biggest smile, because they just remembered a moment spent with you? A moment that made them smile. Seize the little moments for your children. They will cherish those memories for years to come. For my girls, it's as simple as going to the library or the park or to see one of Georgia's many magnificent waterfalls.

Summer is truly a wonderful 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, our goal is to discover and explore as many new adventures as possible, not just in our local community, but far beyond that. And we'll be doing it together, with laughter, giggles, and smiles!

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