Working for yourself always has challenged and struggled, but can I just say that working for myself from home with both little people at home has been a huge adjustment! I have been asked more times than I can count recently how I work from home with both a little baby and a toddler at home full time, so I figured I could just turn it into a blog post and share it with all of my lovely readers.
About My Family
Just so I can give you a full picture, I’ll let you know about my family really quick so I’m giving you a realistic look about how things go in my house. Autumn (3) is an introvert whose love language is quality time. We intend to homeschool her, but right now we aren’t doing formal “school” because at this age it’s more about learning by playing.
Logan is currently 3 months old and is by all accounts an easygoing, sweet tempered little person. He is still nursing every 2-3 hours during the day, which is the routine that helps him sleep well at night so that’s what we’re going with.
Steps I took to get into my groove
First, I took some time to figure out a routine with worked for the kids and I. Figuring out how to nurse (all the time) and stay productive, while not neglecting Autumn was really hard at first. Autumn is an easy kid, I’ve worked with her on being independent and he’s used to me working from home because I’ve been doing it for as long as she can remember. Logan was the hard part to integrate into our life. I believe in a combination of child-led nursing and scheduling for Logan. He is pretty easy, so usually we just follow a 2-3 hour routine that looks something like this:
- Baby wakes up
- Change diaper
- Rinse and repeat…
Sometimes he tries to take long naps during the day and I usually don’t let that happen because then he gets me up at night, and even if his favorite words are “Mama, hungry!” (Which may be the most adorable thing. Seriously. Three month old babies should not be so cute when they’re demanding food.) I still love me some uninterrupted sleep at night. The biggest thing was working around Logan’s routine to make sure Autumn’s needs were getting met. For a well-balanced day for her I like to include:
- Independent play time
- Just Mommy & Autumn time
- Chores/helping time
- Nap time/introvert time
After that I made a list of the things I needed to include in my day to keep myself balanced between being productive on the business side of things, but also taking care of the house, family and myself. Here are the things I have on my daily list:
- Quiet time
- Write something
- Design something
- Dinner prep
- Essential oils
- Most Important Tasks
- Do one thing to simplify
Once I had all the pieces I needed to make my routine, I just had to figure out how to make it all work together. I am not someone that thrives on a rigid schedule, so I usually stick to routines instead. (If you’re looking for a really useful schedule manager that needs to be very detailed because you have a lot of scheduled things, Managers of Their Home is a great book! That’s just not the stage I’m in.) So with that in mind I have a block schedule-style routine.
Breakfast time/ set day’s priorities – during breakfast I run the dishwasher and make sure I have food out for lunch, then check my email to make sure there is nothing urgent I have to take care of during the day.
Morning block – this is when Autumn does her independent activities while I do my quiet time and take care of household related tasks for the day.
Lunchtime -food 😉
Nap time – if I’m really tired then I lay down to take a nap when the kids do, but most times I use this for my personal projects, as opposed to my work for clients, that happens later in the day.
Afternoon block – this is when I take the time to make sure Autumn gets one on one time with me. Sometimes that means a craft, sometimes it means just playing with Picasso tiles or other times we will just work side by side doing similar things. She might be using her Kwik Stix paints (one of her favorite things) while I do Bible Journaling. (Side note, if you’re into Bible Journaling, you should come join my new Bible Journaling group on Facebook!) Once we’ve done our special one on one time, she might watch a movie or an episode of something. Recently I’ve been hard core about encouraging the educational shows that are teaching her letters, my favorite is Super Why, but she also loves the LeapFrog movies too.
Dinner time – more food 😉
Family time – Ian works third shift, so he is usually up around dinner time which makes after dinner our family time. After we eat we hang out and watch a movie or play, then do bedtime for the kids.
Free time – after Ian leaves for work and Autumn goes to bed I have my free time. What I do depends on my mood. Sometimes it means journaling, bible journaling or reading. A lot of times I end up watching Greys Anatomy and working, but it’s nice to have some time that I am “allowed” to waste. I have an alarm set for when it’s time to start work at 9 if I’m not already working.
Work block – this is the time when I take care of clients or work on my projects. When I have a lot to do I work until 12, or when work is light or I’m feeling particularly tired I stop at 11. This is when I work on things for clients or my own projects if my clients are all taken care of.
Working from home with a baby and a toddler isn’t easy. I think the block schedule works really well for me. Aside from my formal schedule, I often use my time I am nursing to work on tasks I can complete on my phone – that has made a huge difference.
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