How to Get Work Done as a Work at Home Mom

 

Being a work at home mom has become my dream job. Prior to being a WAHM, I was a school teacher and loved it. I would have stayed teaching forever except for one big problem… I was burnt out. After 8yearsr, I was having major anxiety going into work, putting in so many hours I barely saw my family, and really had lost myself. And 4 years ago, I decided that enough for enough.

I got into entrepreneurship through network marketing because I had found a product I loved and couldn’t stop talking about (and wanted a great discount) and it was a catalyst for me. I started to believe in myself, to believe that I didn’t have to feel so burnt out all the time, to believe that I could do things that lit my fire and that I loved, and to believe that I could stay home with my kids.

Over the past 4 years since I’ve been a full time entrepreneur, I’ve shifted my focus from primarily helping women with their health and fitness to being what I call a ‘mom empowerment coach’. I help women create systems and routines to decrease their stress, feel more in control and design a life they love. I get to do this via this blog, e-books and e-courses, virtual conferences, mentoring, coaching and more! 

And boy do I love it… but dang it can be hard to create time to work when you’re home with the kids.

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Why it’s hard to work from home when you have kids.

As much as being home and working around the kiddos is my dream job, it can be so tough to do. You need to prioritize time with them, not always been on your phone or computer, make sure you’re still working your business, do the home chores, and stay focused.

It took me a while to come up with a routine and system that allows me to be the most productive but, I’m excited to say I have found a good groove!

And even though I find myself often moving and grooving with my routine, I still know to give myself grace. Kids need you, someone gets sick, naps get messed up and life happens. Working from home is very different than leaving to go someplace each day. Your hours are less predictable, you have to make adjustments and you need to give yourself grace when things don’t go as well.

You also need to make sure you have realistic expectations. Because here is the thing, mama, you CAN have everything… just maybe not at the same time. My husband and I have had many conversations about roles and responsibilities and he understands, while the children are my numero uno, I also am running a business. That means that sometimes, some of the house stuff may get a little neglected, gourmet dinners don’t happen that often, and I’ll need a little help, support and if possible, a few times each month where I take 3-5 hours on a Saturday to work at Starbucks and get things done.

work at home mom schedule

Creating a Schedule that Works 

 

While crafting a workable schedule for yourself, realize that your season and my season of life may be very different. I currently am responsible for my 11 year old step son who is with us every other week and goes to school 45 minutes away. While my husband luckily works right by his school, there are still times I am in charge of the commute, attending school events, and all of his friends and sports are in that area. I also have 2 small kiddos at home (currently a 10 month old and a 2.5 year old).

Your children may be school age so you have more time during the day, or you may be a new mom with a newborn working in the fringe hours when you are up nursing… whatever your situation is, you need to create and adapt your schedule to fit your needs.

But no matter what… you NEED a routine and schedule. I don’t believe you have to live your life by the minute but I use power pockets and chunking to make our day run a little bit more seamlessly.

Depending on your work at home job, you may have required hours that you have to work so you’re schedule is more rigid. This might require you to get a mother’s helper during that time, a babysitter, or utilize daycare. I think a mother’s helper is a great idea if you can find one! Mother’s helpers are often junior high or high school students who will come and play with your kiddos while you do things around the house like work or clean. Because you’re home, you can often pay them a really reasonable rate as well! They are easier to find in the summer or over school vacations and breaks.

If you currently aren’t working at home but are interested in ways that you can make money, check out my fav ways to make money, that isn’t just doing a million surveys and getting $3 each month! 

Sample Schedule for a Work at Home Mom

 

Below is a copy and description of my current routine that really works for our family. It allows me to feel more ‘balanced’ and get more done. It’s taken us some time, and we’ll have to adjust again in September because my 2.5 year old will be starting preschool (eeep!!!) so I’ll have more time from 9am-12pm each day … and I CANNOT wait!

 You’ll see that I break up our day into sections called power pockets. I never say“At exactly 9:33, Isaiah will sleep” but we use a round-about time and chunk out what actions will happen during that time. My goal is also to be as present as possible with my kids (I mean they are the reason WHY I do this, right?) but there are times where you do activities that allow me to get small bits of work done. There are also times, like as I am typing this blog post, that I have a busier work season and maybe am launching a product so I may have my mother in law come by so I can work more or the TV helps us out a bit. I do my best each day to make sure though, that she watches limited TV (because she turns into a gremlin if she watches too much), we do intentional play, I have 1:1 time with each of the kids for even just a few minutes, we add in reading and some fun learning, and aim to let them play independently.

 Does it happen beautifully everyday?

Nope.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t try!

 As for reference below, I’m going to show you a typical day when it’s just me and the littles. My stepson is with us every other week and things change a bit, but for this example, Arianna is my 2.5 year old and Isaiah is my 10 month old. I will also write down what I am doing and put down what the kids are doing at that time in {brackets} to differentiate the tasks.

 I also have learned when I work best and have created a schedule around that. I know my brain is best for writing in the early morning or midday. During my evening work time, I don’t even bother to put out quality unless I have to because I’m fried. I try to do more rote tasks than that I could do easily or even when watching a show with my husband.

 

 

Power Pocket 1: Morning

 

5:00 – 5:30 Wake up, Quiet Reflection, Bible and Prayer and Morning Routine.

5:30- 6:30  Work Time (write blog post or emails)

6:30 – 9:30 Kids Up

  • Nurse baby (answer emails, messages + DMs while nursing) + Breakfast
  • Bible Reading with Kids
  • Clean Up Breakfast, Start Laundry, Quick Sweep of Floors, Dishes {kids play in playroom independently}
  • Workout in Playroom {kids watch a show and play}

9:30-11:30 {Isaiah Nap}

  • Shower {Arianna either jumps in with me or keeps watching her show. This is a very quick ‘mom shower’ + dress. Often, after I get out of the shower, I’ll let her play in the bathtub while I get dressed}
  • 20-30 minutes 1:1 time with Arianna where we do some tot school activities, puzzles, or intentional play
  • 20 minutes of manual pinning {Arianna has snack and does a craft, puzzle or colors}
  • Daily cleaning tasks (check out my cleaning routines and systems here).
  • Put laundry in the dryer.
  • Eat lunch (I purposely try to eat lunch before Isaiah wakes up so I can get their lunch ready and done without worrying about me).

schedule for work at home mom

 

Power Pocket #2 Afternoon

11:30- 2:00 {Both Kids Awake… Mom hat ON!}

  • Nurse Isaiah (get back to those messages and emails)
  • 20-30 minutes where kids play in their bedroom. I sometimes use this time to scroll my phone for blog post ideas, connect with people on social media, clean up their room or put away laundry upstairs.
  • Run and errands or a play date. I HATE car naps so unfortunately, we only have about 60-90 minutes a day where neither of them is sleeping and we leave the house. I’m okay with that but, do try to get out of the house each day, even if just for a small Target run. I go a little crazy staying in each day and like to split our errands up throughout the week)
  • Lunch
  • Clean up lunch, dishes, sweep up floors, fold laundry straighten up. This is a great time for me to listen to podcasts or audiobooks and get some personal growth and learning in. {Ari might play outside or watch a show and play in the playroom}

 

Power Pocket #3 Late Afternoon

 2:00 – 5:00 pm {Yay! We made it to nap time!}

  • Hopefully they go down easily between 2-2:30. My kids share a room so it’s been interesting finding nap routines that work but, fingers crossed, they keep it up! They are both pretty good nappers and I know I’m lucky there.
  • After I put them down, I sit on my bed to listen for them to stop talking to each other and read a personal growth book for 10 minutes. This helps me stop, slow down, feel gratitude, and get my head in the right place. Would I love to get moving, pee, eat, and conquer my to-do list? Sure. But I found that if I don’t do this than I am not as productive and my self-care matters too.
  • This is my best time to write so I use this time to get a snack, grab my coffee, curl up on my couch where I love to write and get going. During this work blog I work on blog posts, write emails, continue any project tasks that I need to do and have previously determined needed to get done that day. I use Trello to organize all of my tasks so, when I sit down to work, I never wonder what to do, I can just get started.
  • Isaiah will wake up between 3:30-4:00 so I use this time to nurse him (check social media + messages) and then have 1:1 playtime with him.
  • Arianna will stay asleep until around 4:30-5:00 pm or when I drag her out of bed.

 

Power Pocket #4 Evening

 

5:00 – 11:00 pm 

  • Make dinner {kids play in playroom, Ari asks me for a snack a million times and I let her watch a show while she wakes up and stops being grumpy}
  • My husband comes home between 5:30-6 (which is such a blessing because at his last job, he wasn’t home until almost 8pm) so we have a tech free dinner and I get to sit down and breathe a little.
  • Clean up dinner, take out trash, do dishes, fold and put away today’s laundry (okay.. This might happen haha. Often I’m folding yesterday’s laundry because it was in the way when I went to put today’s in the dryer), make lunches. {Kids are playing outside or in playroom with daddy}
  • We then get about an hour or so of family time which might include outdoor play, a walk, a movie or just all hang out in the playroom.
  • My kids go to bed at 8:00 pm and I then promptly toss myself in my bed so I can have some alone time and center myself again. I literally just sit there for 20 minutes and mindlessly scoll social media (no shame in my game!)
  • I start my final work block around 8:30-9 pm. Like I said before, I’m not all that productive at this time so the tasks I normally do include; creating images or freebies for my site, scheduling social media posts, putting together outlines or workflows or getting on calls with my Beachbody Team, coaching clients or accountability buddies.
  • I try to shut my brain off around 10:30 so I put on some terrible reality TV, scroll social media, and decompress, heading up to bed around 11. Some days, I am up much later finishing work and some days, I’m so fried that I don’t work at all.

 

Then I get up and do it again! I love routine and our system really seems to work for us. There are always curve balls being thrown my way and adjustments that need to be made.

Currently it’s summer break so when my stepson is home, I work less during nap so that we can have 1:1 time together. If my kids don’t sleep through the night or someone is sick, I make adjustments. I follow this schedule Monday through Friday, take Saturday completely off to rest and relax (and nap!), and use Sunday for church, to complete grocery shopping and meal prepping, organize my calendars or work tasks and set my week up for success.

On average, I work on my blog and business somewhere between 20-30 hours a week. Some weeks are less and some weeks are more. I love what I do so much though that the time often just flies by and I wish I had more hours. I also try to go ‘off site’ 2-4 times a month and take a few hours to get extra work time in while hubby or my mother in law stays with the kids.

Get Organized and Focused 

 

While it can be super hard to get things done at home, it’s completely possible. No, I don’t get everything done but I do feel that I am much more productive with a routine than without. I do allow my schedule to get flexible once and awhile, and that’s the best part of being a WAHM. If I want to take the day to visit a friend or go to my sister’s, I totally can. I just change up my schedule, move things around and go for it! Knowing my plan for the week allows me to do those things without guilt, spend more time cuddling or playing some days, and still run a business.

 

I recommend getting as organized as you can so that when you do sit down to work, you have limited distractions and waste minimal time. Your time is so precious when you are trying to be a WAHM and handle it all that it’s silly to spend time trying to remember what blog post or email you have to write instead of just writing. I can waste 20 minutes ‘deciding’ what to do and that could be 20 minutes I use for my business.


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