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?”.
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…