Summer can be kind of a bummer for us working moms. Our kids are out of school, the weather outside is gorgeous, and yet we’re stuck at work.
As a member of the JOHNSON’S® Council, and this being my ninth(!) summer as a working mom, I have the opportunity to share a little secret with you: with a little creativity and planning, you, too, can enjoy this season of sprinklers and sidewalk chalk with your favorite lil’ people. It’s true!
Here are my top five ideas for working moms to have fun this summer with your children:
Idea #1: Adjust your work schedule.
Because the days are longer, your window of “outside” playtime is extended. If you can get to work a little bit earlier (while your kids sleep in, or your spouse takes them to daycare), you can leave a little the office earlier and have a nice, long afternoon or evening with your kids. Take them to the pool, have a picnic dinner at the park, or just blow bubbles in the yard. Discover infinite fun summer activities on Pinterest.
Idea #2: Play hooky once or twice.
Plan on using a day or two of paid time off “just because.” (I’m not advocating lying to your employer about being sick to get a paid sick day. Because that would be wrong. Also, you don’t want to worry about getting caught if you’re out and about with the kids.) Do something you wouldn’t ordinarily get to do on a weekday, like hit the local amusement park or take a day trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to explore.
Idea #3: Do a lunchtime picnic or afternoon ice-cream break.
If you work close enough to where your kids spend their days, you might be able to swing a lunch hour or coffee break to hang with them. I might ask our nanny to bring them to a park that’s close to my office, and we’ll meet up for a quick picnic and playground time. They’ll think it’s neat to see Mom in the middle of a work day, and you’ll appreciate the kid time, too. Make sure to bring my outside essential – JOHNSON’S® hand & face wipes.
Idea #4: Plan your weekends like a boss.
Working moms usually think of weekends as time to get caught up on household chores, as well as to spend quality time with our kids. During summer, give yourself permission to do more of the latter at the expense of the former. Maybe you can bust out the laundry and grocery shopping on Friday night or Saturday morning, leaving the remainder of the weekend open for leisure. Or take one whole weekend for to-do list stuff, and make the following one all about family fun.
Idea #5: Take a real family vacation.
Whether you have the budget for a beach-bound getaway or a low-cost staycation, I highly recommend setting aside at least a few days of time off for some kind of family vacation. It can be so relaxing and energizing to be together, exploring new places and just enjoying each other’s company—without the hectic chaos of daily home life.
Susan is a contributor for JOHNSON’S®, the sponsor of this community, and compensated for travel and attendance at events. Every idea and word written is her own.