Tips For Keeping Up, When The Kids Are Out of School
Am I the only one who feels like kids sure have a lot of days “off” school? It felt like we never got breaks when I was young (aside from the two obvious – summer and winter.) Clearly perception changes depending on who you talk to. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when my kids are home but with two self employed parents who don’t have conventional 9-5 careers – things can be a juggling act. Here are things we’ve found help along the way (believe me, we’re still working on it so feel free to leave your own in comments.)
For the Kids:
1. KEEPING ROUTINE FOR BEDTIME – Well, isn’t that boring? I’m serious, consistent bedtimes are a huge help! Knowing the kids have a good nights sleep gives us all the energy to cruise around and keep up with the hectic and fun adventures they are brought along on during their days off. Other than bedtimes staying consistent, we believe in raising our kids with a variety of everything else.
2. RAISING THEM WITH VARIETY – I remember reading books that would suggest you needed to eat breakfast, lunch and supper at the same space at the same time, that you had to have black out blinds in bedrooms with the same music playing at exactly the same time to accomplish a successful nap… they literally ran a boot camp on how to raise your child and if you swayed, then “good luck to you.” Now, if that worked for you -awesome! It wasn’t going to work for us. From day one we went forward with the thinking our kids would adapt to our lives. If they slept in my arms, I loved it. If they ate in their car seats because we were on the run, so be it… believe it or not, our youngest has slept 12 hours a night since he was less than a month. Now, with the kids much older and what we call “cruise control” they are the funnest to join us on our days and they actually enjoy it. They may come with us to the office, jump into a store to do some shopping or grab lunch on the go but guess what? They’re just fine! I would like to credit this all back to the fact that we’ve always raised them this way, life is flexible, go with the flow… your kids will thank you when they’re older and can easily adapt to situations.
3. KEEP THEM BUSY – Easier said then done. Because sports also take the week off, we’re left with a ton of extra time we’re not used to. Things that we enjoy are family game nights (we own a ton of board games) or movie nights, catching up with other friends and their kids that life always seems to busy to see and doing fun things around the city!
For the Parents:
1. COMMUNICATION – My husband and I are both self employed so to say we’re working an evening or weekend would not be unheard of, actually might even be “normal.” Communication is one we have had to work on because life only get busier as it goes on but it is the key to everything. We juggle our days so (first choice is) that one of us has the kids while the other works. We also try to book our clients around each other, if he’s working till 2PM I’ll start at 3PM – this has become much easier with things like GoogleCalendar where you can sink both phones together. (Note, sometimes we also book time that we both have off so we know we get to hang as a family of 5.)
2. PLANNING – This falls into communication but each night we talk about the next day and then a couple after that to make sure we’re on the same page… sometimes GoogleCalendar “forgets?”
3. SUPPORT SYSTEMS – If all of the above fails, it’s not the end of the world to ask a parent or aunt/uncle to step in. My hope is that you have this option, if you want it. We are blessed to have the best parents and siblings who love our kids with all their hearts. In the end, not every day of every hour will work if you both have demanding full time careers but at the end of the day, I bet my kids don’t complain when they tell you they hung with Grandma!