Making the transition from being a stay at home mom to being a work at home mom hasn’t always been easy. From time to time, the question still comes up: What does a stay at home mom do? What is her value, what is her worth?
When people ask me what I do for a living, my response is usually two-fold. I’m a stay at home mom and I blog. I’m not always great at either of these things but so far, it seems to be panning out well. Sure, I’ve still encountered my fair share of failures as a stay at home mom and I may not be a six figure blogger (yet)… but I make do.
And yet, I still get the questions: so what do you do all day?And there was one that really stung: If you’re not working yet
That second one in particular was a hard pill to swallow. Partially because it came from someone that I’ve known since high school (who also said, without meaning to harm; “I wish I didn’t have to work so I could stay at home all day and play”) … and but mostly because what I do is work. Sure, I don’t always get paid for this gig but I wouldn’t trade it (most days) for the world.
But what do I do all day?
Well, that depends on the day.
A Typical Day in the Life of a Work at Home Mom
So that’s my typical day. Of course, this is just during the school year and I anticipate that things will change when Squeaker starts PreK next year. But that’s not until next year.
Some days are different because we might have a playdate or I might be babysitting. Or we might venture out and go do something.
So that, my friends, is what this stay at home mom does all day- at least during the week. What about you? And maybe it’s about time that I embrace that role of Work at Home Mom, hm?
My mornings are somewhat predictable. I start my day around 6:30 because I still can’t fathom waking up an hour or so before everyone else to work on my blog. No amount of coffee could ever help me become a morning person. If this is you, or if you’re on the sleep deprived side, try these tips for creating a morning routine.
On any given weekday, however, here’s a sample schedule for this WAHM.
Or at least this is how it used to look:
First things first, it’s time to make coffee. This usually around 6:35.
Once the coffee is brewing, I start making Sweet B’s lunch and then get her breakfast ready. She’s up and dressed by 7:05ish and eating breakfast by 7:10.
Depending on the day, I take my ten minute power-shower and get dressed. Usually into a nice comfy pair of yoga pants and one of Kyle’s sweatshirts.
Sweet B is on the bus and off to school around 7:30 at which point, I have an hour to myself.
One glorious hour to enjoy a hot cup of coffee (or two), and get my morning going with checking email, Facebook, and sometimes Google Analytics.
Squeaker is usually up and running by 8:30.
Our mornings together are pretty low-key until she’s ready to be a fully destructive, exploratory, and curious toddler- this happens anywhere between 9:30 and 10:00.
While she’s playing, mostly independently, I try to get chore threads done (which I will eventually outsource to a VA when my inner control freak is ready to let go), and get a blog post ready. I used to be able to blog ahead and have drafts ready to go.
But, once Squeaker started becoming more mobile, I somehow got a little more crappy with time management.
By 11:30ish, I’m ready for a break and go get the dishes done. By noon, I’m ready to eat, and at 1:00 I’m trying to get emails answered and other online stuff. And when I say stuff, I mean stuff.
At 2:00, Squeaker has her afternoon nap and I’m more than ready to take the time and be with her. She still nurses to sleep so she kind of needs me for this.
*Update as of 2017: Squeaker’s nap time is done. I now try to do my workouts around this time as it recharges and refreshes my energy like you wouldn’t believe.
My week day stay at home mom/work at home mom schedule
Sweet B is home (Monday through Thursday) around 3:30. And, after getting her settled (snack and then off to her room with her iPad), I do another quick tidying up of the living room (to no avail) and get the dishes from lunch washed.
Though he will occasionally do them on the weekend, Kyle usually doesn’t do dishes.
And I don’t say that to call him out or complain; far from it.
I hate doing dishes but I do them almost daily because it’s part of what I do.
Am I implying that it’s always the woman’s role to do chores? Absolutely not. Kyle does more than his fair share of housework. And to be perfectly honest with you, he probably still does the bulk of the housework. Sure, I manage to keep things somewhat clean. I’m decent with picking up after the toddler tornado and I know how to operate a vacuum.
I’m good with the upkeep.
But it’s Kyle who gets everything situated first.
Anyway, back to that whole “what I do all day” spiel.
Once I’m done with dishes, I’m back on the computer for a little bit to check emails and maybe do a little work on the chore threads.
By 5:45 or thereabouts, it’s time to get Sweet B’s dinner going and also the point that I’m pretty much off of the computer for the day- dinner, bath for Sweet B… except on one Wednesday of the month when I have a church council meeting and every Thursday evening when I have choir rehearsal. I don’t have a laptop, so all of my blogging and social media work is done through my desktop. I kind of like it that way because in a way, I can unplug.
Update — 2017 — I now use a laptop and work mostly from the couch. That’s another story for another day though, you know?
Update — 2019 — I have a desktop computer again which has actually taken me back to better office hours.
I make dinner, I watch Jeopardy, then watch sports or whatever is on television. Squeaker and I also read plenty of books before she finally decides that she’s ready for night-night. I do like to live pin at night as well.
How to set a daily schedule
When I started using time blocking, I could more easily utilize my time. I wasn’t stuck with a daily schedule because my daily routine wasn’t always the same. This helped me greatly because it gave me some variety in my day.
It all started with keeping a time log and figuring out how I was using and how I was wasting my time.
Want to create your own schedule or at least have some semblance of a schedule? I have a Mom’s Daily To Do List set for you!
This is meant to be printed out as needed and the download includes:
- Daily to-do list (as pictured above)
- Two column notes page (for shopping lists or a different style of to-do list)
- One column note page (for shopping lists, misc. notes, or to use as your to-do list)
Now, I admit, I haven’t used these for myself (yet) as I’m still trying to find a decent planner system that works for me and that meets my needs. I’ve found some success with the Living Well Spending Less Planner, and if you’re looking for suggestions, I have a post about planners for moms.
In the meantime, you can download this set of to-do lists. This will eventually be put together in my new freebie bundle but until then, it’s also available individually.