This summer I’m obsessing about efficiency.
This probably has to do with the fact that, indeed, it’s summer and, as any working parent knows, summer can do a number on your work schedule – unless you’re very, very efficient.
Here’s my dilemma: I want my kids to have a real summer. I want to take them to the beach, wander with them on long hikes, spend hours in the hammock reading Harry Potter or Captain Underpants or just musing about the nature of life. I want them to be able to spend two hours perfecting their skateboard tricks, or building forts with their friends, giggling madly all the while. I want them to relax. I want them to enjoy their young lives.
But I work. And I work full time. And that means I need some child care.
Now we’re lucky where I live: There are lots of amazing camps for kids in our area. There are drama camps and soccer camps, ceramic camps and traditional day camps, scout camps and watercolor camps and lacrosse camps and horse camps and Lego camps and…well, you name it and we’ve pretty much got it.
But I don’t feel right having them in day care (even if I call it “camp”) for all ten weeks of summer, because I really do want them to experience the do-nothing-but-daydream wonder of having nothing scheduled.
So I’m improving my efficiency. Granted, I’m using my In-A-Pinch work schedule — where I get up early and put in 3 or 4 hours because my husband heads off to the office; then play with the kids until they can watch an afternoon video and I can put in another hour or two; then let them play some more until dinner; then work for another hour or two before stumbling off to bed.
It’s not ideal, but it works, especially since I work at home and can manage my hours this way.
But this year I’m going further. I’m streamlining all My Operations. And I want to hear how other parents are juggling the work/summer schedule, too. So send me a comment. And Next Up: I’ll talk about specifics in my quest for better time management.