School is out, and summer is here. If you are a parent, working or not, our lives change drastically when children are suddenly home all day. My children were dismissed from school Friday, and a weekend full of the usual activities ensued. Sunday evening, I took a look at the summer recreation schedule, set each child’s necessary items for Monday on the table and went to bed quite relaxed.

And then the alarm went off! Needless to say, my Monday was not nearly as amazing as I thought it would be due to my organizational “skills,” and I am going to replay it for all the other working women out there who may have had a less than humorous day.

At 7:15 a.m., I woke up our 15-year-old son so he could be at the school’s weight room by 7:30 a.m. and begin his summer regimen of strength and agility. With little sass, he was up and off.

A mere 15 minutes later, I was softly trying to wake up the 9-year-old for baseball. He does not wake up without a bit of morning whine. I also best mention our 20-year-old daughter had just returned home from working the night shift as a CNA and our 27-year-old daughter and her infant were still asleep. If those two were awakened in the process of getting the boys out of bed, the house can get really tense in minutes. That morning I got “lucky” and was up and ready to head out the door to baseball in a quiet, smiling fashion.


Half an hour later, I was on my laptop doing projects for my client in California, when I realized I had no clue why my 15-year-old wasn’t home yet. But, at 8:30 a.m., he and my 9-year-old strolled through the door. One hit the shower while the other asked if his friend could go to the softball game with us, which was not until 6 pm. I asked where this friend was, and he said, “Waiting at the baseball field for the answer.”

My eldest daughter was horrified that the friend was told to wait, so I had to ease her worries, telling her the diamond was kind of the hub for summer mornings.

Somewhere in the midst of the chaos, the 6-year-old came down the stairs wide-eyed and hungry. As I was feeding him, another 9-year-old came through the door, settled in and asked if I had any food. I quickly tossed him a turkey sandwich, ran my 5-year-old to daycare and came home to continue working on my client’s project.

As I was working, I received a text from an unknown number wondering if their son could catch a ride to golf that started in an hour. Of course I said yes, and then had to figure out who was texting me and where this person lives. After a quick Internet search, a couple questions to my children, and a phone call, I figured it out and to the course we went. I again ran home, did a little work and 45 minutes later ran back to the course to get kids home yet again.

With a sigh of relief, I was quite excited to have an hour and a half of work time! My excitement was short lived as I realized basketball practice started at 4:15, and I had no clue where his high tops were! I quickly relaced an old pair, sent him on his way and reminded him we had to leave in another hour and a half for the softball game.

As I collapsed into bed that night, I reflected on the chaos that was only day one of summer and was briefly discouraged. And then I remember, there really is no work life balance, there is just life. You have to roll with the punches, be flexible with your day, and get done what you can. It will be fine, it almost always is.

Kristen Asleson is owner of Midwest Virtual Assistants. Send comments and ideas to

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