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Summertime...and the Work Still Needs to Get Done

Life is complicated for parents working inside or outside the home. You have to consider your child’s needs for structure, education, exercise, social contact, appropriate leisure time, and balance that with the demands of work.

And now it's summer. "No more pencils, no more books", as the song goes. Add to that "no more dropping your kiddos off at school for the day".

If you are working from home while your kids are off from school, you are going to need a new set of guidelines to get through the summer months with your sanity, relationships, and job intact.

Some say impossible, some difficult. For most, it’s a struggle…

Here's the thing...Whether you're a business owner, W2 employee, manager, executive leader, or stay-at-home mom, you get to set the stage for your children, in your own homes.  You set the example.

They can see what it is like to work hard and the rewards we can have for doing so. 

Or, they can also see us letting our attention and lives be controlled and coerced by - family, phones, laundry - leaving it to someone or something else to determine our behavior.

Kids will do what you do, not what you say. You, as parents, are the ones to frame their future. If they see you being easily distracted from your work by their cries for help, or food, or hugs, they will follow suit.

If your work isn't getting done because of a lack of focus - that is the model they will follow.

Not allowing yourself to be distracted is getting more and more difficult. We have so many different roles to play lately; then there's technology, with all its notifications and reminders and pings and dings.

How can we practice being "indistractable: and help to teach this important lesson to our kids?

Here are 4 tips to get you started:

  1. Set up a specific area for independent work - yours and theirs. This is where you will go to "work". It sets the mind up to focus on the tasks at hand.

  2. Have a schedule where the kids know when it’s independent work time, when it's co-working time, and when it's time to play. Have the separation like you did when your child was at school and/or you were at work - if it wouldn't have warranted a phone call then it shouldn't be a distraction and pull you or them away from the tasks at hand. (Keep in mind that education is the process of facilitating, not infusing, learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits). Your children do know how to do things without you.

  3. If at all possible - get some sort of childcare help. I know that not everyone can afford full-time Nannies or summer camp but you might want to think of a mother's helper, or grandparents, or a child-care swap with a friend - to give you some uninterrupted time.

  4. Lastly, you are wearing many different hats and the roles are not necessarily interchangeable. Separate them. Take off your "mom" hat when you are "at" work. Take off your "work" hat when it's mom time. Don't be too busy - set aside time for each.

Know that positive changes won’t happen overnight - and by the time you get to a comfortable place with it - things will probably change again…but the skills of focus, independence, self-sufficiency, and resilience will follow and serve both you and your child(ren) far into the future.

And summer will be over before you know it.

So if you enjoyed this, please leave a comment below with your biggest takeaway or with any questions that may have come up for you. I will be replying to all comments and encourage you to interact because that is how you will benefit and continue to grow.

Also, if you know of anyone else who would benefit, please share.


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