GREAT NEWS! SUMMER IS HERE!
Bad news …. Summer is here
Summer can be a wonderful break for kids … a way to refresh themselves and prep for the fall. However, it can be a very stressful time for the 1/3rd of us who are independent, remote or mobile workers. The place that may have been our haven now makes us the go-to person for entertainment and information for bored offspring. You want to spend time with them, but you still have a job, and now that job has become harder to do.
When you are working, you feel guilty about (and distracted by) having to shoo away the kids. When you are with the kids, you are constantly plugged-in because you feel you didn’t get everything done for work. Coworkers and family don’t know what your “office hours” are because they don’t exist. The line between home time and work time eventually disappears.
Do yourself and your children a favor …
Set and maintain expectations
During the school year, kids don’t expect you to be available constantly and they don’t care because they themselves are busy and juggling. However, in the summer they can’t understand that their responsibility level change but yours doesn’t.
Take heart … kids thrive when they have consistency and predictability. When they know what to expect, they aren’t frustrated as frequently. The flux of summer break can be unusually stressful for kids, especially if they expect total freedom, flexibility and availability on your part. Discussing each weekend what the next week has in store (as far as camps, workload, travel, etc.) can alleviate many disappointments and help kids take an active role in entertaining themselves.
Find a balance
It is important to understand that summer isn’t just for kids. Everyone needs a break to not only rest but to reflect on the past year and set priorities for the next (14 years teaching makes me think of years from summer to summer, not January to December). Finding a balance of work and play during the summer can help you realize that 50 weeks of working with your hair on fire isn’t erased by 2 weeks of vacation, any more than 50 weeks of eating nachos and hotdogs isn’t erased by a major juice cleanse!
Question …. could your summer work be consolidated into 3 dense days of productive work, allowing you to take many long weekends with the family? Continuing to work while kids are out of school, but doing it on an adjusted basis, can give mom and dad the best of both worlds.
Make the goal to be present with your work and your family
Whether you can take a lot or just a little time with the family over the summer, make it count! Being physically there doesn’t benefit the kids if your head is always in the laptop and your eyes are always on your phone. The dining room table should be covered with food, drink and Apples-to-Apples cards, not electrical cords and sticky notes. Seek ways to keep work at work and home at home, especially if you are an entrepreneur or a mobile professional.
But how do you do that?
One way is to connect with a local coworking community. These are collaborative, flexible office spaces where people (like you!) can go to have fully productive days, allowing them to pack up and go home and create that boundary between work and family that many independent workers have found to be elusive.
Coworking allows moms and dads to connect with other adults who can relate to the need for balance. Many coworking communities, like LOOM, offer part-time plans and month to month flexibility so that parents can use the work environment as a supportive resource as little and as much as needed.
Summer should be something we all look forward to! Not feeling it because you are thinking you can’t balance parenting and professional productivity? See how coworking can help!
Live in or around Fort Mill and not sure about the whole coworking thing? Give it a try for free!
Call us at 803-548-5666 a come have a trial day on us!