School may be out for the summer, but that is unfortunately not the case with work. Much like how I talked about balancing family and continuing your education, with the kids home for summer vacation, it may be too difficult balancing and maintaining your professional responsibilities while also trying not to break the bank by having your children enroll in a summer camp or spending an exorbitant amount of money on child care costs. Here are a few simple ways to help juggle that balance and provide your children with opportunities to enjoy themselves and grow over the summer.
It may seem like common sense, but since it’s not just your own children who are out of school for the summer, hiring a competent high school or college-age babysitter looking for some work over the summer can be a much more frugal option than hiring a professional nanny or dropping them off at a day-care center. They may not do additional chores around the house or have dinner ready for the family when you get home, but student-age babysitters are likely to keep your kids engaged with fun crafts and indoor and outdoor activities, making the most of summer.
For families with children both young and old, it is wise to use summer vacation as a stepping stone for your older children to test their responsibilities as the older sibling by letting them watch the younger kids while you are at work. This will help save you money but also give your children more opportunities to grow closer. Prepare activities they can do together during the day like drawing and coloring, playing board games, or watching movies and tv shows together. Most devices and services have parental controls to ensure your kids are watching wholesome entertainment. Companies like Pure Flix provide a library of clean and wholesome content without the need for a filter so you can be sure that what they are watching while you are not there is safe.
Every employer is different with what they offer for work arrangements and some may be more flexible than others, but one thing that you and your spouse can do together is try to utilize your scheduling options or vacation time wisely. Whether that is trading off days so that one of you will be home while the other is at work or if it is trading off weeks of vacation time as a smart financial move, there are many ways to manage your time so that your children can enjoy quality time with you and your spouse. It begins by communicating with your employer and finding out what options are available to you and then deciding with your spouse what makes the most sense for your family’s needs.
It is also important to remember that if you choose to move around your vacation time to make a summer arrangement to your families needs, you don’t forego the important opportunity to have a family vacation or even staycation at home together. Pooling your vacation time to use together for a family getaway is a great way to enjoy the summer and create great family memories. It may even turn into a yearly tradition that you all can look forward to!
Making Family Time
Continuing on the topic of creating family memories, no matter how you and your spouse decide to find and maintain that work and home balance, one very important thing to remember to make the most out of your kids’ summer is to create regular, dedicated family moments together that the entire family can look forward to. It can be daily moments like ensuring the family enjoys breakfast or dinner together as a whole, setting one day a week aside for activities at home, or going out as a family to see a movie. Try scheduling excursions throughout the summer months such as going out to a park, swimming at the beach, or inviting friends and family over for a backyard barbecue.
Creating consistency for your kids around an often changing and irregular summer work arrangement will benefit them immensely. This also means making sure that when it is family time it is 100% family time (no checking work emails!) and when you are at work you aren’t distracted by worrying about things at home.
Do you have any tips of your own that you have used to maintain that balance for your family? Please share in the comments below, I really would love to know.
Until next time, shine amongst the stars!
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