Summer Survival Tips With Kids
Managing kid/work time is tough. If I’m not *really* careful, I turn into a huge workaholic, and my kids all want to come in and talk to me every three minutes, which makes my work time four times longer and my play time with them much less (we have six kids, and most of them like to come in and flip on my bed, which is right next to my desk, so they can chat off and on all day).
I’d been increasingly worried all spring about how summer would work with all the kids home but it has been going not too badly.
Here is what I’ve been trying to do:
1. Farm out tasks that can be done by someone who is not me. I hired my 16yo to do data entry and client thank you notes. This is clearing out 6 hours/week off my To Do list that I can spend on either tasks that directly produce income or fun summer things. This started helping instantly, and I only hired her a week ago.
2. Explain to the kids the huge time cost of switching focus back and forth when I work, which ultimately means work takes longer, and I have less play time with them so that when I shoo them out while I’m working, they can see how it benefits them (my youngest is ten; I don’t think this would work with little kids who tend to get into trouble when left to their own devices, but it helps a lot with bigger kids).
3. Make my work To Do list the night before and group or batch process things as much as possible to lessen that focus-switch problem. This gets *way* more work done in far less time.
4. Try really hard to start work early and be done by 1:00ish so we can just putter around or go the river or play cards or laze around or have friends over *or* to play hard one day and then work the next day while the kids are all tired and recovering. This has been patchy still, but getting consistently better, and I’m about done getting Steps 1-3 in order.
I like goofing off with the kids. They’re hilarious and interesting and smart and full of crazy ideas. Plus, relationships are built with time spent together that will bring them back to visit after they move out. I don’t want them to remember me as the crabby woman who spent their whole childhood stressing out on her computer, so I’m actively working on organizing my life and business so I can be the calm, fun, capable woman who breathes life into those around her, which is who I like to be.
It takes time to really think about how you want things to look and feel like and be like, and it’s much easier to focus on what you don’t want because that’s usually the thing you already have. The time is worth it, though.
You can do it!