2021 Summer Break - Freelancing With Kids At HomeJun 03, 2021
Hey, freelancing parents! Whatever this past school year has looked like for you and your kids, they’re no on their way to transitioning to being home during summer break. Even though my kids are 15 and 13 years old, it still requires a transition. I don’t know about you but there has been a lot of “Mom, can I go here” “Mom, can I go there” and “Mom, I want to do this”.
So how do I and my family navigate this transition?
- Establish weekly check-ins. We sit down every Sunday as a family for a scheduling meeting. We all go over their commitments to any activities they’re signed up for and any meetings I have planned for work. I try to keep all of my meetings to only two days a week so it allows for more flexibility if I need to pause a project to run the kids somewhere. This also ensures that everyone is on the same page, knows what the expectations are, and what the boundaries are for that week.
- Get your kids on board with your why. Every summer I allow my kids to pick a vacation for a long weekend in August. They get to plan it out by deciding where we’re going and what they want to do. They get to do some research on that city and it builds the hype around going.
- Know what your kids are motivated by. At 15 and 13 years old, my kids are still motivated by rewards. I found that if I simply reward them with money though, it’s not as motivating. But, if I reward them with the idea that we get to go to the store to pick up that item that they’ve been eyeing up, they're way more likely to do that task that I’ve asked them to do.
- Having conversations with my kids about work boundaries has been so important. If they see me in my office but don’t hear me on a call, they view it as permission to come in and have a conversation. I could be nose deep in a project for a client and can’t be bothered. It’s not fair to my kids because I’m only giving them half my attention, I get frustrated because I’m trying to work, and it’s not fair to my clients who are paying you to get the project done in a timely manner.
There are so many things to consider when you're transitioning from school to home for the summer. I promise you one thing, if you are on top of it, on top of those conversations of setting your schedule, setting some kind of reward system, setting the expectations of what you need from them, and allowing them into the conversation to know what they expect from you as well, your transition will go a lot smoother. The weeks that get crazy and we don’t do our check-ins are the same weeks where I find myself thinking “ughhh they’re driving me crazy”. Let’s be honest our kids can drive us crazy and I’m sure as parents we can drive them crazy too. Those are the weeks it’s really important to have those family meetings. It doesn’t have to be on that Sunday or if you forget you can always go back. This has been an invaluable thing that my family established a few years ago. My kids actually look forward to those conversations.
The main goal is to know why you freelance. For me it’s being able to work when I want to work, where I want to work, and how much I want to work. This all leads to my ultimate why and that is to be there for my kids when they need me. I use my freelancing business as a vehicle to get me to those desires and my why.
Let me know if you need any more tips on how my family makes this transition! Have a great summer!