“It’s summer, and the kids are out of school!”, said no working mom ever. Let’s be real, as soon as school’s out, a host of issues present themselves. As in, which camp to pick for the kids? How to secure childcare if camps don’t pan out, or in between camp seasons? How to keep the kids entertained while we’re working? How to stretch the budget to accommodate vacations, staycations, and other summer treats?
While most of what we see on social media in the summer smells of tropical vacation getaways, perfect family moments and adorable family summer escapades, the reality is that for most working moms out there, summer spells packed schedules, busy families, tighter budgets, and some occasional headaches…
The reality is, it’s tough out there for working moms (and dads) in the summer. Unless you’re that super-organized working mom who’s got her family’s summer schedule downpacked, you may be like the rest of us, scrambling to find great camps, fun activities, and get everyone fed, bathed and happy all summer long.
From my own experience of “summer scrambling” as a working mom, and from taking advice from the amazing moms role models around me, here are 5 pieces of working mom summer wisdom:
Plan Ahead, a little bit at a time
Ok, I’ll never be that mom who plans her family’s entire summer months ahead of time, down to the smallest details. I made peace with that (something about that adrenaline rush). However, what I’ve learnt to do is to plan a little bit at a time. Which means selecting a camp for the kids , while still allowing some room for spontaneous weekend escapades or staycations. Not everything can be planned ahead of time, but planning the most important aspects of your family’s summer vacation a little at a time can go a long way.
Unpack your kids’ schedule.
Seriously, if the kids are going to sports camp, taking music classes, dance lessons, and having a private tutor while still keeping up with soccer practice and voice rehearsals, chances are their schedules are a tad too much packed. Many times, as working moms (and dads), we overdo the whole “keeping the kids busy” thing. While we mean well, we end up overloading their schedules and driving ourselves insane rushing from activity to activity. So lay it off a bit and cancel one, two or maybe even three activities…How about just letting these kids use their imagination, while you sit down somewhere for a minute and relax!
Flex your work schedule!
The pressure of keeping your work on point during the summer month, while still spending time with your family and entertaining the kids can sometimes be just too much! Asking for a flex schedule can help relieve some of that pressure, while allowing you to enjoy the summer more!
Let it be messy!
Summers are fun, but they’re also messy. Plans fall through, schedules get messed up, and organization sometimes turns into the messiest of chaos. I’ve learnt over time to just let it be. Juggling the stress of work and entertaining the kids during the summer months can be daunting if you don’t just let the mess slide…
The grass is not always greener at other working moms’!
It’s no secret that one of the biggest pitfalls that parents, and working moms in particular, fall into is comparison. We’re browsing social media,, desperately attempting to keep up with the Jones’ Punta Cana vacation. Or trying to enroll the kids in as many activities as our co-workers or neighbors. Before you know it, we’re engaged in an all-out competition with other working parents, and we’re exhausted! Resist the temptation to compare and compete. Instead, look at what works for your family and do just that!
Enjoy the process!
Last but not least, just enjoy it! Spend time with your family, even if it’s just to sit together in the backyard or share a meal together. Let go fo the pressure to have the perfect summer vacation, and just take advantage of every moment!
What other tips do you have as a working mom to ace your summer vacation?
To Your Success,
The Corporate Sis.