I knew from the very beginning that working full-time when I had children just wasn’t for me. Some parents choose to work full time and some don’t, this isn’t a comparison or competition, and everyone’s situation is different. Personally, I thought it was important for me to have the best of both worlds where I could spend time with the boys but also, primarily for my sanity, work.
It turns out being a work from home mummy is the best job I could ever have - in fact, it’s a job that many of us seem to have at the moment.
Where it Started
After graduating with a degree in business and marketing back in 2012, I’ve always been in the industry working for various companies, big and small.
When I had George, I was managing the marketing for a law firm and the plan was for me to go back part time following maternity leave. A few months before my maternity leave was due to end, a part time opportunity came up that was closer to home, that offered more flexibility and a better income, so I took it. Five months after being in this new position I was sadly let go due to a company restructure. Now I say sadly, but looking back it was the best thing that could have happened (although at the time, it didn’t stop me from thinking that it was the end of the world!).
It was this event that made me set up and focus on my own marketing business, and the rest is history as they say.
Being around my boys is priceless for me and we don’t stick by any strict schedules as such. I find that putting a strict routine in place tends to put more stress on the day - something we definitely want to avoid. I usually have an idea in my head of what I want to achieve that particular day, if it’s not achieved then I just move onto the next day.
If like me, especially with what’s currently going on in the world, you’re working from home and trying to parent all at the same time, know that you’re doing a great job and don’t forget to take a breather. It can sure be stressful at times.
Make sure you take time out to do you; whether that’s going for a walk or relaxing in a nice hot bath. In the past, I’ve found myself trying to chase the “perfect” life, trying to be the “perfect” mummy and it just isn’t possible. More importantly, it isn’t realistic or healthy to put so much pressure on yourself.
Life can be pretty hectic, with many different things to juggle, so I thought I’d share my typical working / mumming day with you to show how I manage my work, family and sanity.
My Daily Schedule as a WAHM
I’m thankful that for some days during the week I have childcare for one or both of the boys, whether that’s with grandparents or nursery. However, there are still days where they’re both at home (more so when we are in a lockdown) and I have to manage work deadlines and most importantly, ensure they’re looked after and entertained.
Working from home isn’t easy and I often find myself doing too much, and quickly getting worn out so it’s important to get the right balance.
Max usually starts stirring around this time. I get out of bed, brush my teeth, wash my face and then get Max ready; change his nappy etc. By this time Greg has already gotten up with George - usually around 7am.
Max has cereal and we play in the lounge or play room with George. Greg usually goes into George’s bedroom at this time (his current work-from-home office arrangement) to start work.
Around this time I usually have a quick tidy up around the house and put washing on if there’s any in the laundry basket.
8.45am to 10.30am
Play time. We tend to spend play time between the living room and play room. I try to fit in a bit of work using my phone whilst the boys play, whether it’s replying to emails or posting social media content.
Snack time. Up until this point, George has probably asked 5 times already for “snacks”. The boys both have some sort of fruit - usually banana. Once Max has had his snack, he goes for his morning nap.
Whilst Max is napping, I spend some of this time one-on-one with George. We have an “activity cupboard” in the kitchen which has activities such as Play Doh, colouring and painting. We usually choose something from here to do.
I spend the next half hour (roughly, depending on how long Max sleeps) creating websites, putting together proposals, writing blogs, scheduling social media posts, responding to emails or calling clients whilst it’s quite(ish). George usually spends this time playing with cars, dinosaurs or his PJ Mask toys.
Lunch time. Again by this point, George has usually been asking for food - you’d think this boy doesn’t get fed! I make lunch for both the boys, so it’s ready for when Max wakes. They usually have a sarnie with cucumber and/or tomatoes, fruit and crisps. I also prep mine and Greg’s lunch - usually something quick and as healthy as possible, such as a wrap or pasta dish.
Max is usually awake and tucks into his lunch, with George’s already being demolished by now. I have two (actually, three) very hungry boys in this house!
Once lunchtime for the boys is over, I have mine. Greg sometimes eats at his desk or comes downstairs, depending on how busy his work day is. If Max is awake when I’m having lunch, he’s usually pestering me for some!
1.30pm to 2.30pm
We usually have more play time, watch a film together or go out (if lockdowns aren’t in place).
Time for Max’s afternoon nap. This differs everyday because sometimes he’s ready for it and other days he’s not. Whilst he’s napping I usually split my time between getting some more work done and spending time with George.
If Max has been napping, he tends to wake up around now. Once he’s awake, I put him and George in the play room together whilst I cook dinner (it’s handy because our kitchen overlooks the play room). I usually cook something that lasts a few days, to save time.
The boys sit down for dinner and I also sometimes have mine at the same time, unless Max needs help with his.
Greg finishes work, comes downstairs to have his dinner and then usually plays on the living room floor with the boys - usually getting climbed all over!
If it’s bath time (which is usually every other night unless the boys have done something particularly dirty that day), they both play in the bath together for a little while.
Max is usually ready for his bottle around now. He has 6oz full fat milk, along with his 2.5ml dose of antibiotics for his recurring UTIs. After this, it’s settling down time where we have cuddles on the sofa and generally spend time together.
Max’s bedtime. George usually spends this half hour of settling down time before his bedtime on his Amazon Fire Tablet, playing games, watching his favourite TV show or reading books. I usually put Max to bed and go straight for a shower.
7pm - 10pm
George’s bedtime at 7pm. And relax! Well, some nights. Some evenings I still have work to do and this can take a few more hours. If I don’t have pressing deadlines, me and Greg usually sit down and watch a Netflix series together (currently Suits).
Bedtime. Followed by one or two night feeds for Max. And the day starts again...
So that’s a general day in my household. Some days are quieter, some days are busier. As the boys get older I’m sure we will be doing a lot more, particularly in the evenings when they attend after school clubs and take part in sports (should they decide to do so).
We take each day as it comes and try to the make the best of it.
How do you spend your day, is it similar to ours? Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!