Summer: How do you balance work and home life?

When I think of summer and even long for it during those dark winter days I picture this…


An idyllic beach day with endless possibilities. The reality for me as a working mom who is always trying to keep one (or three? Seven?) too many balls in the air is more like this…


My five children come rushing home and take over every part of the house and demand every bit of my attention. Even if I think I have prepared my schedule and my life I really haven’t and it is sometimes overwhelming.

This first month of summer has left me feeling like this…


So my July mission is to try to find some YES for mom. I’m not exactly sure how I am going to achieve this – here are just some of the highlights of my July to-do list:

  1. Install two teen bedrooms, the teen’s bath and contribute to the other spaces in the Oregon Street of Dreams DaVinci House
  2. Create blogs and videos of some of the many DIY and custom projects I am creating for the Street of Dreams
  3. Provide custom care and attention to my current interior design clients (I am not going to bother to list the hundreds of things this one line really means – but I love you and you know it!)
  4. Create the content and handouts for my speaking session at the WithIT Educational Conference – about (get this) how to balance work and life – they say you teach what you need to learn! I will be presenting this in August maybe I will learn a few things by then.
  5. Steel myself for the publishing world as my first book YES Spaces: Designs that Nurture their Nature is finally going to be released from Federal Bankruptcy Court soon (the first publisher went bankrupt – did I mention that?) A New York PR person I trust read the book and believes it belongs with a major publisher not as a self-published book so I am ramping up for endless query letters. (More about this later!)
  6. Provide photos and design illustrations for the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) book I have co-authored with Sally Augustin Ph.D. about how to create a psychologically comfortable home. ASID just accepted our final draft and are ready to move on to layout.
  7. Prepare my own home for sale. It’s too big with kids moving out and I am ready for a fresh start. I’ll be sharing blogs of before and after photos as I move through the house. My goal is to make it look as new and remodeled as possible on a shoe string budget – hopefully there will be some good tips there for your family home!

Now balance that against my desire (and NEED) to be with my children – they are gone before you know it. So I am parceling everything into bite size chunks. Today’s chunk is to prepare the speech for the educational conference, they need the handouts by Monday. Then taking my daughter to a birthday party.

This week I am taking some days over Fourth of July to walk with my kids… and by myself. Walking clears out the cobwebs and brings me clarity of mind.


I will sit on the beach and read – or organize my to do list. I know there is debate about mixing work and vacation but I’m OK with it – having work at hand on vacation doesn’t ruin the family time for me. I can easily put it down to build a sand castle.


Then there is always our annual Fourth of July beach BBQ and bonfire. I could say I would blog about it but then I would feel pressure to create a Martha Stewart experience and frankly I would rather roast marshmallows with my kids while the wind whips my hair.


How are you enjoying or surviving summer with your family? Any tips for a mom who is searching for YES?

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  1. The images of the waves totally embodies how I feel about summer too! I wish the tranquil version was how I felt, but I CHOOSE to work. I can’t wait to see you at the WithIt conference! I always feel inspired.