In the first few months of 2020, I went from working full time with a newborn and a two-year-old to quitting my job and becoming a full-time stay-at-home mom to then working part-time 3 days a week to being laid off. My daily schedule was in constant flux as I was adapting to the changing lack of work, kid’s nap schedules, and struggling to enjoy the time with my kids but finding what I wanted to do in the meantime. Now, I work part-time, with the flexibility to work from home or in an office with one child in daycare and the other in preschool, both part-time.
My Daily Schedule – A Day In The Life
Here is a glimpse into my daily life and how I have made it work and found what works best for our family. Even though I technically work “part-time” as an event planner, I also do all of the marketing and events for my husband’s company as well as my own blog and my writing for Daily Mom. I also have two girls ages 4 and 2, so a light week could be 12-16 hours of work, but during a busy week, I can easily work a “normal” 40-hour workweek while doing all the stay-at-home mom things as well. This often means early mornings and squeezing in a few hours of work on the weekends too.
My days typically start early, after years of broken sleep and only getting maybe 5-6 hours total, now my body sadly needs less sleep. Once my youngest started sleeping consistently through the night around two years old, it took months for my body to adjust and to stop waking up every night around 2 am. Now, I rarely wake up in the middle of the night but when I do I am up for hours, and my natural wake-up time is 5:15-5:45.
I fought this for months, laying in bed willing myself to go back to sleep but that would end up just frustrating me more. So now, I lie there for maybe 5-10 minutes and if I can’t fall back asleep easily I just get up. Sometimes my oldest wakes up early and she will come in and we just snuggle. I try to let this part of my daily schedule not be structured and enjoy it however it plays out.
I never understood how moms got up before their kids, now I am one of “those moms” and as long as everyone gets a full night’s sleep, it’s “easy” for me to do so as my body naturally gets me up. During this time I don’t work, I either read, write or just enjoy a hot cup of coffee alone in the quiet.
When I went back to work this year and started working from home more often than not I made a rule to myself to only work between the hours of 6 am-6 pm unless it was an emergency. This has been good for me as anyone has realized working from home is convenient but can also blur the work/life balance and easily throw off one’s daily schedule.
My Current Daily Schedule
- 5:30 am: Wake, enjoy coffee and current book.
- 6:00/6:30 am: Girls wake up and try to get some one-on-one cuddle time in.
- 6:45-7:15 am: Breakfast and get girls ready to get out of the house. As much as I would love to have a casual no rush morning with my girls, I have learned that at their age, if I let them play or don’t have a set time we have to leave the house, we won’t get anywhere till 9 am or later.
- 6:00-7:00 am: Check emails and answer anything urgent, update my to-do list as needed, prepare for my day.
- 7:15 am: I bring my youngest to daycare and then head to the gym.
- 8:00-9:00 am: I try to go to the gym at least 4-5 days a week. It took almost 4 years and not having a full-time job for me to finally be able to get back to working out consistently again. It’s the only thing that is 100% mine and I don’t have to share it with anyone.
- 9:00-11:00 am: Work
- 11:00-1:00 pm: Walk dog, lunch, chores around the house, etc.
- 1:00-3:00 pm: Work
- 3:00-4:30 pm: Write, work on blog and marketing for husband’s company.
- 4:30-5:00 pm: Check and respond to emails and shut down for the day.
- 5:00-5:30 pm: Make dinner (husband usually picks up the girls).
- 5:30-6:00 pm: Eat Dinner as a family.
- 6:00-6:30 pm: Play with girls, take a walk, play a game and start to clean up from dinner.
- 6:30-7:00 pm: Bath time (I take this time to vacuum the downstairs, pick up, get ready for the next day).
- 7:00-7:30 pm: Bedtime routine (My husband and usually tag-team storytime and then divide up putting down the girls, we switch off every night).
- 7:30-9:00 pm: Most nights I am in bed before nine, I wash up and get into bed and read. Sometimes we will watch a little tv but most often we choose to read together than watch tv.
Read More: Mommy Brain: The Baby Cry, & Beyond
Learning To Let Go Of What Doesn’t Work
Candidly I am very rigid in my daily schedule, life and wish I could control way more than I do. Having children really pushed me to let go of being able to control everything, and it can still be a struggle every day for me. Especially since we are all home now more than we ever used to be, that means more messes, stuff gets dirtier faster and regardless of what I do, I can’t keep up. I have had to set limits with myself so I am not cleaning at nine o’clock at night.
I also, only work between the hours of 6 am-6 pm during the week, granted that does not count the writing I do. When I am inspired and on a roll, I write as much as I can! Once the girls are in bed, I try really hard to not clean, pick up or do anything that can wait till the morning. I hate dirty dishes in the sink and waking up to a messy house, so over years I have really been able to get my husband on board with helping me to make sure I am not going crazy till super late.
Adapting To a Fluid Daily Schedule
Another thing that makes my daily schedule work is having zero expectations of how my day will flow. Just a to-do list and 24 hours each day. Once you have a newborn and know your sleep is no longer yours to control, it makes it easier to go with the flow and just get tasks done. Overall, I prefer a set schedule of daycare/preschool days so I know when I have time to get my work done and do it when it works the best for me and my family.
I have been back to work now for a few months and I finally think that the current daily schedule I have is the most doable and best for my family right now. I assume as the girls get older my daily schedule will change with each grade level, added activities, and whatever else life throws at us. If I have learned nothing else in the past couple of years is to let go of most of my expectations and desire to control everything in my daily schedule.
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my daily life and daily schedule. It’s not perfect and constantly evolving as I evolve. It’s a daily schedule that I have found the most balance with and with so much change in the past couple of years, it is definitely my favorite schedule and the one I feel the most comfortable with. After getting to stay home more with my husband and children than I ever have, we all realize what is really important and what we want and need in our daily schedule.
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