Balancing Work & Family Over Summer
Making the Most of Summer
Here’s what we at ThirdPath have learned about balancing work and family over the summer
- In general summers can allow for an enjoyable “slower pace” at home.
- But summers also take A LOT of planning.
- The age of your children will also have a big impact on what happens during the summer.
- Finding the “right” camp can be a highlight, but finding it can be quite a journey.
- Another summer goal is finding the “right” mix of planned and unplanned activities – balancing boredom versus over scheduling.
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- Summers can also provide an opportunity for children to develop independent interests, such as reading and hobbies.
- Over time families often develop a rhythm to summers that can last year after year, some becoming deeply valued memories and “family traditions.”
Interesting Summer Solutions We’ve heard about …
- Grandparents and extended family can play a great role in summers. Children can spend one or two weeks with them (and sometimes with other cousins as well). This can provide a great opportunity for the two generations to get to know each other and connect.
- A partner in an accounting firm negotiated a “flex year” schedule – working a total of 20 hours during the summer months. This gave her maximum time with her school aged children. Then during her “busy season” – January through April – her husband became the primary parent in charge.
- ThirdPath has also met many families where one parent intentionally became a school teacher as a way to have more flexibility throughout the summers. In one of these families, the other parent negotiated an alternative summer schedule so she could work remotely one day a week.
- Telework can be a great summer solution when caring for teens. It’s also a great option for stretching out limited vacation time. One family planned a two week beach vacation but only used one week of vacation time. They did this by trading off who was working (in the mornings or in the afternoons) while the other parent played with the children at the beach.
Summertime tip: Write up notes at the end of the summer about what worked well or what could be improved on. Pull these out in February when you start planning for the next summer.