I felt like it had been a while since I’d written one of these, but when I went to look – over a YEAR since I last tracked our daily routine.
When I talk about juggling working from home and being a stay-at-home mommy to a once-infant-now-toddler, I often don’t have much that is super magical to say. My best answers? There is no guidebook for this. You did not take this class in college. No schedule can save you from the bad days.
You may be the most routine-setting, goal-driven, carefully planned person on earth, but nothing can prepare you for what happens to your schedules and routines when you become a mom. Add on to that trying to continue working from your home office – there are no answers that will carry you through all of it.
All this is to say that these occasional posts are not some sort of fantastic recipe for work-at-home success. My systems may or may not work for you and our schedules may be everything or nothing alike. But I write these posts to encourage you towards the possibilities.
It is not possible to have everything work well all of the time, but it is probably possible to juggle more. It is not possible to say “yes” to everything, but it might be possible to be more efficient with your time. This is what is working best for us, right now, today.
This semester, thanks to Mark’s schedule, my primary “work days” have been Mondays and Wednesdays. (This has changed in the past couple of weeks as his program has begun to conclude and we’re working on our move, but I want to preserve a snapshot for us of what the early part of this fall was like.)
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays have tended to be the days when I’m the primary parent and are normally full of play-dates and errands and trips to the park, with me squeezing in a little work during nap time or after bedtime, or sometimes none at all. I’d like to capture those days too, but for now, here’s a snapshot of a regular “working day” for us.
6:30 a.m. (ish) – Miles calls to us from his crib. I bring him into our bed and try to convince him that it’s still night-time and that he should go back to sleep. We play this game for 30 minutes and give up. Time to start the day.
7:00 a.m. – Mark feeds Miles breakfast and makes a smoothie for us all. I turn on my computer and start answering emails and setting a plan for the day.
8:00 – Miles and Mark play and then set out for a walk and a coffee run. I jump on to a conference call.
9:30 – Mark and I drink coffee on the couch, read a devotional together and catch up while Miles plays nearby.
10:30 – I start cleaning up the main living areas while Miles enjoys a snack. Mark packs up for the day and heads to school on his bike.
11:00 – Miles and I play, read books, sing, fold laundry, etc.
11:30 – Miles lays down for a nap. I sit back down at my computer for some more uninterrupted work time.
1:15 – I set out lunch for Anna to feed Miles after his nap.
1:30 – Anna arrives and Miles wakes up for lunch and playtime.
1:30 – 4:00 – Work-time.
4:00 – Anna leaves and Mark comes home. I make dinner.
5:30 – We all eat together. If the weather is nice, we’ll go for a walk after dinner or to a nearby park.
7:00 – One of us manages bath time and pre-bedtime play and routines for Miles while the other one cleans the kitchen.
8:00 – Miles goes to bed. If Mark has homework due or I have a deadline, we’ll both work for a while. If our schedules are clear, we’ll watch one of our shows until 10:30 or 11:00.
11:00 – Lights out!
Our schedule this fall has been unusual in an amazing way because Mark has had a lot of open time that he’s able to spend with at home and with Miles. That’s made juggling our schedules this fall so much easier than it was last year.
That will change once he transitions back into a full-time job which will happen in the New Year (eek! How are we done with school?!) and then we’ll have to find another new normal.
What do normal days look like for your family?