This week is my first week back to work after a long holiday weekend, and it’s my kid’s first week of summer vacation. As a working mom, I’m dealing with the mom-guilt and remembering previous summers home with my kids. So today, I wanted to speak to the working moms (and even the stay-at-home moms) about how I’m approaching summer this year. And if you know me, I’m going to look for the good and how you can make the best of this time.
Get organized: The best thing you can do as a working parent is to be organized and have a schedule. I’ve been looking at getting kids enrolled in camps and activities, either through the school district or local organizations, where they can learn a skill or practice activities. School might be out, but kids still need to stay in a routine even as we might be staying up a little later or sleeping in more.
Lean into getting help: We had to find a new childcare provider for the summer. So, I spent the last few days putting together a family manual for her. I put everything down I could think of about our family, schedules, and the kids. It is a work in progress but now she has a quick reference to go back to throughout the summer. I also included a chore chart for the kids. It includes who is responsible for what chore or who can do specific tasks around the house to help.
Stockpile resources: At our house, we go through tons of snacks in the summer. I stock up for outdoor activities, like sidewalk chalk, playdough, art supplies. We have a pool in our backyard, so I make sure there are pool toys, goggles, and activities, and they’re all functional and ready to go.
Make a summer bucket list: We all get busy with the day-to-day, but it’s nice to have a list of all the fun things we can do this summer when we want to do something meaningful as a family. It’s also an excellent resource for a babysitter, for the kids to check off some activities while parents are at work. As a working mom, it helps me feel better and more productive. I feel less like I am missing out on their summer if I have a list of all the fun things we did together.
Plan time with the kids: If you can, adjust your schedule to leave early or come in late. Or try to take a Monday or Friday off to go to the zoo or pick strawberries. Don’t just take the day off. Have a plan for that day.
Remember, it’s okay if kids are bored. Bored kids come up with the best (and sometimes the worst!) ideas. Creativity thrives in a boring environment. Being bored, having the feeling of boredom, and learning to manage boredom is a skill.
Most importantly, work on how you can live according to your priorities and use that as your barometer for a successful and happy summer. Remember, you and your kids will have the best summer if you feel happy, confident, energized, and at peace.
Listen on Apple.
Listen on Spotify.