Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Work-life balance on summer holidays

When I had babies, everyone talked about child care, daycare, babysitters, etc. But no one ever warned me about summer vacation. I always thought that once my kid started school, my child care woes would ease. Ha! Summers are the hardest time to work around, because there is no continuity.

OK, I could stick my kid in a daycare/regular daycamp situation where he goes to the same place every day, but what fun is that for a child who is supposed to be enjoying time off from a regular schedule? No, like most moms in my hoity-toity neighborhood (where being a working mom is very far from the norm!), my kid gets to go to camps. Day camps. So each week is a new adventure. This week is baseball camp, then soccer camp, then engineering camp (I know it's geeky but he likes science and building stuff!), then two weeks of outdoors camp. Each camp starts and ends at a different time, and in a different location. It's quite the juggling act to get him to the right places. And some camps are only half days, so then I have to deal with playdates, or having him in the house while I try to work. It's a hassle.

That all said, his summer holidays usually work out to a of slower work for me, so I can usually manage the juggle. Because I'm a freelancer and make my own schedule. If ever I did take a full time job, this could never happen. But for now, it's actually kind of nice. I start working a bit later and finish a bit earlier to accommodate camp times. I use my cell phone more in the summers since I spend more time away from my desk. But I still haven't broken down and gotten a blackberry.

Penelope Trunk has written today about how having a blackberry gives her more work-life balance, since she can multi-task, even at her son's soccer games.

Without a Blackberry, you always had to choose one or the other. Work and life were always competing for large chunks of time in the day. But with the Blackberry, you can have a blended life where work life and personal life complement each other. What I mean is that the Blackberry makes it so you can always do work but also always do your personal life, so you choose which one has priority, minute to minute.

Yeah, right. To hear her tell it, by constantly checking her email she has more time with her personal life. I don't think so, at least not for me. When I tune out work, I am focused on my family and much more relaxed. I did nary a stitch of work while on my five-day break last week, and I felt much more relaxed than usual when I would have taken work with me.

Summer should be easier, even for a freelancer. Viva la day camp, viva la summer!

1 comment:

Nat said...

I couldn't agree more with the need to break away from your work life. I know that I enjoy my weekends with the family more when I leave work on a Friday and don't think about work until Monday morning.