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This post on working from home is in collaboration with a group of my blogger friends. I’ll be linking the other posts at the bottom of this one so you can check them out. If you are interested in keeping up with the entire summer collaboration series, make sure to follow Arin and Navy. Thank you Arin and Navy for starting this fun series!
I want to start off by admitting I won’t be winning any mom of the year awards for this post. I am not thriving in motherhood. Most days, I am barely surviving. So take this post for what it is, a real glimpse into our daily lives.
How did I get started working from home?
We had two kids, a mountain of bills from the NICU, and only one income so I had to find a way to make some money. At first, I was making money as a virtual assistant labeling stock photos. I also sold things on eBay and took surveys to earn extra cash. I had been blogging for years but I didn’t know you could make money from it. Then I joined Instagram, where I learned I had been missing out on a ton of opportunities to make money with my blog. Thankfully, I made a few friends that were willing to share some tips and tricks for making money through blogging. I was so relieved to find that I could take something I already enjoyed and turn it into a job. I was able to start making money fairly quickly since I already had an established blog. My first AdSense paycheck was in 2016, my first monetized IG post was in 2017, but I didn’t start working full time on my blog until 2018.
Here is my very first paid IG post:
View this post on Instagram
Growing up, my family didn’t always have a lot of money for things like gifts. We were only able to afford a small token of appreciation like this candy bar. But don’t under estimate the power of something small. Even a Hershey bar can mean the world to someone feeling under appreciated. Use the link in my profile to find where you can purchase an appreciation bar for someone who needs it. #hersheys #ad
What does a typical day look like?
When I first started working on my blog full time, I had two toddlers at home. I was fitting blogging in whenever I could, taking advantage of nap times, and staying up way too late. Now that I am halfway through my second year of blogging, I have a much better schedule.
During the school year, things are much easier. Last year, my oldest was in preschool three hours a day, two days a week. He is my trouble maker so it makes getting things done way easier when he is at school. This fall, my oldest will go three days a week and my youngest will be going for two days. The days they go don’t overlap so I will still have one kid at home with me every day. However, entertaining one kid is way easier than keeping two out of trouble.
Typical Schedule During The School Year
7:30 – 8:30 am The kids wake up. I am so blessed to have late risers. I am not a morning person at all. This is when I snuggle on the sofa with the boys in the morning, make them breakfast, and drink coffee.
8:30-10am After getting the boys fed, I have my first block of work time. Since I am on the West Coast, I am already behind. I have to get on email right away. Campaigns fill fast and clients want updates as soon as possible. While I’m trying to answer emails and apply for campaigns, I have the boys watch an education show followed by an hour of what I call free play. Really it is just a time when I break up fights every ten minutes, remind them they need to share, and the like.
10-11:15 am My boys are enrolled in afternoon preschool so we don’t start getting ready until now. During this time I get snacks packed and thee boys dressed to go out the door. I am always the mom in the car line that looks like I rolled out of bed. Most of the time I am wearing my Toms shoes, leggings, a tank top, and a cardigan. All black or grey so I’m sure the teachers think I’m some kind of emo mom.
11:45-3pm This is the time of the day that I have to do ALL THE THINGS. If I need to pick things up for a photoshoot, go to the grocery store, the gym, or shower, this is when I get to do it. If I have a deadline and need to work uninterrupted, I bust out the iPad. My youngest is really good at playing by himself so I am able to get a lot done. My oldest is the opposite. He wants my undivided attention at all times so I don’t get much work done when he is home.
3:30-5:30 pm These might be the two worst hours of the day. School makes the kids tired so they don’t want to play but they are not tired enough to nap. It’s a bit too late for a nap if I want them in bed on time anyway. If I am doing any work during this it is usually on Instagram so I can do it from my phone. The boys might play with legos and ask for ten thousand different snacks.
5:30-6:30 pm My husband gets home around 5:10 but he takes until 5:30 to get settled in. As soon as my husband gets home I go to the bedroom and take some time for myself. I might shower if I hadn’t showered yet, maybe I will talk to my mom on the phone, or just lay in the bed. I have been known to just fall asleep.
6:30-8pm This is our family time. We are all together. Sometime during this chunk of time, my husband or I will make dinner. We try to have screen-free dinner and we do most of the time. After dinner, we have the boys clean up their toys, they get to watch a cartoon, and then we start bedtime.
8:30-? After the kids go to bed, work starts again. I use the nighttime hours to do things like write blog posts, schedule Pinterest pins, do last minute photoshoots, or film videos. It’s honestly when I am the most productive. I have to make myself stop working so I can get some rest. Which stinks because once I get in a rhythm I just want to keep at it, but I need sleep so I won’t be a grouchy mama.
Typical Schedule During Summer Break
Chaos. Complete chaos. That is all.
I do try to keep things on a schedule but it’s hard during the summer. I have both kids at home with me all day. I knew that it would be harder to get work done with both kids home, so I prepared myself for it. I am taking on less sponsored work until fall. Yes, the budget is tight and I am a stress case over money. We are making it work for now. Fingers crossed that our ends continue to meet.
When do you do everything else?
I don’t get a lot of other things done. My house is a wreck. Like I’d be embarrassed for anyone to see it. Dishes are always dirty. Laundry always needs to be washed, or folded, or put away. Usually, one of the weekend days is saved for cleaning. The other weekend day we spend as a family if my husband has time, which most of the time he doesn’t, to be honest.
What tips do you have for moms that want to work from home?
Get on a schedule. I know this is crazy coming from me after I said summer has been crazy around here. Having the days be predictable helps with getting work done. I know when we will be having our meals, I know when they should be asking for snack, I know when they are going to start getting restless. If you know your toddlers are cranky around 3pm, don’t schedule a conference call then. Knowing the schedule and being able to schedule around the hard parts of the day will help you tremendously.
Learn to let some things go. If you have several kids or need to spend a lot of time working from home, you might need to let a lot of things go. You can decide what those things are. Maybe the house is messy. Or instead of a messy house, you keep things clean but order in more take out. Maybe you have to let some money go. Take on less work so you have more time. Or let that money go to someone else so they can clean your house. I know that things can look perfect on IG, but I can tell you that no one is doing everything Pinterest perfectly while working from home with kids.
Take advantage of kid-free time. After the kids go to bed, it can be tempting to put on Netflix and waste away time. Or to spend all of nap time, scrolling on IG. You know that isn’t really the best use of your time. You could be taking a call with a client or putting together an important proposal. Of course, you do need time for yourself. I am all about self-care. But make sure your self-care is actually self-care and not just a time suck.
If you have questions any other questions about working from home of blogging, I’ll do my best to answer via DM on Instagram or in the comments below!