Can I safely assume you clicked this link thinking, “…yeah, right!” HA!
Well here’s the deal, I’m a full-time mom, with a full time job. 80% of that job is done with my daughter present. When she was a cute little blob that couldn’t really move, it was definitely easier, but now that she’s mobile I’ve found ways to manage. You do what you have to do, right? 😉
Being a full-time, sponsored blogger, the nature of my job is different than most. But it’s a job none the less. I have deadlines, meetings, and a boss with expectations.
So what’s my secret? I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve and I hope they help you too.
#1: I don’t work 9-5
I do work full time, but it looks much less structured than the average full-time, day job. And I’ve grown accustom to it. As a Lifestyle & Crafting Blogger, I do have the luxury to manage my tasks around Harley’s needs, but some days that looks like taking play-time or reading breaks then making up the hours later that night. I’ve learned to make the absolute most of my time while Harley is distracted and entertaining herself, but the reality is my day ends up being a bit longer than someone who clocks in and out of an office.
The reality of working from home with a little one is you may have to work some late nights. If Harley is having a particularly fussy day (it happens) I prepare myself to be up pretty late making up the hours I missed once my hubby is home to take over baby-duty. Luckily this is not my normal. Harley and I manage really well most days. And though the late nights make for rough mornings, I choose to stay grateful that I get to be home, watching my baby grow. Plus! There’s always coffee!
I’ve put a detailed schedule of what a typical working day looks like for us at the end of the post.
#2: We move around a lot
Sometimes if Harley starts to get fussy, all she needs is a change of scenery. We have multiple “stations” around the house where Harley can hang while I work.
If I’m sewing or working on any graphic design, we are pretty much limited to her Pack n’ Play in my office, or sometimes I’ll let her hang in her bedroom next door for a few minutes (with the video monitor CLOSE by) just to give her a change of pace.
If I’m blogging, We can be anywhere! Downstairs, my bedroom, the office, Nawna’s house…anywhere! And when the times come that she no longer wants to be in her Pack n’ Play and wants to roam free, I can easily switch gears and take my laptop to another room. This gives her a change of scenery, and me another stretch of time to get some work done.
I have noticed, without a doubt, when Harley and I listen to instrumental music, she’s MUCH more self sufficient. I really believe the music stimulates her mind and imagination. We pretty much alternate between The Piano Guys, the Harry Potter soundtrack, and every now and then, some hit country. 🙂
#4: Stay flexible
Babies are unpredictable. So don’t set yourself up for disappointment by giving yourself unreasonable expectations. Yes, you have deadlines. But you won’t meet them if you’re in a constant state of stress. I imagine, if you’re a work-from-home mom, you are either your own boss, or your boss is well aware of your situation. So make your To-Do List, make an action plan, do your best to stay focused and motivated, but don’t let a blowout, or tantrum ruin your mojo for the whole day. When you’re ready for the unexpected, it’s much easier to get yourself back in gear once the crisis is managed.
#5: Ask for help if you need it
As I mentioned, 80% of my job is done with Harley present. For the other 20%, I need help! I’m SOO lucky to have my mom close by. She hangs with Harley twice a week for 5 hour stretches. YES! This is my time to schedule in-person meetings, go fabric shopping, and get some seriously un-inter-rupted time! PTL!
If you don’t have family to watch your little one, and can’t afford a nanny or daycare, try looking into nanny-sharing with a friend! This is a great way to split the cost and make flexible childcare a lot more affordable.
There it is! The ounce of wisdom I have to offer you as a fellow work-from-home momma. Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below. If I can help, I will!
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A Typical Day as a Work-From-Home Mom
7:30 a.m. – I take Harley downstairs for some play-time after breakfast and get my morning coffee. I use this time to wake-up, get my mind alert, and plan my day. While I sip my “Mama Juice” as I call it with Harley, I do some social media research and planning, scheduling posts, checking out what’s trending, etc. Some days I’ll have a phone-conference with my boss as well. This morning prep gives Harley some time to stretch her legs before we head upstairs to my office and her Pack n’ Play.
9:00 a.m. – Harley gets a small snack and some juice while I take a quick shower. For now, she willing hangs out in her Joovy Spoon and watches a short episode of Baby Einstein. This keeps her attention just long enough for me to get cleaned up and dressed.
9:30 a.m. – We head to my office to get “warmed up.” Her Pack n’ Play is set up just inside the door to my office. She has books, and a variety of toys that typically keep her engaged.
10:00 a.m. – This is typically when Harley goes down for a nice long nap, giving me at least hour or two of completely uninterrupted time to work. Her bedroom and my office share a wall, so I can hear her when she wakes up.
12:30 p.m. – Harley wakes up and we break for lunch! I like to try and give her another chance to play downstairs for a while after she eats. This all depends what I’m working on at the time though. If I’m in the zone writing or working on my website, it’s no problem. I just bring my laptop downstairs and trust the baby gates. 😉 If I’m in the middle of a sewing project, downstairs play time has to wait until a bit later.
2:00 p.m. – If I’m lucky, Harley takes an afternoon nap! This gives me another couple of hours uninterrupted.
4:00 p.m. – Time for her to eat again. (Keep in mind, she gets juice and healthy snacks throughout the day, I’m just listing meal times since these are the times I’m actually pulled away from work.) From here, depending on if what I’m working on requires me to be upstairs at my sewing machine, or anywhere with my laptop, we pick a spot to finish out our day. Right now, she’s in her high chair (pulled all the way over to the border of the kitchen and living room) eating while I write from the couch.
6 p.m. – Dad get’s home! Typically by now I’ve put in my 8 hours for the day (unless it was “one of those days”). Because I love my job and it helps me to be prepared, I may take an hour or so after dinner while Harley and Ryan hang to get a few more “irons in the fire.” Maybe brainstorming and starting a few blog ideas for the rest of the week, or checking Pinterest for project inspiration. Then I wrap up my day with a pretty good idea of which tasks I’ll be conquering tomorrow.