More time with your family is one of the great things about working from home. But, it can be hard to keep meeting your deadlines and putting in your target number of billable hours when the rest of the family is on summer vacation.
Cue: Summer Break
Solution: Day camp. Full time.
There are as many solutions as there are families. And I expect my solution will change as my family changes (ages). Editor Mom (Katharine O’Moore-Klopf) does a great job of reminding us that balancing work and life is likely a big part of the reason that we started freelancing. So, allow yourself to have that balance. Enjoy your family while they’re around. Enjoy the good weather. Make time for life, not just for work.
Whether it’s too hot to work, or too snowy to miss the slopes, I often take the afternoon off to have fun with my family. Working more hours in the evening, or extra long hours in crummy weather, make up the billable hours. And, when there is a lull – delinquent author, break between projects – I try to take advantage of the natural break. (Unless bookkeeping or other business maintenance is simply screaming at me; as is usually the case.)
Summer is a busy time in educational publishing. Everyone is trying to get their resources into schools for September, teacher-authors are furiously writing, and in-house staff is thread bare: it’s boom time for freelancers. So, I won’t count on taking more than weekends off. But I’ll be ready to pounce should a few extra days present themselves.
Whether it’s his age or his temperament, my son seeks constant engagement. Having a door on my office makes a huge difference, and with both parents working at home, he certainly understand etiquette regarding phones, noise, etc. But knowing he has a fun program to attend for 7 hours each day, with kids his age, outdoors… it’s a relief for all of us. When we have an opportunity to do something together, he’ll just miss that bit of camp.
I’ll let you know if this solution morphs into leader training and summer jobs as he grows up. This solution is not expected to last forever, but I’m looking forward to it lasting one more summer.