Home & FamilyParentingBalancing Summer Break and Work

Balancing Summer Break and Work

Your kids most likely look forward to summer break throughout the entire school year. As an entrepreneurial Mom, however, you may find that the arrival of summer brings with it additional challenges to your productivity. Your specific strategies for dealing with this time of year will likely vary significantly depending on exactly what type of business you run, but some general principles will apply to nearly anyone in this situation.

Of course, being self-employed does give you certain advantages when it comes to summer break. Perhaps the most significant of these is simply the flexibility of your schedule. If you want to set aside time for family outings or trips, you have the freedom to do so — no need to ask anyone for time off! However, the downside here is that you most likely are not earning an income when you take this time off. For that reason, it can be difficult to decide how to fulfill your responsibilities as a good parent during the summer while still continuing to successfully run your business.

One very straightforward solution is simply to make adjustments to your schedule during the summer. This takes advantage of your flexibility as an entrepreneur while still allowing you to enjoy some free time with your family. Exactly how you do this is up to you; for example, you could set aside Monday and Thursday as your days for meeting with clients and Tuesday and Friday as your days for completing their projects. During these days, your family should know that you need to be left alone and allowed to finish your work. Alternately, you could set aside a certain number of hours each day for just family time, and a certain number for just doing work. If you explain that this allows you the time to do something fun with them during the other times or days, even small children will understand the connection.

You also need to remember that everyone needs an occasional break — even the self-employed. This can be difficult to swallow since, as a successful entrepreneur, you likely are accustomed to pushing yourself constantly to work harder and to accomplish more. That is a great character quality for a business owner most of the time. However, it is also largely responsible for the burnout and overstress that are commonplace for the self-employed. Allowing yourself time to relax and take your mind off work once in a while can actually help you be much more productive overall. If you plan ahead, the summer can be the perfect season to set aside a little time away from work, since your family is generally freer during that time anyway.

Keep in mind, of course, that summertime is not solely a hassle for you to overcome in terms of being able to get your work done. Since the arrival of summer means you will no longer have to deal with such distractions as helping with homework and making sure your kids get up, dressed and out the door in time for school every morning, you might be surprised by how much extra time you have. Even though the demands on your time from your family will certainly be different during the summer, you can continue to run a successful business — while still enjoying the beautiful weather and the break from school — if you are willing to be flexible.

Guest post contributed by Seth Parker, on behalf of FreeStuffAndSamples.com.

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