Being a Work-at-Home Mom (or Dad or Person) is a serious balancing act! You finally feel that you’ve gotten in the groove of making sure the house is taken care of, meals are getting prepared, AND your business is growing. Suddenly, June comes around and school is out. There are these little people around all day, everyday! How are you supposed to keep them busy and get stuff done?? I get it. I deal with the same things, so I thought I would share my top tips to succeed as a WAHM in the summer.
Create a Routine
By far, the thing that helps me the most as a WAHM is a regular routine. This is even more true in the summer! Kids do best when they know what to expect daily. While each day might look a little different depending on what we do, my boys (age 3 and 5) know that they will have a naptime every afternoon. Although my older one never naps and my younger son naps maybe twice a week, they know that they are expected to be in their room and doing something quietly during that time. Even when they get older, they will have a quiet time each day to read, write, draw, etc. If nothing else, this at least gives Mama a break!
Another part of our routine is we get out of the house every day. We might go the grocery store, library, pool, or a playdate, but it seriously helps the boys get their energy out. I find that they get along better and are less likely to get into trouble when they aren’t cooped up at home all day. I’m not gonna lie. I do better when we see other people, too!
Involve the Kids in Chores
During the summer, work time is sacred. As a WAHM, it is super important to use any time that I’m not managing the kids to work my business. That’s why I do not use nap time/quiet time for chores. I do housework when the boys are up and going, and they help me out. They are involved with laundry, dishes, toy clean-up, vacuuming, mopping, grocery-shopping, and cleaning the bathrooms. We spend a set amount of time doing these chores each morning, so it’s not overwhelming, and they’re learning good skills for the future. Yes, it sometimes takes a few extra minutes to get things done and things might not be quite as clean as I would like, but I can feel confident that chores are completed and my boys are learning skills they’ll need as adults. I count those as serious wins!
I am a HUGE fan of meal planning. The week goes so much better when I think through the weekly schedule, plan what we’ll eat every night, grocery shop, and actually follow the plan. We also eat healthier and save money. Those are both important things for me. While we do one or two easy meals a week(usually pizza or hot dogs), I try to cook most nights. I LOVE freezer meals and slow cooker/Instant Pot, because they make it so easy to prepare healthy meals quickly.
If you need ideas for meal planning or slow cooker/Instant Pot meals, I have a Pinterest client who has amazing resources for this! She is a registered dietitian who blogs at milkandhoneynutrition.com and her Pinterest account has excellent ideas (if I do say so myself) for meal planning, Instant Pot and slow cooker recipes, and traditional recipes. Plus, they’re healthy. You can follow her here on Pinterest. She is also crazy active on Instagram, so you might want to check her out there!
Use Any Support Systems You Have
I am going to preface this tip by saying that I’m spoiled, and I know it. Unfortunately, not every WAHM is as blessed with the amazing support system that I have. My husband works from home, so he has amazing flexiblity in his job. At least one day a week, he’s home from work by 4 pm and he takes the boys away for a few hours. Sometimes, they go to the park, sometimes they go to the car wash, and today (July 3rd), they’re going to buy fireworks. Whatever they do, I get a few hours to myself to work my business.
My parents are also a huge help! They live ten minutes from here, and my Mother’s Day gift this year was one day of camp with Grammy and Grampy each week this summer. It’s such a blessing to have one day each week that I know I can schedule meetings and focus on my business without worrying about the kids.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s great, Joanna. I’m so glad you have all that support, but that doesn’t help me!” You might be a single parent, your significant other might work crazy hours, or your family might live far from you. I know a lot of people in that situation.
In that case, you might need to get a little more creative in finding your support system. You could talk to friends about forming a babysitting coop. You can take advantage of churches that offer Vacation Bible School throughout the summer. Many of these are either free or very cheap, and they don’t require you to be members of the church to attend. You could see if there’s a trustworthy middle-school student in the neighborhood that would be willing to come play with your kids for a few hours for cheap while you work in a different room. Or you can check out places in your city with free or inexpensive places for your kids to play while you work nearby. (Chick-fil-a, anyone?) You will probably be interrupted a few times, but it might be less often than when you’re at home!
Work When the Kids are Sleeping (or Reading or Resting)
As I mentioned earlier, my boys have a daily rest time. This is when I do a lot of my work! I try to have my plan in place, so I can use the entire rest time for a specific task. My weekday afternoons look like this:
- Monday – schedule pins (I try to be over a week ahead).
- Tuesday – Blogging
- Wednesday – website upkeep and client consultations
- Thursday – schedule pins and social media
- Friday – webinars and courses
I also work some after the boys go to sleep at night. While I prefer not to work in the evening, right now I know it needs to be done. My husband is very supportive of my new business venture, so he understands when I pull my laptop or phone out in the evening. When the fall rolls around and the boys go back to school, I will cut back on working at night.
My final tip truly is to be flexible. Be flexible in what chores have to be finished today. Be flexible in what adventure each day holds. And be flexible in what work you get accomplished for your business. You might not grow your business as fast as you would like this summer, but we all need these two reminders:
- Your kids WILL go back to school in a few months and life will get more settled.
- You only have a certain number of summers with your kids. Enjoy them! The business will be there to continue to work in the future.
Recap of the Top Tips to Succeed as a WAHM in the Summer
Just in case you scanned through to the end without reading, here are my top tips to succeed as a WAHM in the summer!
- Create a routine
- Involve the Kids in Chores
- Meal Plan
- Use any support systems you have
- Work when the kids are sleeping (or reading or resting)
- Be flexible
Now it’s your turn! What are your top tips to succeed as a WAHM in the summer? Please share them below or on my Facebook page!
Until next time,