Why This Houston Mom Thinks Employers Should Encourage Vacation Time

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Simple summer pleasures are upon us. No matter what your job, summer is the season of FUN. But work does not wait for summer—unfortunately. With the bulk of the summer ahead of us (YAY!), we're teaming up with Old Navy to tap on-the-go moms across the country to find out how they squeeze more fun out of summer in their cities - while keeping that to-do list managed and inboxes at a minimum. 

BEATING THE HOUSTON HEAT

Houstonian and first-time mom, Carrie Colbert, shares her summer hacks + new plans for making summer memories with her new baby girl.

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SHOP THE COLBERT FAMILY'S OLD NAVY SUMMER LOOKS HERE

How does your family “squeeze more fun” out of summer?

At the risk of sounding trite, we make the most of everyday moments! Sure, vacations are fabulous! But there is a joy to be found at home in the day to day moments as well. Whether that's going for an evening swim or going to get ice cream, we cherish those extra hours of daylight in the summer. 

I am really looking forward to this summer in particular. You see, last summer, I was due to give birth on July 7, but she actually came early on June 12. So, after a difficult pregnancy, an early delivery, and the craziness of having a newborn and being a first-time mother, last summer was a total blur. 

So, I am really intent on creating lots of fun this year!

What are some of your favorite Houston memories or Houston-specific summer traditions?

Truth be told, many Houstonians flee Houston in the summer. The heat and humidity can be overwhelming. But in fact, there are great things to do to beat the heat! Occasionally, we make the short road trip down to Galveston to enjoy some beach time. Other times, we opt to enjoy the air-conditioned offerings of Houston like a trip to the museum or a the theater. Most days, you can find us very close to our swimming pool! 

As an entrepreneurial mom, there’s a lot of pressure to be plugged in and online. Why is it important to you to make family memories in the summer?

Isn't that the truth? The struggle is real! Being online is not just a "bad habit" that I can forego altogether. Rather it's part of my business. What I've found works for me though is choosing to set aside my phone for certain hours. I have to make an intentional choice to be completely present and focused. 

And that choice has gotten easier as I've seen how quickly my daughter changes! Time certainly does not stand still. She is one year old now and is changing and growing and learning new things all the time. I don't want to miss a moment with her!

Do you have any favorite summer traditions? What is your go-to activity for summer fun with the family?

Admittedly, I am one of those Houstonians who does like to escape the high heat and humidity for at least a week or two. You can often find us in Aspen, Colorado enjoying summer outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and more. 

Vacations are wonderful but they can also be hard work to plan. Do you have any family vacay planning tips? 

Pack light! You don't need as much as you think. In fact, I almost always travel just with one simple carry-on bag. Of course, a baby has added some additional traveling logistics. But I still try not to overpack. 

Traveling light makes the whole process of getting there so much easier. 

What can the workplace do to help families inject more FUN into their summer?

A lot! Ha. 

When I worked in the corporate world (for almost two decades!), I found that often vacation time wasn't truly vacation time. You were still expected to check in, to keep up with emails, answer phone calls, and so on. 

But we all need a chance to disconnect, unwind, and refresh - not to mention the need to really connect with our loved ones. 

So, workplaces could help inject more fun into summer by truly encouraging employees to disconnect during PTO.

What are your summer fun hacks?

 I'm trying something new this summer: making a summer bucket list! It includes things big and very small. But, as one who believes in the power of writing down intentions, I thought I'd try it with our summer plans this year! 

Want to add some color to your inbox? Visit Carrie's website and subscribe to her newsletter!

How do you #SqueezeMoreFun out of the summer with your family? Let us know in the comments!

SHOP THEIR OLD NAVY LOOKS!

Carrie: 

Graphic Tee

Flare jeans

Sweater

Elle:

Top + bloomers

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