A Day In The Life of a Work From Home Mom
Working from home with a baby has been full of ups and downs this past year and a half. I've shared extensively about my experience learning how I have adjusted to running a business with a baby here on the blog. But nothing could quite prepare me for what it was going to be like balancing a business and a toddler. Not that it's been incredibly challenging, rather it's just nothing that I have ever experienced before. Toddlers bring a whole new level of "fun chaos" to the home and it's made me have to reevaluate how I run my every day life, take care of a home and nurture a growing boy.
As more and more of us are entering the stage of parenthood and as many of you reading this are small business owners and/or photographers, I write this Art of Balance series to help encourage, equip and inspire you to live a purposeful life with thriving businesses that serve your families in every facet. I certainly don't have it all figured out, that's why I like the give and take sharing on the internet provides. Really, does any one else feel the way I do?! You all have nuggets of wisdom to share and I hope you will!! You never know how you might be able to encourage someone today!!
Ok, back to today's post. I've felt that there might be a misconception about what it looks like to be a Work From Home Mom. Do I sit around and eat bon bons all day? Do I work, work, work and never have time for loved ones? What does working from home really look like with a family? And if you're in the stage of becoming a parent (and you work from home) you might be a little intimidated about what this transition will look like for you. I wanted to share and honest look what a typical day is for me, in hopes that you can be inspired to create a schedule and routine that blesses your family, fills your cup and allows you to follow your passions.
Of course everyone comes from different places and has different preferences. My hope is that you don't follow this to a T or even do it the way I do! Rather I just want to encourage you that a. you're not alone and b. while it may be difficult at times, there is a balance that can be found between serving your family, serving your clients, and making room for what matters most in life!! Keep in mind that the timeline shared below is a best case scenario. Does EVERY day of our life look like this? Heck no. Perhaps Jonathan has a cold, or decides to wake up early. Maybe he sleeps in late and we have a few extra minutes to ourselves (I like to read the Bible or answer emails if that happens!) Maybe he wakes up in the middle of the night and we need the extra minutes in the morning to sleep. Maybe it's the weekend and we're out having fun or maybe we have doctor appointments or errands to run. Or maybe I have an engagement or portrait session or I am away for the day shooting a wedding. For us routine is what helps us stay focused and ensures that we can have time for the people we love. But more importantly, being flexible when the unexpected happens is really what makes this all come together.
Alright here we go!!
6:00am -- Our alarm goes off. It's brutal. It's time to work out before the baby (aka toddler monster;)) wakes up.
6:30am-7:00am -- Jonathan is usually up. Dave takes a shower while I cook eggs for Jonathan's breakfast, make a lunch for day care and let the dog out.
6:45am -- If I have time I run upstairs to take a shower before Dave heads to work. Sometimes this doesn't happen. One these days I work from the office;).
7:00am -- We say goodbye to Daddy and have some play time before day care.
8:00am -- We head to daycare and I spend way too long saying goodbye to Jonathan. I require at least three hugs before I leave;)
8:15pm -- Make a BIG cup of coffee, grab a banana, catch a few minutes of the Today Show and head upstairs to the office.
8:30-9:30am -- I try to answer emails, get caught up on DZP news and tie up other loose ends that might have happened over night.
9:30-11:00am -- I'll use this chunk of time to edit, blog or work on big projects.
11:00-12:00pm -- I'll use this time for meetings, emails, or prep for shoots.
12:00pm -- Lunch time! Sometimes I make it down, sometimes I don't
12:30pm -- I tie up any loose ends that I've been working on before I head off to pick Jonathan up from day care.
1:00pm -- I will pick Jonathan up from daycare. I'll spend some time talking with the kids, catch up on what Jonathan has been up too and wait until Jonathan has waved goodbye to everyone;) Usually at this time he's pretty tired from running around with his friends (they keep him VERY busy!) But if he's feeling rather chipper we might run some errands together or play outside.
1:30pm -- Jonathan is usually tuckered out by this time so we head up to his room for cuddles and milk.
2:00pm -- With the baby asleep I start work again and pick up wherever I left off. Usually this means I'm doing some more editing or working on big projects.
3:30-4:00pm -- This is the time that Jonathan will typically wake up. When Jonathan is up, he's UP. Running around is his favorite and this means that there really isn't any time for work, even if I wanted to!! I'm happy to spend this time playing with him:)!!
5:00-5:30pm -- Dave is usually arriving home, so we spend some time welcoming Daddy home!
5:00-5:30pm -- If Dave gets home at 5, (he's wonderful) and let's me watch my favorite show, PIONEER WOMAN!!, while he plays with J or makes him dinner. It's so relaxing to me and usually inspires what we'll cook for dinner that week!!
5:30pm-6:30pm -- If I have any loose ends that need to be tied up related to work, I'll use this time to head back up to the office and focus. This isn't a typical occurrence but there are some weeks, especially during the busy part of the year, that I need this time to get ahead and get things accomplished. Sometimes this can roll onto the later hours of the evening, but I find that the more tired I become the less productive I am at work.
6:30-7:00pm -- Bath time!! This is also part of our calm down routine, which oddly enough usually involves wrestling with Jonathan:)!
7:00pm -- Daddy puts Jonathan to bed reading a book and saying prayers before Jonathan conks out for the night.
7:00-8:00pm -- This is the time that we are eating dinner, though we try to get it in as early as possible. This is also the time that we most likely collapse onto the couch together. Big Bang Theory and Chronicle are faves.
8:00pm -- I start to get things ready for the next day like Jonathan's day care bag, tidy up the house and get ready for bed. If I'm lucky I'll sneak in an episode of the Voice:).
9:00pm -- BED TIME. Yes, that's right. Usually involves reading in bed together until around 9:30pm. Then it's lights out, zonked out!!
6:00am -- Rolls around all too soon.
I hope that this gives you a peek into what a "normal" day in the life of our household looks like! As you can see it's not a normal 9-5 nor is it strictly business or strictly family. There is a certain mix to it all. **Added bonus : click here to read a great article that I found last week about the changing "timeline" to a parent's work day. Certainly a thought provoking read on how the modern day work day is becoming less and less rigid and more and more focused around family life!!
If you have any thoughts or questions about how we make this work for our family, share in the comments below!! And if you have any tips on how to make 24 hours spread a little more I'd LOVE to hear;). It can be really inspiring to learn how other WFHM's are doing it too!! (Yeah I just made that acronym up;)) I hope you have a great Wednesday everyone!!