The work-at-home summer

School is officially out for our eldest and our youngest has been home from preschool for more than a month now. A surprising chunk of my friends are teachers, so they’re reveling in two-month vacation glory. Others are on maternity leave or are stay-at-home moms.

Being self-employed on a freelance/contract basis without actual childcare, school and preschool are my lifelines. During the summer months, I wake up and stifle the frustration that not only do I have to work while everyone else hits up the pool, I have to work while also giving my kids a fun summer. This means summer, for me, always kind of sucks. I either feel like a slack, meanie mom or a frantic, rushing professional.

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I really want this summer to be different. I love a good podcast and my favourite is Happier with Gretchen Rubin — the author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before. In a recent episode, she talked about the benefits of designing a summer that felt different than the rest of the year. Some people, for example, vow to meet up with a different friend for lunch every Friday in July and August.

Lunch dates are out of the question, but I thought maybe there was something I could do to make the summer feel special — and to make me less cranky about the fact that I had to juggle my workload while making dozens of snacks, breaking up squabbles over Mash’Ems and wrestling off wet bathing suits.

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column …

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