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Week One – Lessons Learned July 10, 2010

Filed under: Moms — iamcpmj @ 5:13 pm
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Week One of Mom’s Summer Camp has passed and I’m very happy with the results.  The first day was a bit rough with the boys saying they really didn’t want to participate.  I think they saw how important it was to me so they went with it and the first day, though a bit of a struggle, went well.  We made up our camp song.  Not so much “made up” as it was “borrowed” from Duck Tales.  The boys just added in the words “Mom’s Camp” and the song was born.

We also made tye-dye shirts for everyone.  That was a fun experience and the boys enjoyed the hands on.  We took it all outside to do so any mess was easy to clean up.  Although now that the boys are older the clean up that I remember from crafts from years gone by is so much easier.  I remember tackling crafts with them when they were young and the clean up process took much longer than the craft itself.  Both the boys enjoyed making the t-shirts and after putting them away to set overnight we went back in the house to read the book we had chosen – David Copperfield.

I know, right?  David Copperfield is not a light read but the story is beautiful.  I’m not sure how far we’ll get into it since I could see the boys starting to lose interest after about page 2.  Old english is a hard sell.  We persevered through Chapter One but honestly we may have to pick another book to keep their interest.  Personally, I love the book and I’d have read for hours that day.  The rest of the week has gone well.  We made chocolate chip cookies, played a 2 1/2 hour-long monopoly game and went to a movie matinée.

Here’s what I’ve noticed.  My boys and I are more connected – truly – and I feel like they actually want to be with me.  The first day as we sat around the table to get input from them for what they wanted to do I told them the truth about Mom’s Summer Camp.  I told them I doing it because they will not be around forever, they will leave home before I know it and I want to take the time now while I can to spend it with them.  I enjoy being with my kids and it’s too easy to let work and life get in the way.

Here’s the best tip I can give – it came from my husband.  Try not to focus on the amount of time you spend but on the quality of that time.  For example, the first day of Mom’s Summer Camp only lasted about 2 hours because I could tell they were getting bored (good old Charles Dickens), so I called it a day.  The next day, after we made the cookies, one of the boys suggested monopoly and the camp lasted five hours that day!  Both days were a success because I knew the boys wanted to be there.

We’ve got lots planned for the weeks ahead.  E-bay week, making Saskatoon berry jam, more movies and days at the beach.

 

Why Mom’s Summer Camp? June 25, 2010

Filed under: Moms — iamcpmj @ 5:18 pm
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First, let me introduce myself.  I am a mom of two boys – 13 and 15.  I have my own business and work out of my home.  I love this because it gives me the flexibility and freedom of doing what I want when I want.  It also has been a great way to be more connected to my family and I wouldn’t give it up for the world.  Now, wait for the “but”….BUT working from home presents a problem when summer comes and the kids are home all day.  They, of course, would be happy to sit in front of the Xbox, Playstation, Wii, computer, TV or any other electronic gadget we have – and we have a lot – I, on the other hand, am not so keen on this idea.  Don’t get me wrong, like any mom I have taken advantage of the “electronic babysitter” but doing so for all day, every day in summer just isn’t going to happen.  So this year I have a plan – Mom’s Summer Camp.

Over the next week or so I’ll be putting my entrepreneurial and organizational skills to work to develop my new “product/service”.  I have picked my Grand Opening date – July 5, 2010, and now need to get to work on what my Summer Camp will be.  As I said, I have my own business, so working within my work needs is going to be essential.  This is immediately apparent as I will be developing the Summer Camp idea while travelling over the next week on a business trip.

As a business owner I know the importance of organization and I am setting up “Mom’s Summer Camp” like a business – but with more love and touchy feely sentiment.    First steps far:

  1. Commit to the idea and get buy-in: I sat down with the kids a few days ago and told them this is what we’ll be doing over the summer.  After their initial whines and ardent protests they sort of warmed to the idea (meaning they could tell I was serious and no amount of arguing would change my mind).  Maybe not exactly the best way for a CEO to run a business but there’s something to be said for the “Mom Rules” ideology.
  2. Research, research, research: This is a crucial step in business, know your product/service, know your competition, know your market, and all the other knows.  This is the step I am currently in and there is a lot of information that I will be sourcing through.  To start I’ll look to see what else and who else has done this (successes and failures).  I’ll start a list of some of my ideas (i.e. field trips, day plans, crafts, books, etc), get input from my kids (it’s okay if they want to play a video game for part of the day) and then I can start to put a skeleton frame around the days.

Here’s the thing – this “Mom’s Summer Camp” is really my way of reaching out to my kids to say “I want to spend time with you”.  Before I know it they will be gone from home and I’ll have missed the opportunity.  I want to get to know my kids and teach them that there is value in family, there is value in spending time together.  I want to show them that connecting with each other is more important than virtually connecting to someone in Peru to play Halo or Left for Dead (1 or 2).

We can say the words to our kids but we need to walk the walk.  Will it take time away from my business? Yeah.  Will I regret it?  No.  This is the best thing I can invest in right now.  My business will be there and if I need to make a deadline by working after the kids are in bed, I’m okay with that.  I might be a little tired the next day but I can make sure that next day is a quiet afternoon movie at “Mom’s Summer Camp”.