As you know, I live in a different country to all of my family! I have no childcare support from my Mum, my sister, my Mother-in-law… the normal sort of support that most moms might take for granted (maybe a little? Tell your mom you appreciate her!)
A lot of people ask me how I manage to run a business and be a full time stay at home Mama. So I thought this blog could help to outline just how I manage to get it done.
It takes some dedication for sure, and it takes effort to use my time wisely but it is so rewarding and I still get to be with my little, see her grow and still contribute to my family. I am a restless person who needs to be doing something so I would feel very uncomfortable staying home and doing nothing.
I do acknowledge though that I am very fortunate to be able to stay home and to be able to build my business without stress of needing to provide an income for housing and food. I respect every single mother out there who gets up and goes to work to provide.
Last week I managed to find 19 hours of work time! While it doesn’t sound a huge amount, this is the equivalent of a part time job without the need for any additional child care!
My little does go to a preschool. My work is not the reason she goes though. We decided she needed to go to get some socialization and to begin getting used to being in someone else’s care and build up to kindergarten.
She only goes two mornings a week for three hours a day. This is not a lot of time by the time I drop her off, get home, get started on some work and then have to turn around and go back and get her, but it is fantastic time for meetings and things I cannot get done when she is around. If I still have some time, I use as much of it as possible to get on with jobs.
Nap or quiet time
I am one of those super lucky mamas who have an amazing sleeping child! She has always been this way and I honestly don’t think I would’ve been able to finished my degree and start a business if she wasn’t.
She currently still sleeps 2 hours a day providing me with my most productive two hours of the day!
The plan for when the nap goes (I refuse to admit this will ever happen!), will be that she still has some quiet time in her room. Time to read a book or play, but time away from Mama. It promotes independence, offers some calm down time and means Mama can still get some work done (at least, that’s my plan!!)
You’re probably thinking our schedule is pretty empty outside of school and work time. Nope… We currently have dance class and we’re going to start Gym and we go to a few libraries a week along with lots of parks and play dates with friends.
Dance class is great for me!
It gives me 30 mins to catch up on emails on my phone, make some phone calls if I need to or do any research or quick activities.
Don’t waste this time! Getting some things done in this time really means I can focus on her when we’re back together without worrying about having to get something done.
I love the gym! I really enjoy working out, it gives me some me time and I love to sweat and work out hard. But sometimes, I have to forego my gym time and utilize the child care for some work time. I get 2 hours per day with our membership and the cafe is a great spot to jump on the wifi, get a coffee and get stuff done.
I have been known to have meetings from the gym and then go get my workout in afterwards 😊 Plus if I’m really stuck on figuring something out, sometimes stepping away and working out helps me see things more clearly.
Evenings are where I struggle most. She goes to bed at 7pm so theoretically, I have 3-4 hours of time available each day.
However, after Mum-ing for the day, I am usually spent! Plus this is time I get to spend with my husband and watch TV or just relax!
So, I’ve compromised recently and worked for an hour or two but then given myself this time to just do me and relax. If it was a particularly busy period, then this time would be completely utilized but I don’t want that to be the normal for me. Overworking would mean making mistakes and getting very grumpy, so it’s important for me to take these few hours off each day.
Similarly, I know other work at home Mums who get up and hour or two earlier than their littles to get some time there… I however am a very sleepy person and if I tried to do this, it would not end well! I know my strengths and my weaknesses.
Weekends are similar to evenings – I work, of course, but I try to limit it to ensure we still have family time and I still get some rest.
I typically work again through nap time as I would during the week.
It can be a little more difficult to get things done as I can’t contact clients or send customer emails, but I can get everything ready for Monday morning.
Sunday evenings are my day to look at what’s on the schedule for the week and get anything prepared for my business. This is also the day that I divide my tasks up by priority and allocate some days so that it doesn’t feel like everything needs doing on Monday!
My husband works 40+ hours a week. He travels a decent amount which is both good and bad for a WAHM!
When he is gone, I normally work additional hours in the evening, but I am usually also a lot more exhausted from missing his help and emotional support.
Luckily, when he is here, he has a reasonably flexible schedule which allows him to help me out sometimes. He can come home over lunch/nap time to pick her up from school or sit with her while I go to a meeting or he can take her to school so I can get to early morning meetings.
And… TV (when absolutely necessary!)
We try to limit TV time as it complete changes her behavior… but, I have in the past (and I’m sure I will again) sat her in front of it while I get a quick task done or made a quick phone call.
So there you go… its doable.
It’s difficult but doable, if you have the right attitude.
When I had her, I was still studying so I have never had a time in her life when I wasn’t working on something during her sleeping time. I think it’s just part of my personality.
And what about all the other things stay at home Mums do?
She helps me do them all!! We get stuck in to all the chores while she’s awake so I don’t have to use my time. She helps me fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, dust, clean, cook, garden... We get to bond and she is learning about life.