I’ve been a work at home mom for over 12 years. Long before I was blogging, I’ve been working for a University from home for years and years. I gave birth three times in the time that I’ve been a work at home mom, and also had major surgery. I homeschool our five children and we are active in our church. My kids play all kinds of sports and do lots of activities. And we even have time for a social life now and then! So as you can imagine, a work at home mom schedule is very important for me.
I don’t schedule my time very precisely at all. But I always have a general idea of how the day will go. I wrote a post a while ago about how I quit making lists. While I still try to keep my list making to a minimum, I am naturally a type A person who has nearly never missed a deadline or a due date in my life. So for me, lists can become unnecessary because I have a running list in my mind. But for you, lists might be a great way to get organized!
And scheduling is the same. For you, it might help to write down time blocks and use a planner with half hour increments. But for others, that might feel cumbersome, restrictive, or unnecessary. The key is to find a system that works for you and feels easy to manage. The work of creating a work at home schedule shouldn’t be a huge task! But it should help you feel more organized and prepared for the day.
In my personal schedule, I have the additional responsibility of homeschooling. However, if you’re a work at home Mom, you will also want to schedule quality time with your little ones. Whether that involves teaching or not, I generally like to keep morning time reserved for interaction with my children. It’s probably part of a trend that is a hold over from when they were babies and also napping in the afternoon. But morning seems like a time when everyone is at their best. So that’s our time together. Here’s a general overview of what my mornings look like with a work at home mom schedule:
- Mom’s quiet time/devotions/exercise.
- Mom checks email, responds to quick items.
- Breakfast and circle time with kids.
- Chores for all- start laundry, dishwasher, etc.
- Homeschooling/play time.
- Snack time with Mom checking email and logging some work hours.
- Outside time- backyard, park, etc. Possibly more work hours?
As you can see, I avoided including set times. As I said before, it feels too stressful for me to have set times for certain tasks. I just take each one at a time, and have a general idea of what I want to accomplish before lunch. But our lunch time is variable, and can be anywhere from 11:30 to 1 pm, depending on what the rest of the day looks like.
I try not to do much work in the mornings. But this isn’t always possible of course, and may not be for you either. Depending on your work schedule, you may need to put in some hours in the morning. If that’s the case, just try to plan for your kids accordingly. Set up an activity the night before that will keep them busy for a while on their own. Enlist the help of an older child to play with a younger child for a set amount of time. You can do it!
Afternoon and Evenings for a Work at Home Mom Schedule
The afternoons can be a difficult time. Although this is the time when nap time happens for the longest period of time, putting a baby or toddler down for a nap can be a task in itself. When nap time has passed you by as a parent, the afternoon can feel long, particularly if you are also homeschooling. Here’s a general overview of how our afternoons often look:
- Lunch clean up.
- Finish homeschooling.
- Quiet reading or room time with work time for Mom.
- Screen time for kids. Screen time and work for Mom.
- Outside play time during dinner meal prep.
- Family time
- Bedtime for kids
- Work for Mom.
Again, this will vary based on your schooling and the age of your children. But in general, even though my kids do go to school two days a week and my oldest is a teenager now, I still try to maintain this general schedule. My teenagers may not go to sleep at 8:30 pm, but they can do their own thing quietly at that time. Sometimes we watch a show together, but it’s a time that I rely on for my work at home schedule.
Overall Tips for Success
No matter what your work at home mom life looks like, there are some overall tips for success to keep in mind. After doing this for over 12 years, with 5 children, I have learned some things that really help.
- All sleep is equal. If you work better in the early mornings, set that alarm! If your kids and husband’s schedules allow, and you work better late at night, do that!
- Don’t expect to do it all yourself. Hire help. Whether you need a babysitter a few afternoons a week, or you need a house cleaner, make your life work in the ways that your budget allows.
- Include screen time in your day when needed. As Moms, sometimes we start to feel guilty if our kids have too much screen time. But guess what? If you’re worrying about that, you are probably doing just fine as a Mom.
- Don’t strive for perfection. There will be days when school work won’t get done. There will be days when the laundry is stacked high. And that’s ok. Of course.
- Feel proud of your work. Remember that you are contributing to your family with your work. Sometimes, as Moms, we feel guilty for working. For me, it’s taken years to get over that. But my husband supports me, he’s proud of me, and my kids have plenty of time with me.
- Find support both online and in real life. I love my community on Instagram, and have found real friends through that platform. I’m also blessed with amazing friends in real life who are my constant cheerleaders. I am abundantly blessed with these relationships. They help restore my sanity daily.
- Don’t neglect yourself. In all ways, spiritually, physically, with hobbies, with your relationships, you need to make sure you are taking care of your own needs, as well as those of others.
Hang in There Mama
Being a work at home Mom is a limited season in life. Your children will grow up. If you are work from home Mom with babies and toddlers and doing traditional schooling, there will be a time soon when your kids are in school for a big chunk of the day. And even if you are homeschooling, your children will all graduate, grow up, and leave your home. And then you will have all the time in the world to work. It’s a crazy time, but it’s also short lived in the overall scheme of your life.
So hang in there Mama! Make that work at home Mom schedule, enlist help, be proud of your work, and remember it won’t last forever. Wipe those noses and play on the floor in between calls and emails, and soak it all in. The time is fleeting, and believe it or not, I know there’s a time coming for all of us when we will wish someone was calling, “Mom!” from the other room.