I can’t tell you the amount of misconceptions there are around life as a work at home Mum. I’m speaking personally here, but I also know many other work at home Mums who have heard similar things.
There are three common thoughts that people seem to have about work at home parents. They either think that you are free all the time, that you are always working or that you’re just sat at home all day in your pjs, watching tv and drinking tea! Today I really wanted to share a ‘typical day in the life of a work at home Mum’ just to try and rule out some of these misconceptions and also to give a little bit of insight into the behind the scenes of me being a freelance social media manager, running this blog and being a Mum all at the same time!
Day In The Life Of A Work At Home Mum
Over the last four years I will put my hands up and admit that I have been winging it! Unless Evie’s been at her Dads, or nursery, I’ve had her with me most of the week while I’ve been trying to work. I’ve had to think up some really clever ways of keeping her entertained while I’ve done client and blog work. This has included creating her ‘play stations’ about the house and coming up with genius little concepts like her busy box and busy bags.
Now she is at school though, my day looks so much different and honestly, I am so spoilt for time! Balancing work and a baby/toddler/pre-schooler is not easy by any stretch. But now she is at school, I finally feel that I have the balance just right!
For those who are sceptical about what I actually do with my day, here it is in full blown breakdown. This looks very different to my old routine, where I’d literally work to the point of burnout with a toddler at my feet 24/7!
6am – It’s time to get up and exercise. Now I’m pregnant I’m not doing anything too hectic! I’ve actually cancelled my gym membership until baby comes and instead I’m focusing on toning a different part of my body each day. If I’m too tired to work out (only since I’ve been pregnant) I’ll head into my inbox and start replying to emails. I normally have about 50 e-mails in my inbox in the morning to wade through.
Related post: 3 Workouts You Can Do At Home
6.30am – Get ready! It’s time to put on make-up, do my hair and get dressed for the day. Usually Evie gets up at this time and starts nagging me for breakfast.
7.00 am – Breakfast time! We usually have porridge mixed with lots of yummy nuts and seeds, a drizzle of honey and some blueberries. During this time (Evie takes ages to finish breakfast) I quickly feed the rabbits Nutmeg and Chia and let them out in the garden. I also use this time to do a few errands such as making the beds and putting on a load of washing.
7.30 am – As soon as Evie is finished with breakfast, its time for her to get dressed and ready for school. I’ve made a little checklist for her while she gets into the routine of being at school for the first time. This has been so helpful. I made it in Canva (its free) and it was so easy to make. I’ll link to it here in case you want to make one too!
8am – As soon as Evie is ready (she can chill downstairs, play with her toys or watch TV. Now it’s time for me to pull out my laptop and really start work. The first thing I do is check emails, reply to social media messages and set out my intentions for the day. I usually get a good 45 minutes to an hour work done before the school run, dependant on when Evie is ready for school (she’s usually dressed and ready by 7:45). Before she leaves for school the washing machine is usually done, so I hang it up to dry then its…
8.30am – School run time! 90% of the time I do the school run, but on some rare days I’m lucky and Aitan is home to take Evie to school. This means I can start work a little earlier.
8.45am – Work time. As soon as I open my laptop I start my freelance work. I head onto the ‘task manager’ websites I use with clients and respond to any new and urgent messages. The rest of the ‘non-urgent’ ones get left till later.
9.00 – I now have five hours of uninterrupted work. I usually break down my day into half an hour tasks. Mornings are usually dedicate to freelance work. I’m both a blogger and a freelance social media manager and I find it easier to split up my day and do blog work in the afternoons and client work in the mornings.
As a freelance social media manager I have four main clients that I work for continuously, but I also do short contracts as well. I normally have 3-5 clients on the go at one time. The next few hours will be spent doing whatever work they need and reporting back to them. This involves anything from website building, to social media scheduling, graphics creation, community building and whatever else they need.
I either spend my morning working from my home office or I break it up some days and head to a local coffee shop for a change of scenery.
12 pm – At midday I usually pop down and make my lunch. I typically make a salad. I’ll always eat at my desk and carry on with either freelance work or I’ll dive back into my e-mails. I used to find I was spending most of my day in my inbox. Now I only check e-mails twice a day. I usually always check my e-mails for the second time around lunch time. I normally have lots to respond to as well as lots to send out. This is when I usually send off invoices, or get in touch with people I need to for collaborations. It takes so long to get through them all.
12.30pm – Afternoons are purely for blog work. But, I can only usually dive into this if I’ve finished freelance tasks for the day (I normally over run). Blog work entails writing posts, taking and editing pictures, creating videos, pitching to brands, dealing with invoices and admin work, editing my website, creating blog graphics for each social media channel, scheduling social media, being present in live videos and replying to messages across all channels.
2.30pm – School run time. Evie comes home from school so it’s now ‘home and family time’. I try and consciously shut off from work (not always easy when you work from home).
3.00pm – Usually I make Evie a snack and then between 3 and 4 I’ll finish doing chores around the house (putting washing away etc). I’ll also use this time to go out and grab anything we need from the shop, or to run errands out and about. On occasion though I do need to keep working as soon as I get home (if I have a deadline or pressing work I didn’t manage to finish), but I try and shut off at 4pm.
- Related post: 5 Healthy After School Snacks
4pm – If I have nothing pressing to do, we’ll either spend this time out of the house going for a family walk or I’ll be in having one or one time with Evie. Everyday we do something together for at least an hour. I’ll usually play with some of her board games, we’ll go for a walk or we’ll play with her toys together.
5pm – Time to start dinner and make lunches for the next day. I always make lunches now because it saves so much time and stress in the mornings.
5.30pm – At 5.30 we usually sit and eat dinner as a family. We try and be altogether at dinner time. This is our chance to catch up on what we’ve all done that day.
6.00pm – It’s Evie’s bath time and time for her to get ready for bed. If I have any spare time while she’s mooching about the house, I will admit I do head back into my office and do some quick tasks for work.
6.30pm – I always spend half an hour reading to Evie in her room before bed. We take it in turn and usually read three or more books before her 7pm bed time.
7pm – Work time! Yup, I’m not done for the day yet. As soon as Evie’s tucked up in bed I’m back in my office and on my laptop. This time I’m purely focusing on building my courses (courses I’m creating to help small businesses with social media), building pages for a planner I want to release this year and Instagram. This is only if I have finished client work or blog campaigns though from earlier.
I do work 5-6 nights of the week. I’ll usually take Friday nights off for family night and occasionally Saturday night too.
8.30pm – Around 8.30pm I focus on building my Instagram. I find this is the busiest time of day and I’m getting too tired now to focus on other things. I’ll spend half an hour to an hour engaging with people and posting new images.
9pm – This is when I try and finish up last things for the day. I write a to do list for the next day and try and switch off before 9.30. Luckily Aitan usually starts nagging me to shut down at this point. Once upon a time I used to work everyday till midnight! I got so burnt out, we now have a rule that no work is to be done after 9.30.
9.30 – Shower time! Or bath. This is the first thing I do when I close my laptop and for me it signals the end of the day.
9.45 – Spend time with Aitan or read my book. We’ll either watch something on Netflix (usually by this point though I’m all screened out) or we’ll talk, play a board game or I’ll read a book. It’ll either be one from my ‘24 Books To Read in 2018‘ list or it’ll be a business related book. I’m obsessed with these.
10.30 – It’s time for bed! I always try and aim to be asleep by 11pm. It doesn’t always workout, but I definitely try my hardest. Goodnight world.
So, that was a day in the life of a work at home mum….
I have to say this ‘day in the life’ is so different to how things to be. I finally feel like I have the balance just right with everything. Before Evie went to school though, are lives were far more chaotic. I was trying to fit in work whenever I could (well I sort of still do). I also had three jobs at one point; my blog, my freelance work and waitressing in the evenings. Every single day I was literally working from 7am till midnight. It wasn’t healthy and I was constantly burnt out!
With a baby due very soon though, I have a feeling this day is going to look very different soon!
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It feels so good to now have a structured routine and I love how my days flow. This day will look so different in both the school holidays though and when our new little baby comes along. I hope that I manage to work out a new routine then and maybe one that’s a little healthier but still as productive as this one!