If you run a home business, you’re probably coming up against a unique obstacle this time of year. Having your kids home for summer break is a major challenge when you’re trying to be productive in your business.
While it may cause some upheaval and stress, it is possible to manage both your home business and your kids for these long, hot summer months.
Start with a Plan
If you run a home business, don’t go into this situation unarmed. There’s nothing quite as dangerous as a handful of kids with nothing to do, amped up on sugar!
Decide whether you can afford to cut back on the hours you work so that you can spend time with your kids, or if you just need to shuffle things around so that you can devote time to both of these major forces in your life.
Who Can Help?
You’ll be more successful if you enlist the help of others. That might mean asking your spouse to come home early to cook dinner so you can get some work done. Or it could mean hiring a babysitter for half days so you can work while the kids run through the sprinkler under adult (or teen) supervision.
If your parents or extended family live close, ask them for help.
Another fantastic idea if you know others who work from home is trading off days for who hosts the kids. Maybe once a week you take off work and have a houseful of kiddies in exchange for being able to work without distraction when yours are at a friend’s house.
Camps are a magical thing: not only do your kids get stimulated and worn out, but you get blissfully quiet hours to work on your business. Find enriching options so that everyone is happy.
Invite Flexibility Into Your Schedule
If you run a home business, you may not be able to work your normal 8-to-5 schedule until Labor Day, so accept that now.
Early morning and after the kids go to bed are both great for getting work done without interruption.
Also, you may find some time where you can do double duty, like checking email when the kids are calmly watching a movie, or typing up a proposal from your laptop as you watch your kids play.
Work Ahead When You Can
If your work involves regular projects that you can complete early, do so. Working extra hard one week could help you completely clear your calendar the following week.
Enjoy your time with the kids then, or take a family vacation.
Get the Kids Involved
If you simply can’t reframe your schedule, you’ll get more cooperation from your kids if you get them involved with what you’re doing. Even little kids can stuff and lick envelopes, and the older ones can run errands for you if they’re driving age.
Not to worry: the summer will eventually end. But if you’ve got a strategy for how you’ll manage both your business and the kids, everyone will be happier.
Work at Home Photo via Shutterstock