A day in the life: Weekly schedule.

April 5, 2016

work life

 

Over the past few months I have received several emails asking what our daily schedule looks like with running a business with multiple little ones. I wish I could tell you the secret to a perfectly balanced life, but that my friends is a question I will probably chase my whole life. With four little ones I have had to get really disciplined with time management. 

There certainly are more productive weeks than others depending on the calendar and everyone’s health. I can tell you first hand though that this is a week where I am making dinner on the fly, hunting for houses instead of cleaning my own, and getting blog posts up at 5pm because everyone is boycotting nap time. However, here is what a typical day at home looks like around here as well as the days I dedicate to content building!

 

SCHEDULE A
6:30 AM – Crew 1 wakes up – Gabe gets Gabriel (6 yrs) and Veronica (4 yrs) ready for school and out the door, and I get up and dressed to get a head start on the day.

7 :15 AM – School crew heads out the door.  I feed Rocco (8 mo.) and put him back to sleep. This is when I try to squeeze in a cup of coffee and quiet time before Max (2 yrs) wakes up. It sometimes gives me a chance to answer emails, put up the post of the day, and prep to share on social media.

7:45 – When Max arises he is ready for LIFE! We have breakfast together.

8:15 – Between him and Rocco, my hands are usually tied in the morning so I just set aside those hours for them. We spend a good deal of time outdoors in the spring and summer. The morning hours are also when I will clean or do laundry which is the ongoing need of a busy household.

10:00 – Meal time for Rocco + snack time for Max. Afterwards, I will put the baby down for a nap (he only sleeps for 30 minutes at a time), and I have some one on one time with Max.

10:30 – Errands or outdoor time.

12: 00 – Lunch, clean up, put boys down for a nap.

12:30 – This is when I get to work on either writing blog content, shooting photos if needed, conference calls with a brand, emails, or researching a topic. This is the first year that blogging is the only creative work I am dedicating time to. This has allowed me to focus more on content I love which has been a fun challenge! I was able to hire my first employee as well who helps me manage my email inbox, SEO, and editing. She is a life saver! I am often tempted to do a million other things during this time….like nap myself. I have to be really disciplined to turn off my phone and make the hour or two count.

2:30 – Get the boys ready and leave for carpool pick up.

3:00- Snack + Homework with Gabriel

3:30 – Outdoor time or quiet time. We encourage the kids to entertain themselves with books, paints, backyard exploring, or building legos. This is when I will do any dinner prep, answer any urgent emails, feed Rocco (again;)), etc. It’s really the only way to distract them from being at my feet or getting into squabbles.

5:00 – 5:30 – Gabe gets home from work and we sit down to dinner.

6:00 – Dinner clean up, pick up around the house, and going over the next day’s needs. Family walk or music and down time depending on the day.

7:30 – Bedtime routine: Family reading, prayers, teeth brushing, lay out uniforms, baths etc.

8:00 – I will work an additional hour covering emails or deadlines if needed. 

9:00- Gabe and I set aside time to chillax. Usually Netflix. Usually staying up later than we should….

It’s a whole bunch of tag teaming that sometimes involves a good deal of creative compromise. I am thankful Gabe and I can approach life with the perspective that there aren’t he/she designated tasks we have to stick to, but more let’s do what it takes to help each other out. That might mean I take out the trash and he covers the dinner routine, but we both make the effort to make sure the other is standing on two feet by the end of the day. The weekends is when I usually run the majority of errands, meal plan, and catch up on any other major projects.

 

dinner time bedtime routine

 

SCHEDULE B

I finally hired a regular babysitter once a week this year and it had me wondering how I ever did it without her. She is wonderful and the kids are kicking me out the door when she arrives. These are the days that really allow me the chance to get a good deal of content done at one time. I with either plug away for a few hours at a coffee shop, shoot three different posts in one day with my photographer, or maybe even go to the store all by myself! She comes at 9AM, and at 2PM we resume with Schedule A!

*Side note: I had a reader ask me “How do I get so much done?” Well in all honesty, it may only appear like so since I will stack content in one day, and post it over the course of a week. I may have a day where I capture a bunch of photos and then leave my camera aside for the week. I spread that content over the course of an allotted time, so it doesn’t feel like I am working every day. It allows me time to breath and enjoy my little ones without always having the pressure to capture moments. Gabe also shoots content photography on weekends and sometimes helps with home project posts.

 

Our schedule tends to shift every 6 months as we adjust our sails to each new phase of life. Little ones give you the opportunity to not take life too seriously, to make the most of what is in front of you, and to be flexible with your definition of a successful day. If I can make it to the end of the day feeling like I gave the best of my energy to them, rather than stressing about what didn’t get done, then I consider it a success. Did I leave anything out? Let me know if you have any q’s in the comments below and I will be sure to answer.

What are some things that help you get through a day smoothly? I love hearing various schedules from mothers who stay at home, working mothers, stay at home dads, etc. It’s an art form to figure out what is best for your family isn’t it? 🙂

 

Leave a Comment

  • Hi! I saw your post on Instagram and immediately clicked because you inspire me. I have an almost 7 month old and I feel like I’m a fraction of what I used to be. He is a great baby but very needy and needs to see me constantly. Also, he sleeps awful. Naps aren’t too bad but night sleep gives me anxiety. I always wanted 4 children but now I can’t imagine doing this all over. How did you help encourage night sleep with your babies? Thank you!!

    • Hi Nina! Oh my goodness I have been there a number of times. I think sleep depravation is one of the most challenging parts of motherhood. So I don’t blame you for not thinking you can do any more than one! I think when they are newborns they wake in the night because they are genuinely hungry and need mama. I usually nurse them through the night and they gradually start to spread out those times and sleep longer. However, a few of my boys went past six months and were beginning to wake out of habit when they were clearly not needing an extra meal (hello thigh rolls!). I think 6 months is a marker for me when I start to let them fuss it out. I hate doing it, but I swear, after a few nights they are no longer waking every few hours and we are both happier humans! Even if you can get your babe to sleep at a 6 hour stretch will make a big difference. It also helps to do a lavender bath or oils, and some sort of white noise background. I hope this sheds some light, but also want to remind you that each baby is so different and has different needs…and it IS a phase! You will come out of the blur soon I promise. And one day when they are showing signs of independence you might just crave that baby phase again and have another;)

  • I love ‘Day in the Life’ posts! I find it so fascinating to compare my day-to-day schedule with those of other moms to little ones. Man, I admire how much you accomplish. I keep my days somewhat scheduled partly because it’s in my nature but also because if I don’t, I get overwhelmed and end up getting nothing done at all. We’re kind of the opposite of you guys in that (unless I’m pregnant or have just had a baby 🙂 I do 100% of the traditional “wife” stuff because my husband’s hours are so long and sometimes unpredictable that this works best for us.
    Curious, since I know you have a LOT of lifelong experience with babies… What type of sleep training method do you use? Do you adopt ‘Crying it Out’ and if so, at what age? I know I’m totally being nosy here but this is probably one of my biggest struggles as a mom – ha!
    Thanks for sharing such a fun insight into your life!

    • Me too Laura:) I admire my friends who are military wives or whose husbands work long hours. It is a different ball game when you are doing much of it on your own! That is definitely the key though – to find a routine that makes the ship sail, right?

      I do use cry it out, but don’t really like to let them do so till I know they are just waking on a habit. I think those first months they genuinely need the calories (especially if they are breastfeeding), and crying is their way of communicating. If they cry it out too soon, I worry they won’t cry when they are in distress and really need mom. 6-7 months seemed to be the mark for my babies, but it could be later for some. Rocco is 8 months and am just now letting him fuss it out because I need the sleep in a bad way! I learned some of this from my mother of course – the pro!

      • Thanks for your reply, Anna. Yes, 6-8 months sounds about right.
        My vote is that your mom should start a blog! I would def be an avid reader! 😉

  • I love this. I work part-time from home too, and it is always such a struggle to find the elusive “balance” (is there such a thing?). For me, the biggest hardship is being *present* to my kids when I’m not working and being present to my work when I am not around the kids. My mind (and heart) always wanders to one or the other.

    • Sarah, I was actually feeling the same tug a few years ago, and hit a breaking point. I felt like I was not giving my best to anything. It is a horrible feeling. Balance is a mean myth.

      Blocking time into segments really helped give me a peace of mind when I was with my little ones in the morning knowing there was a set aside time later to clean or do work related tasks etc. We can’t always be completely present to our kids but it does help to minimize stress or distractions that are more of a stress than a benefit to your family. You will figure it out, but it might take some shifting a practicing to let things go. It took me a while!

  • Thanks for sharing!
    So do you work on average about 2.5 (3.5 if you need to) most week days and then 5 hours once a week?
    Sounds like you work very smart!

    • Yep! Although there are some days where that 2.5 hours just doesn’t happen because the baby was teething or I chose to meet up with friends instead. Ideally though, I get that time!

  • Love this! I swear kids have a universal schedule because no joke we have almost the same routine (because of the kids!)

  • Love this. I have a 2 year old (hoping for more hopefully soon!) and work from home as a freelance writer. I was nervous about continuing work if/when we have more kids but you make it seem doable, with keeping flexible of course. Dinner is our struggle, my daughter gets SO hungry by 5 or 5:30 and often is hitting that wall, but my husband doesn’t get home till 6. So family meals are out till she can last longer or stay up later (crashes by 7:30 right now). Otherwise my day sounds like yours but with only one kid. Play play play, nap = work, independent play to prep dinner. Feed toddler (munch with her and chat), husband gets home, they play and we do bedtime routine. Then we eat around 7:30. Not ideal with the dinner but I’m glad I get the rest of the day with my little one so I’m ok with that for now.

    • Elodie, same with my Max! He is hangry by 5pm. If my husband is late we still eat at 5 or 5:30 or we are all going crazy with a grumpy two year old. ha! I bet it’s nice to have dinner together too when he gets home just the two of you!

  • This schedule is so good and impressive! I liked how you and your husband deal with things, especially supporting each other.
    xo

    Carolina | http://www.dearbabymj.com

  • So proud of you Anna! Loved reading your schedule. It’s quite true that a successful day looks different to each of us. I’m still amazed by all you do with only one day of babysitting!! You’re incredible.

    My days start at 5:45 so I can start the coffee and put make up on before Sam is up by 6:15.. Maybe 6:30.. Then Leyland and I both rush around to get out the door as soon as our nanny comes by 7:30! Then it’s literally a mad dash from one thing to the next at work all day and I sprint out by 5 to make the 5:30 train home so that my nanny can make her train. Zzz. Then I feed sienna, bedtime for her, get Sam started on bed, finish bedtime by 8 on a great day, then eat, try to do work.. Crawl into bed. Repeat. Haha ok there are good days too but that’s an average day when I go into the office . I’m so grateful I can work at home now too. Makes everything feel more balanced.

    Love you!!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lize, I admire you so much. You work your tail off for those kiddos and I know you probably rarely catch ten minutes for yourself. They are lucky to have you. And anyone who gets up before 6am is hero status in my book! ha!

  • Amazing!! No, really- hat down! I use to work full time until 2 months ago and constantly felt guilty when I had to leave my two babies to our nanny… Now, as we moved to a new country for my husbund’s work, I chose to stay at home with my two fire balls ( boys, 2&4) and I can honestly say that I am going trough a very difficult time; they are non stop active, at each others 50 times a day and sometimes I just think- can I go back to work to have some rest;)? I also think it is funny how everyone’s schedules are similar, but when you explain to a couple without kids that you are having dinner at 6pm, they are always left with a question mark above their head…

    • Nada, I know it’s hard in both ways! It’s so hard to leave our babies for work, and it is so difficult to live with them all day too! ha ha! Especially when they are needing us so much when they are little. It helps me to have creative outlets. I know though that your time with them isn’t forsaken. They will have fond memories of your presence in their lives and gratitude for what you give up for them, just like I do with my own mother. I love her so much for the small and insignificant moments she dedicated to us!

      • Dear Anna, thank you for your warm reply. I do agree with you and know that this period is to be cherished. I also agree that is really beneficial to have something to do on top of the mommy stuff and I will try to find something quite soon. Other than that, your blog has been such a comfort in the last few months and it has really given me the illusion of social contact, even if virtual, with which I do not feel so alone.

  • My 15 month old’s schedule is just like Max’s. I work four days a week, but am blessed with the ability to start my work day depending on Eleanor’s wake time (usually between 6:30-7:30), I guess really it’s a blessing and a curse because I tend to snuggle up with my girl far too long instead of getting out of bed and getting my day going. Every time i read other mamas’ daily routines I remind myself that i NEED to start getting out of bed earlier. My husband doesn’t have a set time that he has to leave for work because it often depends on whether or not he has to lead safety meetings and how far they are from home. Still, most mornings I’m on my own and it’s a mad dash to get us both dressed and fed, pets fed and in the yard happily, and finally out the door for the sitter (M&W) or day care (T&TH). I get to work by 8:45-9:00 and leave work by 3:30 for pick up, then home by 4:30 to get some quality play time in before dinner (5-5:30) and bed time routine (7:30ish). By Friday I’m so over driving back and forth and everywhere that I usually try to stay home ALL DAY and get the cleaning, organizing, and planning done. Fridays off are my saving grace!

    • So great you have flexible hours! It’s incredible what a village it takes to keep a house running. Sounds like you work hard for your family! That is wonderful. I am always in admiration of full time working mothers. I know it takes so much energy and dedication.

  • I love it when bloggers do posts like this! I especially like your line about how you and your husband don’t have he/she tasks but just pitch in and DO WHATEVER NEEDS TO BE DONE. Fantastic! You seem like you’ve found a great work-life balance. Love your blog!

    • Thank you Kate! We just happen to have those personalities where that works for us, and it takes the stress and pressure off of routine knowing the other has each other’s back. Very thankful for him!

  • Anna, I loved reading this! I think it’s so interesting to hear the ins and outs of another family’s day. I especially appreciated how you said every 6 months or so you have to adjust your sails because of changes in the kids. Such a good reminder for me! I tend to like getting stuck in a good routine but as a newish mom I need to learn it’s a constant readjusting!

    • Sherri, I am someone who wouldn’t mind counting on the same routine for two years in a row so I have had to learn a lot about flexibility and letting go of my desire to control life. It has definitely allowed me to enjoy my little ones more rather than constantly looking for what should be next, but it’s been a tough lesson for me! ha!

  • Thanks, I really enjoyed this post! It is interesting to see how others make the home, raise children, and fit in some paid work. I am mostly a homemaker but I do a bit of freelance writing here and there. I had my second three months ago, and she’s old enough that I feel like we should have a new rhythm but still so little that we aren’t quite there yet! Hopefully soon 🙂

    • Each baby took at least a few months to find a rhythm and some longer than others. Even though I am pretty laid back, I happen to love a schedule so those are months where I just accept that little happens:) They are too sweet to miss anyways, right? 🙂

  • You didn’t mention any excercise time other than family walks. Do you work out regularly and if so, how do you fit it in? I am running during my lunch breaks so I’m not away from the baby at night, but it is hard to make that a regular habit when my work day doesn’t always allow for a break.

    • I had been wondering along the same lines as Tiffany about your fitness time/plan. Do you just squeeze it in, or do you set aside specific times? It would be great to hear more on that. Thanks.

  • I love this! I always like to see other mom’s schedules on how they “make it happen” each day!

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