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You need a work at home mom routine if you want to be successful in a work-life balance. Here are my five tips to help create one.
When you’re working from home, you need to find a way to get a work-life balance. It’s very easy to end up stuck in work mode. You see all of the work piling up on your desk, or maybe you just know how much you need to get done the following day.
It’s important to find a balance, though. The whole reason you want to be a work at home mom is to spend more time with your kids, right? Of course, you still need to work, which is why you need a work at home mom routine so that no area of your life suffers.
I’ve spent the last 11 years being a work at home mom. I’ve worked from home longer than that, but I’ve only been a mom for 11 years. It took some time to get a balance, but now I spend a lot of quality time with my kids without my working life suffering. Here are my five tips to creating that work at home mom routine that really works.
Look at your schedule to plan out your working hours
One of the best things I did to get a work-life balance was to have a schedule. I looked at when I would be able to work, and when I would prefer not to work. Sometimes, I do have to do some extra work on the weekends, but I try hard not to do that. If I really have to, it’s going to be on the weekends my kids are with their dad.
Right now, my children are in full-time school. I know during the week day I have from around 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to work without many interruptions. Sure, there are days when the school calls, but most of the time, I get to just work throughout the day and not worry about being interrupted.
So, I use those hours as my work hours. Nothing else cuts into those hours unless it’s an emergency. Once the kids are home, the focus is on them.
I also have days where the kids are on their dad’s time. Sure, I’ll step in for an emergency, but I know those evenings they’re with their dad, I have time for myself. If that means work, then it means work.
Create a sleep schedule for a good work at home mom routine
Just because I have days where I don’t need to make lunches doesn’t mean that I sleep in. Nor does it mean that I start work earlier if I don’t want to. My routine is my routine, and I also put that into my daily life.
Creating a sleep schedule has been one of the most helpful things for my work and my life. I get enough sleep for my body, and I’m able to switch off for the night.
I have a routine with my sleep schedule. It involves getting off the phone and avoiding the TV. If I really need some sort of noise, I’ll put on an audiobook or a podcast. I’ll read, but it will be a physical book or on a device without blue light, such as the Kindle*.
I go to bed and get up at the same time every day. That helps me get ready for the rest of the day.
Make sure your evenings help set you up for the next day
You also need an evening routine. Your work at home mom routine isn’t just about when you work, but about your life. You need a way to make sure evenings set you up for success the next day.
The evenings is when I’ll get the dishes washed. I can even do some meal prep for the next day depending on what is going to be for dinner. I’ll spend the time getting homework and any reading with the kids done, and I’ll make sure the tables are cleared and any laundry is put on.
The aim is to make sure there are no tasks to do throughout the day. The only time I’ll consider leaving some washing up to do is if I know it’s going to be cold outside. I have bad wrists and suffer from the cold, so I’ll use the washing up as a way to relax the muscles in my wrists so that I can work. This is purely a personal choice after years of figuring out what works for my wrists.
Create that routine that is going to make the next day easier. Then you can focus on work and not have to worry about anything else. After all, doesn’t it always seem like you should be doing housework as a work at home mom? People tend to forget we’re also working at the same time.
Plan out your week for your work at home mom routine
I spend Sunday evenings thinking about my work week. I’ll wait for the kids to go to bed (on the weekends I have them) and then grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine and start to work out the week. I’ll then grab my planner, all my pens, and create a schedule for the week. Yes, I use a physical planner* still. This is just best for me.
All the appointments are written in with times. Then I’ll plan out all the work that I need to do, any extra tasks I would like to get done, and a marketing plan for the week. This all helps me see what needs to be accomplished.
Each day will have certain tasks that must be done. I start with them. Then the rest of the tasks are put in order of preference and importance. If something needs to be pushed onto the next day, then so be it. Friday tends to become a bit of a catch-up day, and I plan my diary like that on purpose.
Make a meal plan and stick to it
One thing that I’ve often overlooked is food. I’ll make sure my kids are fed, but I forget about me. I know that’s alien to some people, but those who understand my brain will get it how I can forget about food. So, the best thing is for me to create a meal plan.
I always make sure I plan out the dinners for the week on the Sunday. My kids will be involved in this on the weekends that they’re here, and we’ll discuss a few ideas during the week on the weekends they’re at their dad’s so I get an idea of what they’d like.
With dinners sorted, I can look at what’s left for lunches. I still tend to skip breakfast as I’m not a person who really wants to eat before noon. Lunch and dinner are enough for me, and you can’t convince me otherwise. So, I just make sure I’ve got lunches set. In the summer, I tend to make bulk salads so that I can just grab and go. Winters are a little harder as I don’t really want something cold.
I don’t bulk cook my meals at the weekend. I don’t find that works for me and my family personally. Instead, I will make the meal prepping as part of my evening work at home mom routine*. I also use the Chefs Plate meals still to help with some of the process. Those meals only take 30 minutes to make and I’ve got the routine down to make work, home from school, dinner, and dance classes work.
What does your work at home mom routine look like? Are you struggling with this? Keep up to date with the latest on the Work At Home Mom Lifestyle blog to get more ideas to make your work-life balance a success.