Good morning friends! I’ve had so many people reach out and ask how in the world a work-from-home mom does it all – the mothering, the working, the standard household things, marriage, friendships, etc. Here’s the short answer: I don’t know because I don’t do it all. It’s a balancing act where balance is never really achieved, but you achieve it in the way that’s needed for the day and move on. I’ve always enjoyed reading about fellow entrepreneur’s days to see what I can garner from another’s experience. I hope this will do the same for you!
I’ve been working toward waking up earlier for a while, and this week I’ve been getting up at 5am on the dot. So far so good! I spend about 20-25 minutes reading my Bible and praying, then move on to work for about 30-45 minutes. When I work it includes stuff for both Beautycounter and blogging, specifically planning out social media stuff for the day and catching up on emails. So many people don’t think they have the time to do something like Beautycounter, but I’ve been able to fit it into my daily schedule seamlessly by devoting 30-60 minutes a day to some aspect of it!
Around 6am I move on to reading whatever book I’m currently enjoying, a cup of coffee by my side, until the kiddos start to stir. I’m an introvert at heart and the alone time has been really good for me, especially since my older dude has stopped taking naps but hasn’t quite grasped the concept of “quiet time” yet. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but have taken time off the past couple of years because kids 🙂 Sometimes this have to fall by the wayside; unfortunately for me reading has been one of those. Lots to catch up on!
The kids are usually getting up around 7am, which means snuggles for this mama for about 30 minutes while they wake up. I really try not to look at my phone too much, although it’s nice to know that if I needed to (on sick days) I could work on the couch. As they start to perk up we do breakfast, change clothes, and figure out what life that day is going to look like. If they’re occupied for long enough I usually have time to unload the dishwasher or start a load of clothes. Most days I’m herding everyone around to get out the door by 8am for any number of activities, so I throw on some clothes myself and go!
This particular day was Monday, President’s Day, so there was no school. I opted to do an earlier time for Walmart Grocery Pickup; I wanted to get the boys outside in the morning since there was a good chance of rain in the forecast that afternoon. We pulled up, got the goods, and got home by 8:30am!
While I put the groceries away the boys ran to the playroom and played with their respective toys while watching Sesame Street. I’m really working on trying to cut down on screen time, although there are definitely days where it’s necessary to get things done. The good news is that their attention span for most shows is pretty short; they’ll watch for a few minutes and then move on to something else, but it’s enough to let me do a little housework (and I mean a little).
The boys were hungry so I got them a quick snack then checked email, posted to social media, and wrote down reminders on my to-do list. Another little work-from-home tip is to fit in little bits of work throughout the day. I keep a list of small tasks next to my laptop that can be done in just a few minutes at most, so when I have a quick moment I can check one or two off the list.
The snacking/working/getting shoes on lasted for about 30 minutes, then we hopped in the car and drove to one of our favorite trails for a while.
Outside time! We walked around the visitor center, walked some trails, and ended up doing a decent little hike. The weather really couldn’t have been more perfect to get outside, and it always brings a much bigger perspective. I think one of the hazards of working from home is that it’s easy to be self-focused, but getting out in nature makes all the difference for me AND my boys.
More hiking, more sunshine, more sweet memories! You’ll see later that it ended up being a really good thing that we stayed outside for as long as we did!
I took this picture about two seconds before we hopped back in the car and I prayed hard that my younger one would stay awake long enough to get home for lunch. Luckily he did – the second we got in the house I threw lunch together for the boys!
The boys are eating lunch, and I’m doing food prep right next to them. Monday I toasted some nuts for breakfasts, diced fresh strawberries for an afternoon snack, and prepped the roasted broccoli I was planning on eating for lunch. Sometimes I’ll use this time that they’re eating to do product shots for Beautycounter or shoot food prep stuff for blog posts. Mondays are always interesting because I do a LOOOOOOT of prep stuff after the grocery haul; a more typical day for lunch includes me sitting with the boys while they eat so that we can all talk and figure out the rest of the day.
My older boy has stopped napping, which has been an adjustment at times. I really love the focused time with just him, though, and have really been trying to figure out how to invest heavily into his sweet heart while we have this time together. After my younger boy goes down for his nap I try to read from The Jesus Storybook Bible and talk for a minute about the story. It’s rarely perfect, but my hope is always that it will reach his heart when it’s supposed to.
I will also use this time to work while W does workbooks or coloring books, and we have fun doing this work together side-by-side.
Workout time! Monday was legs and cardio, which was kind of a beating but soooooo good. I’ve figured out by now that I love working out more for the mental health aspect of it than the physical part, although the physical part is also important. If I don’t have time to be active then it’s usually much easier for me to be short with my boys, to get bossy instead of kind, and to focus on the harder parts of being a business owner and entrepreneur. In short, 30 minutes of free therapy is a good thing to take advantage of! (You can find out more about the workouts I’ve been doing by joining my Facebook group Barefoot & Beautiful!)
Laundry. UGH. It never ever ends…ever. Once my work and workout are done I’ll try to fold clothes and let W watch a movie for a few minutes before the baby wakes up. Sometimes I luck out and finish early enough to shut my eyes for 20 minutes, and those days are pretty much amazing.
If my younger dude isn’t up by 4pm then I usually get him up because otherwise there’s no way he’ll go to sleep at a decent hour. While he wakes up (he’s not super graceful at waking up from nap time) we’ll read or look through books. I will usually check my email to make sure there’s nothing pressing that needs to be answered before the end of the day. After everyone has had a few minutes of quiet we’re off to the park!
Exceeeeeeeeept we’re not….womp womp. I was really hoping the rain would hold off til dinner time, but alas the weather had other plans. We detoured from our park date to Target for a few minutes before settling on an indoor playground. The boys ran like crazy people through the playground, getting ridiculously sweaty and (luckily) very tired. I’ve been loving the nice weather lately and was really worried they wouldn’t get the exercise they usually need before bedtime with the rain – thankfully it all worked out OK!
Dinner time for the kiddos! Our family is in this really weird transition time right now where we don’t always get a chance to eat together at the same time. The boys usually eat before Nate gets home, so he and I will eat together and I’ll try to sit down with the boys while they eat. This particular night A was soooooo tired…here you see him zoned out while slathered in yogurt and broccoli florets. #toddlerlife
Shower time for the kiddos! This is usually a really entertaining time for me – I feel like they always do something weird/funny/crazy in the shower!
From 7-8:30pm it’s showers, a cup of milk, changed diapers, pajamas, bed time stories, and getting the boys down for the night. Nate and I will usually sneak dinner in somewhere in there too.
8:30PM TIL 10PM(ish).
This is the time that I really get some focused work done, and honestly it all just depends on the day of the week. Monday-Wednesday nights are busy busy busy while I prep content, plan, write, edit photos, do product training, and simultaneously catch up on TV shows that we watch. Thursday-Saturday are a little more low key, and Sunday can be a toss up. My Type-A personality has really had to adjust to the ambiguity of it all, and it’s taken me a solid 5 years to really get that there’s no such thing as doing it all. Something will fall, you (I) will fail, and there will be days that you (I) will just wish that you(I) could quit or find something else.
Then again I’m working from home, getting a front row seat to raising my boys, contributing significantly to our family income, and being able to exercise all of my skills on any given day. It’s not pretty, it’s not perfect, but it IS worth it!
I hope you were able to gain some insight into a fairly typical day! I’m happy to answer any questions though – just drop ’em in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!