Many stay at home parents make a nice little side income while their kids are at school. They’re able to work for several hours, and then when the kids are home, they can take care of them, help them with homework, cook, clean and play with the kids.
Often, though, making extra money comes to a screeching halt when the kids are home for the summer. That’s not a problem if you plan to take time off and can afford to not have the income coming in. It is a problem if you involuntarily give up your work because you can’t find a way to take care of the kids AND get your work done.
While you might have to reduce your work schedule, you don’t have to give it up entirely. There are plenty of techniques you can use to squeeze in some work time.
These are some of my favorite ways to work when the kids are at home with me all day:
1. Play with the kids first.
I know, this post is supposed to give you ways to get your work done, but I find if I play with my kids first, they are then happy to play by themselves for awhile afterward. I might play with them for 30 to 60 minutes, and then they play independently for at least that long so I can get my work done.
2. Create things for the kids to do.
Sit down with your kids, and find some activities to do on Pinterest. I sat down with my 9 year old looking for art projects. We found a mosaic project that he wanted to complete. He easily spent an hour cutting triangles from pictures in my old magazines, and another hour arranging the shapes in patterns and creating his masterpiece.
3. Establish a quiet time.
If your kids are in school, they’re probably too big for naps (oh, if only kids napped forever!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t establish a quiet time. For 45 minutes or an hour, kids have to quietly keep themselves occupied. If you have several children, have them have their quiet time in different parts of the house so you don’t have to break up any squabbles. During this time they can read, play solitary games, or create.
4. Work during screen time.
If you allow your kids to watch an hour of television a day, use that time to do some work. You can sit with the kids and do your work while they’re watching the show.
5. See if your spouse can help you out.
If your spouse has some flexibility in his schedule, maybe he can leave two hours earlier for work one day and come home two hours earlier. You can use that time to get your work done.
6. Remember to be flexible.
Maybe in the summer months you need to get up a little earlier or go to bed a little later to get the rest of your work done. Be willing to experiment with your schedule to see what works best for you and the kids.
Summer break is only for 10 to 12 weeks, and your kids are only young once. Do tinker with your schedule to find the best way to get your work done, but don’t forget to take time out from your busy schedule to enjoy the summer with your kids. In a few years, they’ll be out of the home, and you’ll have as much time to work as you would like.