It’s that time of year. The school year is coming to a close or already has, and you may be wondering how you will survive the summer. As a mompreneur, there are mixed feelings when it comes to summer. A part of you is looking forward to spending time with your kids and going on family vacations, but you also must maintain a business. It’s normal to want to power down and go into maintenance mode with your business and enjoy family time, and with a strategic approach, it can be done.
Why is summer so wild?
Getting through the summer without going crazy is the number one topic with my coaching clients around this time of year. There are many reasons why summer tends to be a little stressful. For one, we often tend to give up our routine during the summer. Lack of routine is a contributing factor to some of the stress and chaos in our lives.
Also, kids get bored, and what happens when kids get bored? They sometimes misbehave. Or, they may look to you for stimulation. When we don’t have a routine, everyone gets on a different clock. Your children may stay up later; you may stay up later. This is especially an issue during the summer.
Another reason why summer can be such a challenge is that there is a lack of clear expectations. This is a really critical element to address during the summer. Kids are used to a routine during the school year. Their days are structured and they are constantly being told what to do, where to go, and when. During the school year, they have a consistent schedule. When kids no longer have this routine and structure during the summer, we expect them to figure it out on their own. If there is no routine, your summer will be more stressful.
Three summer success tips
If you want to have a successful and happy summer you must get everyone on board by taking a strategic approach to scheduling, communicating, and setting clear expectations. These three tips will help you have a successful summer for your family and business.
1. Create a Summer Calendar
It’s important to have a visual. Get a poster board for each summer month. Create calendars, and fill them in with events that you know are going to take place. Be sure to have your kids participate. Little kids that cannot read or write yet can draw pictures or use stickers. Note craft projects, and your family summer bucket list. Place the calendars in a prominent place; they must be very visible to the entire family.
2. Have Family Meetings
Family meetings provide much-needed routine and help communicate clear expectations. These meetings do not need to be formal but should take place near the calendar. Meetings can take place at breakfast time while everyone is gathered. These meetings should be weekly, and daily. At the start of the week, go over what is planned for the week, and fill in anything that is missing. Everyone should be clear on the overall plan for the week. Start each day with a meeting. Talk about what is going to happen for the day. For example, discuss who needs to be picked up from where and when. Communicate upfront before the day or week begins.
3. Get Input and Collaboration
As noted when creating your summer calendar, always get input from the entire family when making summer plans. Don’t create a calendar alone and expect everyone to be happy about it. If you engage everyone then they become collaborators who share your expectations. Shared expectations help reduce stress and chaos.
You can have a successful summer from a family and business perspective with careful planning, communicating, and setting clear expectations. Enjoy your summer!