Ok so the title is misleading: I’m not technically a Work At Home Mom.
I’m a Work Out of the Home, Work in the Home, Work in the Car, Work Work Work Mom.
I’m a high school teacher and writer.
For nine months of the year, my teaching job structures my working day, but during the summer (and on other breaks) I have to schedule writing and mothering my two boys, Eddie (4.5) and Charlie (2). I found very quickly that it’s not just the boys that need routine, but I do too. I need to know when I’ll be able to write and work. It helps me focus better on my work and on my “momming”.
Knowing I will have certain times guaranteed for working lowers my anxiety and helps me know how to schedule my freelance work. It also helps me plan activities and maximize my time with my boys.
This is the routine we follow when I am working from home:
Anytime between 6:30 and 8:00 am: The boys get up, I drink coffee, we snuggle on the couch.
9:30-noon: Play time/daily adventure. Unless the boys are in daycare (which happens once a week in the summer), I expect my mornings to be work-free. If we are going to go to the park, library, out with friends, or to visit daddy at work, this is when it happens. Some days all we do is go outside at our house, but we always shut off the TV and DO SOMETHING.
Sometimes during this time, the boys will play nicely outside without wanting or needing me to be involved, and I can do some work from our deck or patio. I don’t ever plan on it though…just in case it doesn’t happen.
12:30-1:30: Some TV time/toys/daddy home for lunch. Sometimes I catch a shower during this time. Sometimes.
1:30-4:00: Nap/Quiet time. Charlie will nap anywhere from 2-3 hours if I let him, and Eddie knows he may do a craft, play outside, play the Wii (if it’s yucky out), have Tablet Time, etc as long as he can do it quietly on his own. This is when I work. I write my buns off during this time. Or, if nothing is pressing, I read. Sometimes (the best days), Eddie plays outside while I read/write on the patio.
4:00-5:00: The “witching hour”. Charlie gets up from nap, the boys have a quick snack, and most days we head to the front yard to play or chalk the driveway until daddy gets home from work.
5:00-6:00: Making and eating dinner
6:00-8:00: Family time
8:00-11:00: Boys in bed, time to write. Also time to snuggle with the husband and/or a good book.
Once a week my boys both go to daycare from 7:00am-4:30pm. Those days are cram days for work and errands and “me time”.
I probably devote an average of five hours a day to work (which ranges from my blog to freelance to academic/teacher stuff). This is the schedule that works for me and my family. Since I am working so much during the school year, it’s important for me to devote parts of my day during breaks to just my boys and not to work.
What does your Work Day look like?