How to Work from Home During Summer Break

How to work from home in the summer by setting ground rules and helping kids get creative.

How to work from home during summer break

It’s summer break! Great news right? Or are you a work-from-home parent like me who is feeling a bit of trepidation about the transition to summer schedules? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE summer and all the play, beach, sports, vacation and otherwise fun time that goes with it but when you work from home it can be a bit of a struggle to actually get anything done when the kids are around. We have summer camps and sporadic childcare but my boys are not programmed every day during the summer. Nor do I want them to be. I have such fond memories of those lazy days of summer without much planned at all. That said, I just about hit the roof last year when I heard “I’m bored” on the first day of summer break. This year I’m going to try to do things differently. I’m laying down some rules of engagement for my kiddos. From the beginning. So they know what to expect (and what not to expect).

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Rule #1: Mom is not a cruise ship director

I’ll happily make plans for us to go to the pool or on a bike ride but I am not available all hours of the day to find stuff for you to do. You are perfectly capable of entertaining yourself! Check your list of “Things to do when I’m bored” and pick one or make up something new. things to do when i'm bored

Rule #2: Office hours are off limits

On days when you have no camps or sports, I plan to work in my office in the morning. That means I will close my office door and expect not to be interrupted unless the house is on fire. After office hours, I’m all yours!

Rule #3: A little boredom is good for you

Being bored sparks creativity. If you get really, really bored, you may even create your own opera, like I did when I was a kid. Just don’t set the house on fire. Obviously, I have to be flexible too. There will be many days when I don’t get as much work done as I would like…but I’m hoping with some ground rules in place, I can make the most of the time that I have. Then, it’s off to the pool!

Do you have any ground rules for working from home? Any tips for helping kids battle boredom?

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  1. We still have 2 more weeks of school left. I am dreading it and cant’ wait at the same time! I will be so glad to be done with dance lessons, soccer, baseball, girl scout meetings, homework, etc all happening at the same time of course! But the “I’m bored” and “What are we doing today?” questions, not so looking forward to.

    Until I read your post I really hadn’t thought about how to deal with it. Love the list! This will be our first activity when school is out. And I am going to create some office hours for myself too.

    1. Glad you liked the list Kristina. I’m sure you can come up with some creative ways to get work done and have fun at the same time!

  2. The “collect sticks” suggestion made me laugh out loud, Micaela! I completely agree with you that it is a huge challenge to work from home. I find that a trip to the library with the kids before I have to get down to work on a big project is enormously helpful. They get loaded down with fun books for them to read and they are set for a couple of hours…usually!

    Good luck!

    1. Joy – my dad used to want us to have “picking up sticks parties” before he mowed the lawn! We did not love it. But my 8 year old loves to find sticks – which usually become toy weapons but what can you do?

      1. Too funny. Picking up sticks has been a long-standing joke in our family since the days when my dad made me do it as a kid. 🙂

        Tomorrow is my last day of work at my office job…and now I’ll be working from home. Thanks for these tips! Although, mine are 3 years and 3 months, so I’m not sure there’s any hope for me.

        1. LOL-sounds like your dad had the same idea as mine Wendy. Good luck getting work done with your little ones around. Mine are older (8 and 13) and are fairly independent.

  3. This is a challenge. We have a generously stocked craft center where my kids can be messy and make anything they want, in that area, not near the desk where I’m trying to write. It helps a little. Yet, despite that and all of their toys and places to play, they’re still intrigued with whatever I have stacked neatly in my office…

    1. The craft center sounds like a great idea Anne! Best of luck getting work done this summer!

    2. Chris Hart says:

      Anne – Make their own neatly stacked items in your office – they will then know that is theirs to go to…

  4. I’m struggling with this right now. It’s tough with a toddler but I agree that my older boys need to learn to do their own activities while I work. I love your boredom list.

    1. It is especially hard with a toddler! Can the older boys help watch the younger one?

  5. ” A little boredom is good for you.” This is my FAVE!!

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