Being a Working From Home Mom of a (Nearly) 1 Year Old

I wrote a post about my daily schedule with Zoe while still working from home when she was a little over 4 months old, so I thought it was about time to do an update. People often ask me how I get any of my work done while being at home with her, so I thought it was worth talking about. This may change a little bit once Chris has officially left his job (only 2 days left, ahhh!!!), but for the last couple of months, this has seemed to be our schedule.

6-7/7:30 - my body used to naturally wake up at 7, and now it has shifted to about 6. Zoe usually wakes up between 7 - 7:30, so during this time I turn my computer on, get caught up on email or write a blog post for the day. If it's a day when I'm not writing a blog post, I'll get a little bit of billable work done maybe. But usually this hour is to myself

7/7:30 - 9/9:45 - Zoe hang out morning time. Usually Zoe gets up by about 7:15. Chris will go in her room to play with her a little bit if he still hasn't left for work so he gets some morning snuggles in. She's quite a little doll in the morning - in a really good mood, handing you her books to read and just crawling all around being silly. Once she's up it's time for food. I'll let her crawl around and explore while I make breakfast. She really enjoys being independent and so she has the run of the house. We haven't really baby proofed much, mostly relying on trying to teach her what is and isn't appropriate for her to play with, and she's pretty good about it. It's funny hearing her noises and things fall on the floor while I'm cooking. Then it's time for breakfast and she sits at the table with me and eats. Breakfast for her is usually Cheerios, raisins, strawberries or blueberries, scrambled eggs and english muffin. Once we're done eating I usually pick up the house a little bit and get ready to work out. Zoe is again ready to frolic and play. 3-5 days a week during this time I work out. Sometimes we go for a run, but a lot of times I go on our stationary bike and do free weights. Zoe crawls alllll over me while I do free weights, crunches, etc. and thinks it's quite fun. If I don't work out that day we'll put away laundry or just play together

9-9:45 - 10:15/11: Zoe nap time. She usually goes down at about 9:30 for her first nap, but sometimes it's a little later and sometimes it's a little earlier. She used to nap for 30 minutes like clockwork, but now she'll go a little longer (thank GOD). It's usually about 45 minutes - 1 hour. It can still be 30 minutes a couple times a week, but she tends to sleep a bit longer now. Every once in a while it'll be 90 minutes or two hours (that's like one day a week if she's had a crazy exciting day), but she's pretty good about naps now. This is my billable work time. I try really hard to not be at my computer while she's up - I might run in to reply to an email while she's crawling all over the house, but for the most part I try to stay away. These days we have so many screens that we can stare at, so I try to limit the amount of time that she sees me staring at a screen.

10:15/11 - 1:30/2:30: We usually wake up to a snack and then snack a bit throughout this time of the day. She's good about eating in the morning and at night, but really throughout the rest of the day it's snack, snack, snack. This is also adventure time! Zoe and I usually go out and about and get stuff done. Every once in a while I have an early morning appointment that we'll do in the morning before a nap, but most of the time this middle of the day block of time is when we go on adventures together. We'll go to the grocery store, to the park, drive out to SF to check out one of my brother's projects, source materials for a new job, visit Chris at work and have a lunch date together, etc. I would say 95% of the time we have at least one outing in this time period, and when we're not running an errand we play at home together - go on a walk, play in her pool in the backyard, build with her blocks, roll around like silly crazies on the bed listening to music, etc. She's a little ham so it's pretty fun to play with her :)

1:30/2:30 - 2:45/4: afternoon nap time. She's a bit more firm on the time she likes to take her afternoon nap (2pm), but sometimes it's a little earlier or later. Again, usually 45-60 minutes, sometimes a little longer or shorter, but about the same amount of time as the morning. Again, here is my chance to get billable work at the computer in. I've got a lot of tracking, research, scheduling, invoicing, filing, managing various projects going on and mood board'ing that I do at the computer, so I try to make the absolute most of the time I have.

2:45/4 - 6: more time to play! Chris usually gets home at about 4:30, and she gets excited when daddy comes home. 50% of the time we hang out at home and play together and 50% of the time we've got an errand we need to run (getting stuff at HD, etc.), or she's got a swimming class. She really does love to crawl and discover things, so we try and encourage that a lot. She's our little explorer, and I love that about her

6 - 6:30: dinner time. We all eat together at the table and Zoe's usually fairly tired by this time. She's pretty hilarious at dinner and will ham it up with us. She's started to realize the things she does have a reaction from us, so she'll do funny things she knows make us laugh. That little one cracks me up.

6:30 - 7: getting ready for bed. If she gets a bath that day, she gets one during this time, and then it's time for a walk. We take a walk just about every night now and it's usually 15-25 minutes, depending on how late in the evening it already is. We still take her in the Ergo and she loves holding one of our hands while we stroll through the neighborhood. I love going on walks together. Chris and I get to catch up with each other and Zoe is very happy to snuggle. It's a really nice family time. Once we get home we read 1-3 books and then it's time to put her down for bed at 7pm. We've gone from 8pm, to 7:30 and now 7. She was just losing her mind when it was later, so we moved her bedtime earlier and she seems to have responded really well

7 - 9:30/10: Time to hang out, and maybe get some work done. Chris and I will send out a couple invoices, plan for future jobs, veg on the couch, craft away on some art project and sometimes do a little more billable work. Usually we mostly try to hang out together. Some people make fun of me that I go to bed by 10pm, but fuck, I'm tired by then and I need my beauty sleep :) We're usually in bed by 10, watch a little TV, then I'm usually asleep by 10:30.

One day a week my mom babysits, and on those days I usually drop her off at my mom's house at 8:30 and my mom comes and drops her off at our house at 4:30. Those days I get a lot done around the house, do a ton of billable work and maybe even go to the gym! :) Sometimes we have larger jobs for our business that need two sets of hands, and days when my mom watches her are the times we try to get that scheduled. My schedule with Elizabeth has changed now that Andi has sadly moved across country (mega sad face), but she comes and takes care of wonderful Zoe on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from about 10:30-2ish. With her playing with her and having adventures during that middle of the day, I'm able to fly around and get a ton done again

I talked about being a working mom and why it's been important to me to still work after we had Zoe, and I feel like I've found a really good balance - I get a lot of play time with my sweet little girl, and I also still contribute financially to our family. We have a pretty consistent schedule which I think Zoe responds well to, so I'm very thankful for that too.

So there you have it, our schedule as of Zoe being almost a year. I know things will shift and change as she gets older, and I'm excited about the new kinds of adventures we'll have :)


Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I have no job and I still feel like I get nothing done being home with Ashford all day. His nap is 12ish to 2 or 3 and that is a nice long chunk of time, but I always find myself weeding through pictures or doing other bullshit on the computer instead of actually getting off my butt. BLAH!

meryl rose said...

Oh don't worry, I ABSOLUTELY have those days too. Sometimes you just need a recharge.