In summertime it can be more of a challenge to be a work at home mom. Though I homeschool my kids now, I remember how hugely different the dynamic was when I had three at school and suddenly had three at home all the time.
The best thing that I ever did was to sit down with my kids and explain what the day looked like when they were gone at school. Then we worked together to figure out a schedule that they not only understood, but that worked for everyone in our house. The kids understood how important Mommyâ€™s work was at the same time they understood how important they were to my day too.
We worked the schedule so they would come downstairs later in the morning and then eat their breakfast. After breakfast, they did their own chores in their rooms and spent some time on their own and then we did a family chore. We usually were able to end this part of the day by 11:00 or 12:00 and then we did family fun activities for the rest of the day. For my
part, I continued to get up early and was usually able to be done with work earlier in the morning so I could spend time with them.
It wasnâ€™t a perfect solution, but it worked for us. The biggest part of its success was that the kids never thought Momâ€™s business was more important than they were. They felt like they were an active part of my business and that it belonged to them too. Theyâ€™re old enough now to understand that birthday parties, extra things and â€˜funâ€™ stuff usually come from Momâ€™s business. They also understand that they want these things, so they want to support what Iâ€™m doing.
However, when they were younger, this was a tougher concept to them. All they could see was that Mom was busy and it wasnâ€™t with them. So we devised some projects and plans to help them understand a little better. First was a jar. If they had something that they wanted to do with me, but I wasnâ€™t able to answer at that moment or do it right then, we put it in the jar. Later, when mom was done, weâ€™d go get things from the jar and do them. If the jar wouldnâ€™t work for them, Iâ€™d set a timer. I would give myself five or ten minutes to finish what I was doing and then weâ€™d get to what they needed from
me. Some parents have said that they think thatâ€™s not a good practice â€“ it teaches kids that they arenâ€™t important. From my perspective, both of these helped my children learn about delayed gratification. The world is not going to stop for them when they get older. Though itâ€™s important to make sure they know how important they are to us, I feel that they still need to learn that the world wonâ€™t stop for them.Â (Thatâ€™s just my opinion of course â€“ I donâ€™t intend to start a parenting debate.)
The other part of what we did was a phrase that I taught them and itâ€™s something they still know to this day.
I would ask them â€œWhatâ€™s the most important part of Mommyâ€™s Day?â€ Their answer was always the same â€œI am!!!â€ (Sometimes they would chorus â€“ â€œWE ARE!â€) They always got a big hug and a kiss from me after that and usually
left happy â€“ even if Mommy was still working.Â My house wasnâ€™t the Brady Bunch. It didnâ€™t always end happy. But I could
also tell by the way that they answered what they needed from me next.
Summertime wasnâ€™t always the easiest time for my business. It took a lot more effort to keep things running in a sane manner when everyone was at home, but it was also a good time for everyone to get on the same page with our family goals and have fun at the same time.