I’ve always been a working mom, and up until six years ago, I worked in an office setting.
I had finally accepted life as a working mom when one of our twin sons was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Many changes needed to take place, including a more present parent to help manage his condition.
After a few months of prayer and searching, I was able to find a remote position that landed me at command central: our home.
The Work-At-Home Mom Life
According to McKinsey.com, working mothers comprised nearly a third of the female workforce in the United States in 2020.
The pandemic created a new set of obstacles, and as a result, nearly 33 percent of working moms made the decision to either scale back or leave the workforce entirely.
For some, the change meant a shift to performing their job duties from the comfort of their own homes.
My work-at-home life began long before the pandemic and continued on its steady course through the shut-down while our boys spent their school day at the kitchen table.
Work-life balance is hard, but when you are managing it all from home it poses a different set of challenges, especially in summer.Work-life balance is hard, but when you are managing it all from home it poses a different set of challenges, especially in summer.
How to Keep Your Summer Sanity As a Work-At-Home Mom
I hope these five tips will help you keep your sanity when the kids are home over the summer.
1 – Invite God Into Your Summer
“Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” – John 14:13 HCSB
I must confess, I did not pray for our summer before it arrived when I first became a work-at-home mom.
I thought once God provided the position, it was up to me to make it work.
But it wasn’t long before I was praying… for help!
Before I knew it, I was drowning in arguments while I was on a conference call.
The household chores were not getting completed, and hearing the garden hose come on caused me to go running outside to find three soaking wet boys!
We know from God’s Word that our Savior wants us to call on Him all the time, not just when we need help. First Chronicles 16:11 HCSB says, “Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always.”
He wants to help you through any new challenge or change you are facing.
Don’t be afraid to tell Him your concerns, fears, and requests.
The Lord hears your prayers, and He will give you ideas you wouldn’t have come up with on your own.We know from God’s Word that our Savior wants us to call on Him all the time, not just when we need help.
2 – Allow Time to Adjust
There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 HCSB
I began working from home in the middle of summer. Our three boys (ages 10 and 6 at the time) went from going to a babysitter to spending all day at home, and it was an abrupt change for all of us.
I hadn’t considered how the change might impact them, and allow them the time they needed to settle in.
Looking back, I would have been less anxious if I would have given them that opportunity.
If your kids go to school (as mine do), they’ve probably been looking forward to summer break all year.
Although your work life may not have changed in the summer, your kids’ schedules have relaxed completely.
Allow time for them to simply enjoy the change.
Give it a few days, or maybe even a week before coaxing them out of bed at a normal hour.
They’ll thank you for it and you won’t feel as overwhelmed about the change.
Ease into the summer!Although your work life may not have changed in the summer, your kids' schedules have relaxed completely. Allow time for them to simply enjoy the change.
3 – Create A Routine…Together!
“Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be achieved.” – Proverbs 16:3 HCSB
Consider sitting down with your kids and coming up with a daily schedule that works for all of you.
Commit your routine to the Lord each day.
Not only should we invite the Lord into our summer, but we can also commit our days to Him.
Pray over the day before you begin work.
You can also incorporate family time into your breaks from work.
An important part of our day was spending my lunch hour together, which helped our boys to see that I was working from home because I really did want to be with them.
Give yourself and your kids grace when your schedule goes haywire.
Keep in mind that not every day will run smoothly in the summer, but remember God is in it with you.Keep in mind that not every day will run smoothly in the summer, but remember God is in it with you.
4 – Ask for Help
Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2 HCSB
Don’t be afraid to ask for help in caring for your kids while you are working at home.
Look into day camps, get a pool pass, or employ the help of family, neighbors, or a childcare provider a couple of days a week.
There are so many options, and chances are your kids will enjoy getting to do something different.
The first few summers I worked from home my parents kept our boys a couple of days a week.
To minimize time away from my job, we arranged for my dad to pick them up in the mornings, and I would go get them after work.
The boys enjoyed their time playing outside, swimming in their grandparent’s pond, and going to the movies.
They still talk about those fun summer days, and I’m grateful they had them.
Now that they are all teenagers, their summers look a little different.
I’ve learned that it’s still okay to ask for help, and oftentimes it works out well for all involved.Don’t be afraid to ask for help in caring for your kids while you are working at home.
5 – Establish Boundaries
“You will surely eat what your hands have worked for. You will be happy, and it will go well for you.” – Psalm 128:2 HCSB
One thing I didn’t express to my boys, in the beginning, was that when I was at work I needed to be working.
Thinking I could handle both worlds at the same time, I often put my job in jeopardy by stopping work for 20 minutes to settle a television channel dispute.
It is tempting to think that since you are at home, all of the housework should be done.
I received some really good advice and I’ll share it with you: stay in your lane.
You are at work, and you have kids at home. Stay at work.
Don’t try to be a homemaker during your work hours.
Just because you can see the laundry doesn’t mean it has to be done right away!
If you go into your summer with no real boundaries for yourself and your kids, you will burn out.
Remember your purpose for being there, and try not to become overwhelmed with all that is around you.Don’t try to be a homemaker during your work-at-home hours. Stay in your lane.
Enjoy Your Summer as a Work-At-Home Mom!
I hope these five tips have helped you enter your summer feeling confident you and your kids will have a great experience.
God has given you everything you need to be a work-at-home mom, and He will see you through what He has called you to do.
I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life. – Ecclesiastes 3:12 HCSB
– Michelle Flaningan
Michelle Flaningan has experienced the transforming power of Jesus in her own life and wants to help other women encounter Him. She writes about finding hope in Jesus through all circumstances. Michelle and her husband Dave have been married for 26 years, and have three teenage sons. They reside in central Ohio where all of the seasons exist, sometimes all on the same day! She loves to bake, drink coffee, take walks, and enjoys all things spring. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.