The “Mom” Time Warp

You get up this morning and realize you’ve got to get cracking on the website copy for your home based business. You get your three year old son breakfast, and yourself some coffee, but before you sit down at your laptop to do some writing, you spend the first quarter of the day making “household” phone calls that couldn’t be made over the weekend – to get them out of the way. Then you bring all of the laundry downstairs (for some reason, you’re husband and son go through more laundry in a weekend than you do in an entire week), and get started on that before it’s allowed to pile up all week. You make lunch for you and your son after getting the laundry going…and after eating, decide it would be a good idea to make some snacks for the boys for during the week. While you’re at it, you brown the hamburger you need to make dinner. The next thing you know, you’ve emptied the dishwasher; fed the cats; done the laundry; made brownies, cookies and dinner; your husband is home; you’ve written zero copy and it’s 5:30. You are left scratching your head and thinking…”what happened to my day?”.

Sound familiar?

I call it the “Mom Time Warp”. This doesn’t happen to me often (thankfully!), but it still does sometimes. When it does happen to me, it’s usually a killer combination of several of the following:

  • I often feel guilty if I feel like I didn’t do enough around the house on any given day
  • It makes me feel good to have a clean house and be able to bake and cook for my husband and son
  • I forgot to make a to-do list
  • I don’t particularly enjoy the task at hand

As work-at-home moms, we tend to feel a need to make sure everything is taken care of before we’re willing to sit down and do something for ourselves or our business. Even my mother is like that – she’s a wonderful artist, but she will not pick up a brush until the house is clean, the shopping done, and all the other ducks are in a row.

In order to successfully be a work-at-home mom, we need to achieve a virtual symphony of home and work activities throughout our day – which is no easy task when you’ve got little ones running around. I’ve put together a sample “Successful Day” schedule so you can see what I’m talking about (please keep in mind that I don’t do laundry every day…sometimes it’s vacuuming, etc.).

  • 6:30 am – Get out of bed, shower, get dressed, make coffee
  • 7:00 am – Get Connor out of bed, make breakfast, write to-do list for the day
  • 7:30 am – Breakfast cleanup
  • 7:45 am – Get Connor dressed, teeth brushed, play
  • 8:40 am – Connor on the bus, or playing with his toys
  • 8:45 am – Morning phone calls, writing websites, etc.
  • 10:00 am – Make morning snack, empty dishwasher or start a load of laundry
  • 10:30 am – If Connor isn’t at school, play a game, otherwise working
  • 11:00 am – Connor coloring or “reading” stories, mum working close by
  • 12:00 pm – Meet Connor’s bus outside, make & eat lunch
  • 12:30 pm – Quiet time for Connor – educational TV with blanket & sippy cup, switch laundry then working
  • 1:15 pm – Connor usually likes to play by himself mid-afternoon, so I’m making calls, etc.
  • 2:30 pm – Afternoon snack, playing, story time
  • 3:45 pm – Playing or working (I follow Connor’s lead around this time, sometimes he likes to play with me, sometimes with his toys – sometimes it’s a little of both.)
  • 5:00 pm – Make dinner, hubby home (Saturday: Teach online class – 30 mins)
  • 6:30 pm – Bath time
  • 7:00 pm – Evening phone calls (no more than 30 mins), stories/movie with Connor
  • 7:30 pm – Monday: Teach online class – 45 mins, hubby does bedtime
  • 8:00 pm – Work or movie with hubby

I know it seems like alot – but trust me – there’s time to play with in there. It doesn’t take almost an hour to get a child dressed and their teeth brushed, and there will be times you feel like a fly on the wall because your child wants to play by themselves. Personally, I prefer to do dishes and vacuum during the day, then run the laundry while I veg in front of a movie at night. The important thing is to have a rough schedule in place with some breathing room for flexibility…then just tweak it to where you need it to be. You’ll feel much better because you’re accomplishing enough for your home and for your business.

I’m also a big fan of to-do lists…I keep two: one for things that must get done, like phone calls, advertising, etc.; and one for things that I’d like to get done, like write the copy for my stupid website (LOL). Now, if I can just get past this nasty case of writer’s block, maybe I can get the copy written tomorrow…

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Peanut Butter?

I will be honest with you, Fridays are the hardest day of the week for me, and yesterday I knew I was in for a rough ride.

My husband leaves shortly before my son and I get up in the morning, and after taking care of my son and working all week I am just plain tired and feeling pretty darn frazzled. I know, some of you are thinking “you work at home, how hard is that?” – well, I’m one of those silly people who just can’t stop in the middle of a project unless I happen to be at a good stopping point (and I usually have no less than 10 projects going on at once), so sometimes I’m still going until 10 or 11 pm.

I’m working on a very large project right now, so I’ve been up very late this week, hubby had to work late tonight, and it was the first week of school for “beetlebutt”. When he got home from school in the afternoon, the little guy was so wound up he could have run the Boston Marathon, and here was mum…ready to take a three hour nap. I’m sure many of you realize this is not a fun combination – for my son, or for me.

I was doing my best to use my “isn’t everything in the world so exciting” voice and play with him as enthusiastically as I usually do, when he decided to lie on the couch and watch TV for a few minutes. I was watching TV with him, stroking his hair, trying to get him to actually take a nap – when my mind started to wander. Some of the random thoughts running around in my head – little man’s haircut came out really cute…what are we gonna have for dinner?…what else can I put on my website?…wonder if there are any good movies on tonight…

Then I started to wonder: “What goes through that little three-year-old brain when he does the things he does?”

When he was done with his quiet time on the couch, I started paying really close attention to the things he does, and tried to answer my own question. As I played with him and watched what he did, I wrote a list. It’s fairly short, but by the time it was done, I was in much better spirits, and I was laughing my head off!

Here’s what I came up with…

  • Winter boots are the best shoes EVER, and are best worn with nothing else.
  • If I run circles around mum singing about Popsicles enough times, maybe she’ll give in and give me one.
  • Horses are really cows in disguise.
  • Cats are no fun unless you’re chasing them or making them chase you (with string or something similar).
  • Pillows aren’t for sleeping on – they’re for building forts.
  • Any meat other than chicken or turkey dogs is “stinky”, and turkey dogs with condiments on them are “dirty”.
  • Electric recliners are really trampolines built just for little boys.
  • Clean laundry makes the best landing pad for jumping off the back of the couch!
  • Peanut butter makes AWESOME face cream!
  • Clothes flying through the air are not clothes – they’re big, colorful birds!

 Yes, that’s peanut butter!

The moral of this little enumeration? Even the really rough days should be cherished!

Technorati Tags: , , ,