I’m going to admit to you that my life is far from perfect. You should know that by virtue of my being a homeschooling mom, but just in case you didn’t know I threw in an extra layer of work load called being a WAHM (work at home mom), I thought I would add that extra measure to my perfectly normal chaos. These two factors together make for a pressure cooker in my life, and sometimes, I honestly wonder what I was thinking when I took on both of these tasks.
Don’t get me wrong- I love being a mom, and I enjoy (for the most part) homeschooling. I also find working from home to be a fabulous way to tap into a different side of my inner self that has been waiting to burst out for years- and I also enjoy helping other moms find their passions and make money at it. But when you combine working a business from home with homeschooling, and you attempt to achieve a sense of balance in your life as mom, wife, friend, and everything else in between (adding to that- household management), you can easily start to feel your brain fizzle.
Do you want to know what my life REALLY looks like as a wahm? For some of you, it might be a bit surprising to see just how un-glamorous it really is- and for others of you- you already know.
Here’s a video I published over the summer- just so you get a visual:
- I get up and shower- usually around 8:00 in the summer, earlier during the school year. My kids are typically up an hour after me, if I’m being a ‘responsible’ mom. Otherwise, they’re up hours and hours later. And I get more of my work done when the house is quiet so I just let ‘em sleep. And that’s just being real.
- If it’s super late, the kids get themselves up. If not, I wake them up (because they still haven’t learned the power of the alarm clock yet). They shower and dress and come downstairs for breakfast. I do take the time to scramble up eggs and make toast or we have boiled eggs and waffles- something like that. Otherwise, cereal or bagels it is. During this time I also thaw out meat in preparation for that evening’s dinner.
- I leave my oldest daughter in charge while I go walk the dog around the block.
- I come back and help the kids clean up after breakfast. If it’s a school year, my oldest daughter gets started on her independent work and I get my youngest started on hers.
- School time is school time in my home (at least for my littlest). So when we’re doing school, I don’t work. I try to make that one-on-one time really count. We end up zipping through our workbooks and other projects in about 2 hours. My oldest checks in with me periodically for extra help on things like writing or math. (Her online school studies generally take longer- somewhere around 4-5 hours, depending on the day.)
- Now it’s time for lunch. Turkey sandwiches with a piece of fruit or leftover chili from the night before generally suffices us. Then we clean up after lunch-again.
- At this point, if the kids have somewhere to be, I bring my laptop and ipad so I can be prepared to work whether it’s at the library or some other activity. This is one way I get my work in. If we’re staying home for the day, I send the kids out to play for exercise a bit or to work on other things while I fire up my laptop and get to work. Generally I give my self 2-3 hours per day of focused work (in the middle of the day with my kids around). If I have the luxury of an “office” or some extra room to set up my work, that’s where I typically camp out. But since we’ve been in moving and house-showing mode up until recently, my office is now downstairs adjacent to the kitchen and dining room where all the loud action is- so I really don’t have much privacy. (Which means podcasting can get tricky.)
- Around 4 or 5 I get started with making dinner. If I thawed out chicken that morning, I pop in the oven to bake around 4 p.m. or I get started on chili and rice or spaghetti and meatballs- something easy and somewhat quick.
- I clean up as I cook to avoid having an after-cooking disaster to clean up, and sometimes I keep the girls in the kitchen with me for two extra pairs of hands. I’ve been teaching them over the years to pitch in and help out with preparing dinners and cleaning up. I’m so glad I invested that time to teach them because it pays off!
- By the time my husband gets home in the evening I’ve had a full, exhausting day (having been in the kitchen and on the computer a lot), and lots of ideas, thoughts, concerns, and plans running through my brain. I’ve learned to push most of that aside as I prayerfully try to be available to embrace him and all of his ideas, thoughts, and concerns for the day.
- Unless we have an extracurricular activity to attend (like our mid-week Awana program), we eat dinner together and unless we forget, we try to have a quick bible devotional with dad at the dinner table. He leads the kids in prayer.
- I and the girls clean up the dining room and kitchen, wiping down the counters and table, loading the dishwasher, sweeping.
- The kids begin their bedtime routines: last-minute play, bathing, bedtime snacks, brushing teeth, chatting with me and dad, off to bed.
- I spend time with my hubby- chatting and snuggling, praying together, talking and laughing. Then he goes off to bed.
- If I’m not already exhausted by now (which I’m positive I already am at this point!), I bring out my laptop again to get a bit more work done before I literally crash for the night. I might stay up another hour if I’m not too tired. If I feel too exhausted, I’ll make it a point to rise and shine bright and early the next morning to get a head start on my work.
And that’s my typical daily life of a work at home mom! I didn’t add in all the exciting and unexpected days of doctor’s visits, impromptu homeschool field trips, or visits with homeschooling friends- because those are special circumstances.
Now that we’ve moved, this routine is being shifted to account for newer activities as we adjust to living in our new city. Which also means, as I traipse around town more often I’ve been spending less time at home – so I’m currently working on finding balance with that.
How about you? If you work from home, what does your typical day look like as a homeschooling work at home mom? I’d love to hear from you.