working mother

My Typical Work Day: Broken Down

I’ve always loved blog posts where people lay out their “real” day-in-the-life schedule. I get a kick out of seeing how people spend their time. And when they’re really honest about it. Working from home has always been a dream of mine and it’s a lifestyle that is all new to me and comes with its own set of challenges. Sometimes I think it’s actually harder than going into a real office. And with a toddler at home, even more so. So it’s been interesting figuring out how to schedule my time.

See – this working-from-home-while-the-baby-is-home-thing is hard. Even with a great babysitter. There is no break. Ever. Your breaks are your time to work. I work during naptime. I work at night. But this is what I choose to do and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have the afternoons with my child and I can run to the store if I have to. Or to Starbucks. To me, it’s the way working should be.

So I’m breaking down my “typical” work day for you (and let’s face it, nothing is ever “typical”) and really I’m doing this for myself to see it all on electronic paper:

6am-7:30AM: Sometime between these hours, my little guy wakes up. I pray for 7:30am, but some days it’s 6:01am. And some days it’s 8am! I always try really hard to get him back to sleep, but he usually disagrees. I unfortunately check my email upon waking. I know, I know. Most of my clients are on the East Coast, so they’re already hard at work and I like to make sure nothing crazy has happened. I try not to start work until 8am though even though I know it’s already halfway through the morning on EST.

7am-7:30: I start the coffee and this is our special breakfast time together before the madness begins. I make blueberry pancakes or eggs. Or toast. We eat lots of toast. But one of the most wonderful things I’ve loved about working from home is that I can make a big, fun breakfast for my little guy each day. I love this time so much before the madness begins. FullSizeRender

8:00am: Babysitter arrives. Big Yay! Mama goes downstairs (long commute, y’all!) to her office and shuts the door. I turn on Spotify and get to work. I try to have “normal” clothes on when I go down to work, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was in sweatpants/leggings/workout clothes most days.

8am-11am: Work.

Babysitter plays with my son upstairs and I work in my office. These three hours are my most productive of the day. I bust out as much as possible, make my calls, update Asana, handle client requests, etc. It’s all client work during this time and I try to be as efficient as possible with these morning hours.

11am-11:30am – Break! I come upstairs (mama is back from work!) and I spend the next 30 mins or so playing with my child and making a quick smoothie or a quick snack before his nap. Babysitter leaves. Sigh…. (I feel so grateful that I get to be home with him – even though I’m working. It’s everything to me. Not easy and always hectic, but wouldn’t trade it.)

11:30am-2:00pm– Admin work + lunch + a few social media posts (for work)

The little guy goes down for his nap and I quickly get back to work. This is my 2nd slot of sacred, work hours. I call it 2.5 hours but it can range from 1 hour – 3 hours. I pray for 3 hours. It’s tough to depend on “nap time” for work, but this is just the way it is for now. I make myself a quick lunch. Maybe run the dishwasher. A load of laundry and do a little admin work (invoicing clients, tracking expenses, leads and emailing). I usually find myself working on bigger projects at night or in the morning. The mid-day work is all administrative, with some social media/FB Groups thrown in (we gotta do it!).

It’s also my most stressful time of the day b/c I am trying to accomplish as much as humanly possible during his nap — coupled with feeling like the home has to be somewhat taken care of/cleaned since I am technically here all day…

2pm-5:00pm– Play! Usually around 2pm or so (or when he wakes up), I finish working. This is the best thing about working from home with my own business — it’s on my schedule. I choose my schedule (I still can’t believe I’m able to say that). I still work 8 hours a day but it’s split into hours that make sense for my life. This makes me way more productive and happier. I get ultimate family time each day with my favorite little person and I get to work and make a living. We usually have lunch together, do some errands, go for a run or hike, go to the beach/lake or go down the hill to Target or Trader Joe’s. (This is kind of my chunk of time to pretend I am a stay at home mom and I love pretending!) I used to worry so much about running out to do an errand between 9am-5pm but now that I work for myself, I am able to do that without guilt and that’s awesome, right?

5pm-6pm – Dad is home and we all hang and make dinner. We love when Dad comes home.

6:30-7:30pm – Bedtime routine is in full force. (We’re talking bathtime, reading lots of books, pajamas, diapers, nursing. It’s no joke!) It’s then goodnight to my sweet child.** (**Sometimes I am so tired that I fall asleep putting him to sleep. That is not good for the biz and I try to not let this happen. But it happens sometimes.)

7:30pm-10pm – MORE WORK while hanging with husband

As hard as it can be, I often have to work at night. Luckily my husband is understanding (he likes that I’m working to make $$!) but it’s hard on a marriage sometimes. We do spend time together and have some (or a lot on some days) wine/beer while I’m plugging away on the laptop. I decided it’s one of the trade-offs to working from home with a baby. If it means I get to spend those afternoon hours with him, then I’ll work every night if I have to. I also tell myself that it’s only temporary that I’ll have to work late. Someday he will be in school and I’ll have the whole day to myself. For now, this is how I work though.

10:30pm – Fall asleep very quickly. (Although tonight, it’s 10:45pm and I’m writing this blog…)

This is my typical day lately. What’s your schedule like? I’d love to hear! Comment below.