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Are you struggling to find a work at home mom routine that lets you get things done without feeling like you’re completely neglecting your kids?
If you said no, don’t worry; finding the right rhythm as a work at home mom takes time.
In between updating your blog or trying to find new clients, you’re trying to do laundry and make meals and just keep your house from looking like a total war zone.
And oh yeah, find time to sleep.
It gets a little easier when your kids are school age but if you have younger kids or you homeschool like I do, it seems like you never get a break some days.
My first year of freelancing full-time was seriously hard but having a routine helped.
If you’re struggling to stay sane as a mompreneur, having a work at home mom routine is a must.
Why Having a Work at Home Mom Routine Matters
So here’s what all the parenting experts say: Routine is supposed to be good for kids.
They like predictability. It makes things less stressful when they know what to expect.
Routine can be good for you as a mom, too. And especially when you work from home.
Having a routine adds a defined flow to your days. It can help you be more productive so you make the most of your time.
It’s easier to balance working on your business with being there for your kids (and your spouse or partner if you have one.)
And you can’t forget about having some time for yourself.
My kids are more or less with me 24/7 so having a work at home mom routine forces me to take self-care seriously.
Having “me” time, even if it’s only an hour a day is huge, because without it I feel totally frazzled and stressed.
How to Master Your Routine as a WAHM
Every work at home mom’s routine is different.
You have to find the daily pattern that works for you, your business and most importantly, your family.
If you’re stumped on how to do it, try these 7 tips.
1. Figure out when you can work on your business
Having regular hours when you can focus on your business is a much more effective way to grow it, versus just snatching little bits of time here and there.
But hey, as a busy mom I know that’s not always realistic.
When I first started freelancing full-time, I worked in the afternoons and after my kids went to bed. Mornings were for homeschool and playtime together.
Now that they’re older, we’ve switched things up.
My workday usually starts between 8 and 9 a.m. and goes until 12 or 1. If I don’t get everything done in the morning, I might work an hour in the afternoon or later in the evening.
I don’t work on Saturdays at all since my son usually has basketball or soccer in the morning. I try not to work most Sundays, although sometimes it can’t be avoided.
The key to making a work at home mom routine that works is to shape it around your life
Look at how you spend your days now. When’s the best time to wear your mom boss hat?
If your kids are small, it might be during their regular nap time or after they go to bed.
With older kids, it might be while they’re in school for the day or at after-school activities.
Pick the hours that work best for your schedule, during the week and on the weekends. Commit to showing up on those days and times ready to work on — and in — your business.
2. Set your priorities each day
One of the things I do as part of my morning routine is deciding what I need to get done that day, and what I want to get done.
I do this for my business and blogging-related tasks and for the regular mom stuff that’s part of my daily round.
Prioritizing is super-helpful because:
- It gives you laser-focus when you’re planning your day
- You’re less likely to feel overwhelmed when you’ve got a detailed plan
- You can end the day without nagging guilt over what you didn’t get done
There are lots of ways to prioritize your to-do list. When you’re creating a work at home mom routine, the easiest way is to break it down into four categories:
- Must-do biz tasks
- Must-do mom tasks
- Could do, but don’t have to biz tasks
- Could do, but don’t have to mom tasks
When you’re setting your tasks, try to stick to three in each category as possible. Any more than that and you might feel totally bogged down.
If you’ve got more than three must-do items, prioritize those individually in order of what has to be done first and what can wait for a little. Then work on knocking that one thing out as quickly as possible.
That way if your day goes haywire, you’ve at least checked your most important task off the list.
If you’re looking for a little help with keeping track of your to-dos, grab my free Daily Productivity Checklist! It’s included in the Resource Library, which is packed full of goodies to help you manage your business, money and life.
3. Build regular work breaks into your day
That might seem counter-intuitive but regular breaks need to be a part of your work at home mom routine.
It’s so easy to get tunnel vision as a mompreneur. Especially if you’re struggling with a big problem in your business or you’re just starting out and trying to do everything.
Sometimes, you get in the zone and before you know it, half the day is gone.
Not to mention, sitting in one spot all day banging away on your laptop is like, really bad for you.
Even if you exercise, sitting down for extended periods can literally kill you.
When you’re doing business stuff, remember to take regular time outs.
Work for 30 minutes, then break for five. Or work for 45 and break for 10, whatever works for you.
Get up from your desk (or off the couch if you work like me 🙂 ) and stretch. Walk around the house and pick up a little. Have a healthy snack and drink some water.
Your body will thank you and taking a quick break can give you an energy boost when it’s time to go back to work.
4. Tame the distractions
Distractions abound, especially when you run a business from home.
You think I’ll just check Facebook for a minute while I’m waiting on this client to respond to my email.
Forty-five minutes later that email is long forgotten and you’re wondering why you’re looking at chocolate chip cookie recipes on Pinterest.
Distractions are the undisputed enemy of your productivity. So as you create your work at home mom routine, be ruthless about getting rid of them.
Social media is the biggest one but friends or family members can also disrupt your day. I don’t mean kids either.
Without fail, as soon as I turn on my laptop to work I know that my best friend or my mom is going to message me on Facebook.
When that happens, I have to decide: what’s it going to cost me time-wise if I let myself get distracted?
You have to get really good at tuning things like that out if you want to get anything done as a mompreneur, especially when you’ve got limited time.
Recognize what your biggest distraction temptations are. Then do something about them.
If it’s scrolling Facebook on your phone, delete the app altogether.
If it’s chatting on the phone with your bestie, turn the phone off while you’re working.
Whatever it is, put a lid on it so you’re not wasting time.
5. Set boundaries
If you’re trying to start a blog or run a business here’s one of the most important things you need to know:
It will eat your life if you let it.
I mean it.
You’ll end up spending hours and hours a day trying to grow your business and everything else just falls to the wayside.
Housework, errands, spending time with your family — it all gets sucked into the void.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned running a business and being a mom is that I have to learn when to say no.
And man, that can be sooo hard to do.
Because if you’re a new freelancer or virtual assistant or whatever it is, you don’t want to turn down work, ever.
And if you’re supporting your family solo, you might not be able to say no until your business grows a little more.
But at some point, you have to decide when enough is enough; otherwise, you’re going to end up exhausted and burned out.
So figure out what boundaries you need to have.
Maybe it’s not answering client emails after 5 p.m. Or maybe you reserve the weekends exclusively for family time.
Whatever it is, get those boundaries nailed into place and treat them as sacred. Boundaries keep business time from bleeding into mom time so you can be 100% present for your family.
6. Put yourself on your priority list
I love my business and I’m super grateful for how much it’s grown over the last few years. But I’m conscious about stepping away from it and taking time for myself.
Since my kids are with me more or less all the time, my “me time” usually involves two things: working out in my bedroom or reading.
I try to exercise for an hour every day and my kids know that it’s my time. If I’m not doing blogging stuff after they go to bed, I’ll use that time to read.
These aren’t the most exciting hobbies to have but they’re my version of self-care and I need to have them. And I’m sure there’s something that matters just as much to you.
When you’re planning out your work at home mom routine each day, look for a pocket of time you can reserve just for yourself.
If you can’t give yourself an hour all at once, can you find 30 minutes twice a day? Or 20 minutes three times a day?
If you need ideas, check out these 15 ideas for self-care rituals busy moms can do in 15 minutes or less.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep self-care in your sights as a mompreneur.
When you’re a mom and a boss, you can’t afford to lay down on the job. Making time for self-care can help you re-center and recharge and that’s a good thing for everyone.
7. Be flexible
The best-laid plans of mice and moms don’t always work out the way you want them to.
When you’re a mom, there are just going to be days when it all hits the fan. Your work at home mom routine should be flexible enough so that one off day doesn’t wreck your entire week.
And flexibility also counts as your business (and your kids) grow up.
As my kids have gotten older, we’ve added new activities to our routine — soccer, homeschool co-op, art classes. And on some days, I don’t follow my work routine to the letter.
But it’s okay because I’ve learned how to adapt and plan for it.
So create your routine. But be flexible. And allow yourself some grace.
Things can and will happen that can sidetrack you as a mom and as a mompreneur, but it’s so much easier to deal with it when you’re prepared.
Do You Have a Work at Home Mom Routine?
A routine can be a lifesaver, not only for your business but for your sanity as a mom.
Have you nailed your work at home routine as a mompreneur?
If so, head to the comments and tell me about it, then pin and share this post if it helped you!
And be sure to check out the Resource Library, which is full of free resources and tools (including a daily productivity checklist!) to help you rock your business, money and mom life.