Q: “Denise, with the kids getting out of school in a few weeks, I wonder if you have any advice for keeping them happy while allowing me to balance work and fun time with them?”
The key to a successful summer is specially-designated work and play times. I find that many people get harried when they try to do both at once. Here is an example of how you can set this up:
Mornings are work time. Get up a little early and have that be your designated work time, say from 7:00 am – 10:30 am. That isn’t a lot of time, but if you are focused you may be astounded at the amount you can get done in that amount of time.
Let your kids know that is your work time and give them something to do during that time depending on their ages. For example, if they are between 8-10, maybe they get their cereal, rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher, get dressed, tidy up their room, and read/play/watch a show, etc. The key is to give them a list or an expectation. You will be amazed at how kids will rise to the challenge when you give them some things to be responsible for.
Then at 10:30, shut down your computer and put a voicemail on your phone indicating you will be returning calls at 4:00 that afternoon. The time between is designated play time with your kiddos.
At 4:00, you can work again until 5:30, returning those urgent calls and emails.
Then you might spend two nights or so a week working as needed. When you need to do this work, make sure you are up front about it with your family. You might let them know that you are reserving Tuesday and Thursday evenings for work and let them know what that looks like.
As far as showings, put your buyers and appointments in at times that work for you whether those be on the evenings you have designated as work time or on the weekends. Avoid scheduling during kid time.
Separating kid time and work time as much as possible is the key to happy kids and happy you!