5 Summer Survival Tips for Work At Home Moms

You may have noticed that things have been a bit slow on the blog the last few weeks – no recipes, very few DIY projects, and I’m definitely not keeping up with my daily posting schedule. That my friends is the life of a work at home mom when the kids are out of school.

summer survival tips for work at home moms

For those you that don’t know, I run a social media marketing firm full-time with my husband and we both work from home. So that basically means in the summer there are children at our office every single day. When the kids are in school I generally spend about three days of my week looking after client work, one day photographing projects and recipes for the blog, and *try* to spend one day of my work week testing recipes and DIYs, and doing other blog related work. Unfortunately this schedule kind of gets turned upside down when I have an 8 year underfoot all day telling me she’s bored! The 11 year old has the opposite problem – he’s never bored of YouTube and video games so we have to drag him away from screens.

Since I know that many of you are moms and might be in the same boat as me during summer holidays, either trying to run your business, write your blog, or just get through your to-do list with little ones underfoot, I’m sharing 5 techniques we use at our house for surviving the summer and still getting our work done, and I’ve also teamed up with 4 other work at home moms to get their best tips. More at the end of the post on that!summer survival tips for work at home moms

5 Summer Survival Tips for Work at Home Moms:
I guess it’s important to share that my kids are 8 & 11 years old so I’m not sure if all my tips will work for toddlers.

1. The morning “meeting”
Every morning I ask my kids what they are planning to do today, and offer up my list of must-do’s and some other suggestions. They know I’m going to ask them this question daily, and they know they will have to come up with screen free suggestions. This keeps them thinking all the time of what they’ll do tomorrow, and the next day, and so on.

In addition to their suggestions I give them a list of my expectations for the day, things like; clean the bathroom counter, change bed sheets, read for 30 minutes, write in your journal, etc. I try to cover about 1.5-2 hours with this list. 

2. Dedicated time blocks for quiet and play
Every day I put a note on the fridge that tells the kids which hour is quiet time (if I have a work call it’s usually around that time!). It could be 9-10am or 3-4pm, but whatever that time is for the day, they know that unless it’s a serious emergency, mom & dad are working and the house needs to be quiet for an hour. 

On the same note, my husband and I each take an hour of play time everyday. It’s easier for the kids to be nice and quiet during my work calls and their quiet hour, if they know that later in the day they are getting a full hour of play time from mom and then dad! Of course if you are the only parent at home or your kids are younger, you might have to schedule your time in 1/2 blocks. 

One word of caution about this technique, if you say 2pm is play time, stop whatever you are doing and play, otherwise no one is going to give you quiet time!

3. Activity boxes/idea lists
Almost weekly we sit down with the kids and do a big brainstorming session to come up with ideas of things they can do when they get bored. Then we put that list on the fridge to reference through out the week. We also keep a few boxes with pre-made art kits, journals/notebooks, and activity books as a place to turn if you don’t know what to do. 

The kids also have full access to my art supplies and I encourage them to plan and create their own projects when I’m working. Yes, it’s messy, and yes, some supplies get wasted or ruined, but they have fun and I get my work done.

4. Take your work out of the house 
Maybe not possible for everyone, but I’ll pick up my laptop and go work at the library or Starbucks sometimes and take the kids along. I encourage them to bring something to do, it gives them a change of scenery and I can get through my emails.

Sometimes I even take a good old fashioned notebook to the park and do some writing while they blow off some steam. 

5. Switch up your schedule
I recently read something on Facebook about how we as parents only have 18 summers with our children and it really hit me hard. 18 summers that’s all we have & this is my 11th summer with my son already! So this year I decided that I would try something brand new and switch up my schedule a little {that’s why I’m writing this post at 5:00am}. I’ve been heading to bed super early and getting up at 5 so I can work before they wake up. I’m also going to try to take Friday’s off for the summer and hang out with them. summer survival tips for work at home moms

Having the kid’s home for the summer can be difficult for a full-time work at home mom, but really it’s an annual gift I never know I needed until it show up! This is the only time of the year that I’m forced to slow down, take a break sometimes, and enjoy these little people. 

Need some more ideas for saving your sanity and staying productive this summer? Click on the links below to take you through 4 more amazing posts from my blog world friends Bonnie, Heather, Salma, and Tara.

11715409_616601085108892_1369583994_o         Bonnie                                  Heather                            Raj                             Salma                         Tara




  1. July 12, 2015 / 8:34 am

    These are great ideas!! Mine are a bit younger but I agree that if you demand an hour of quiet from them, you need to give back an hour of play. It’s about balance – and that’s good for both of you! 🙂 Love the pictures of you guys!!! So much fun. Thanks for sharing!

  2. salmadinani
    July 12, 2015 / 12:06 pm

    So may great ideas! Even though my kids a bit younger, these are good ideas to keep in the arsenal as they get older. I especially like the activity boxes idea.

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