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  • Writer's pictureKristen Herring-Asleson

It's Summertime! You have work . . . and you have kids!

Because I have several children, the oldest being 32, I have experienced many summers and have found ways to keep everyone busy and happy, including employers.

There is nothing (well, close to nothing) more challenging to a parent working from home, than summertime activities and kids.

As I write this, at 10 am, I have made several trips through town so my teenage son can attend basketball camp, my 11-year-old son can get to baseball and my 7-year-old to can be in daycare with children his own age rather than “watch” me work. By noon, kids will have to be picked up to return home only to shower and head to their next endeavor. Can you picture the revolving door?

In the middle of being a mom-taxi, piles of work are accumulating from clients and a volunteer gig that is smack-dab in the middle of everything.

During course June and July, the day described above is actually a slow day. Throw in basketball for both kids and football for my son, and the trips to town multiply by several. On the flip side, because I work from home, these activities help keep the kids busy, and, quite frankly, “out of my hair.”

In addition, I do not have to hear “I am sooooooo bored,” too often. When I hear that phrase, all I can do is respond with a blank stare, baffled by their “boredom.”

Not all working mothers have the flexibility and ability to control their day, and I consider myself very fortunate. Too bad parents’ work schedules can’t match kids’ school schedules, right? Although having two to three months off is next to impossible, now would be the time to look at adjusting your workweek or hours, if you are able.

Because I have several children, the oldest being 32, I have experienced many summers and have found ways to keep everyone busy and happy, including employers.

Three of my older children attended Civic League Day Nursery over the summer months. There are many centers locally that offer varied summer hours and rates. Civic League is one of many, and my experience with them showed me that my kids were well taken care of, had many structured activities, were fed and given naps if needed based on their age.

I also discovered overnight camps. I felt guilty the first couple of summers that I sent my children off for a week or sometimes even two, but I soon realized the benefit to them was great. Two of my kids will be attending camps at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center for the second year in a row.

Those overnight camps are an opportunity for children to meet new friends, face new challenges and learn new things. It also allows working parents a few days of stress-free productivity.

With children involved in athletics, there is an abundance of sports camps to attend. Those camps, usually half-days in length, also provide a chunk of time in which work can get done with continuity. There may be quite a bit of driving back and forth, but well worth it.

If you wonder what is available locally in regard to camps and activities for your children, Google “summer camps and activities for children in (insert your town or county)." Check in to local museums, libraries, churches, schools, clubs, fitness centers, the YMCA, nature centers and theaters.

I generally start planning our summer in late February, and to some, that is a bit too early. With more and more people working from home, camps are filling up more rapidly than before.

Taking a proactive and strategic approach to this will help avoid stress at work and will allow you to continue to be an active, productive, and reliable employee (with happy, not-bored kids).

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