Working mums everywhere ‘complain’ about summer for the simple reason that while school is out, work is not. Summer represents the ultimate juggling act as we try to manage spending time with our children while fulfilling our professional responsibilities. On top of the inconvenience, summers can be expensive when you take into account camp and child care costs. It’s no easy task, but some creative parents find ways to survive summer as working parents. Here’s how:
One option is for both parents to take separate holidays so each can cover childcare while off work. Trading off can be a smart financial move, but it does sometimes mean the family has to forgo a family holiday together. An easy solution can be to keep things simple. If a working parent can take a long weekend occasionally, it allows a family to do a local activity or even have a fun and cheap stay-cation. There’s nothing wrong with staying home as a family, turning the sprinkler on and having a bbq!
Do you have a retired working family member who might like a visit from your little darling(s)? Inter generational fun is valuable for all sides: Spending time with an older relative is great for children, grandparents often relish it, and it provides parents with an affordable solution for part of the summer. Not everyone has this option, so if you do, take advantage of it.
If you have school-age children, you don’t necessarily need a child care professional to watch them. Hiring a competent and fun high school or college student will provide your children with endless fun at a reasonable price. You may not come home to a tidy house or dinner in the oven, but many parents are just happy to see their children having a great summer, which can mean crafts everywhere and children covered in dirt!
Working parents have to get creative in summer. What solutions have you found that work for your family?