Here’s a template to help you maintain your sanity, and productivity, with school out of session.
- Exercise before facing the kids
- Personal time for mom & dad
- Tire the kids early
- Nap through the hottest part of the day
Here’s how we roll:
- I’m up by 5:30a and back from exercising by 7:30a
- My wife does her exercise 7:30a to 9:30a and I get the kids sorted
- Kids out the door by 10am and I now have a 3.5 hour slot of total quiet at my house. As, I work at home, this is valuable
- Wife and kids head to the club with packed lunch – family swim until 11:30a
- Kids eat lunch in the childcare at the club – my wife is free for up to two hours for errands and personal time. Three days a week she coaches masters
- Kids arrive home, suitably whipped, 30-60 minutes of madness then everyone naps.
- I get another 90-120 minute slot of total quiet – my wife gets a personal slot
- Before the kids wake up, I exit for my second exercise session of the day
- Evening trip with the kids (swim, friends, park or errands) OR movie night
- Dinner (out or home) then bed
This gives me two training sessions, five hours of quality work time and interaction with each of my three kids.
Date night fits with a sitter coming in when the youngest kids are napping.
Alternatively, consider using “day rate” with sitters. We agree a fixed-price deal (8:30am to 8:30pm) and have the sitter take long breaks over lunch and nap. With my working at home this can be a win-win-win between husband-wife-sitter.
For this strategy to be effective, caregivers must resist the urge to interact with the kids on a day off, and during their daily breaks!
Repeat every day June to August.
For weekly productivity, I can get a lot done with 35 hours of totally quiet time split between 14 slots.
Because swimming is cost effective and accessible to club-provided childcare, we make getting our kids water-safe a high priority (links to my Endurance Corner article). So far, each of our kids has been water-safe by their third birthday.