ForeverJoy Designs

Working from Home : Summer Time Remix

Working from home has it’s challenges- but working from home during the Summer when you have kids?  It’s like being a ringmaster.  Instead of having a good 6 hour block of time that I can just work straight thru- well, I have some childhood memories to curate.  And really, to me, that’s why I’m working from home in the first place.  To be here for these dudes. But ignoring my work and deadlines really isn’t an option.  It wouldn’t make sense financially and if I take too long of a break, its super hard to get back into the creative flow of things.
So what’s a girl to do?
Well, it all really starts from the night before.  That’s the secret.
Clothes out, calendar reviewed, goal of the next  day set.  All done at night while they are killing zombies on Xbox or watching a little TV.  I steal into my office and do a little course charting for the next day.  And when I say “goal of the next day”- during the summer- this has to be pared back a bit.  During school, it may take me 3 days to do a kit- but summer time- it will take 6.  That’s just how it is.  Doing it any faster would cheat my guys and my customers as well.
I have found that starting my day a bit earlier is just essential.  I wake up a bit before 5am (typing 4:45am is just so much of a bummer- so lest’s just call it “a bit before 5”).  Coffee has been set and ready to go from the night before.  I’d like to say I work out a bit- but I don’t.  Remember how I say I can get about 70% of my day done each day.. well, that always falls to the neglected 30%.  I try and sneak activity in though… after dinner walks, hikes, bike rides with the boys.  But crunches and squats? mama’s got some designing to do- so those gotta wait 😉 !
I am not a fan of multi tasking just because it really doesn’t work for me.  I’m not wired that way.  I can’t drive clutch.  I cant rub my tummy and pat my head at the same time…  but- the one thing I can do thought the day is jot down my little “brains storms”.  ideas for designs that hit me at the most unexpected times.  I have a pack of index cards I keep with me at all times.  And I always try and take the time to catch an idea on paper before it escapes me (these days, I have been suffering from momnesia more often than I care to admit!)
I have a secret stash of arts and crafts stuff for the boys – just in case I need to steal away during the day. Now, being that I have boys, age 14 and 6- this is a bit of a challenge.   But- sidewalk chalk,  red paint and caution tape, paired with a video camera has proved a big hit. (Go play murder scene boys, mam needs to work for an hour!).. Lego Architectural Sets for the big guy and Bionicals for the little guy are always a hit… Silly String is always a hit.,  a few wood model sets are always a hit and when in doubt, send the buggers outside with a HUGE tun of water balloons I prepared for 30 minutes. Bottom line- prepare for the times that a deadline will sneak up on you!
I also like to make with the boys a plan of 3 fun things to do that week.  If they know we are hiking, geocaching and playing mini-golf this week, then they seem to “get it” when I need to take a little work time during the day.
That brings me to working during the day. I work from 5am until 9am. That’s 4 hours.  Then I’m off.  I’ll check in on emails and social media at noon-ish.  Then I’m off.  Then, after we do the 4pm hot spot dash, I’ll take some time to do a little more work.  This is when thy melt their minds playing video games or watching TV or clicking around on line. And I say “a little work” because I must keep in mind that this will only be an hour or so.  No grand plans… just a little work.  If I’m really keen on a project, I will do a little more work once they are asleep.  I’m a night owl.  But a 5 hour work day is pretty much what I expect during the summer.  And any time I think it’s too short of a work day, I remind myself that these guys only have a few summers that they will remember of their childhood.  It’s my job to make them.  make them special- not by going to Disney or on a cruise or anywhere further than our own back yards.  I need to be there for them.  Be there for the big guy to have his friends over and for the little guy to show me how he can do a handstand in the pool.  Be there for firefly walks and ice cream talks.  There will always be work to do.  But being the mom of two boys- that flies by way too fast. As long as I keep that in mind, it makes the rest a bit easier.
We welcome summer vacation with a few bucket of goodies on the front stairs when they get home from the last day of school.  Little do they know- they are for Mom too!
Silly String.  Never fails.

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