Wondering how a successful WAHM might organize her day? While each mom’s experience might be different, we can provide a simple profile to give you an idea of how you can be productive even with kids underfoot and meals to cook, errands to run and the like.
So, let’s look at Elise’s story.
Elise runs a website design business from home. She doesn’t have a separate office, but rather she works out of the family’s front room, sometimes welcoming clients there but usually working through email and the telephone. She has a husband who works full-time and 2 children – 7-year-old Ethan and 3-year-old Sasha.
Here’s how Elise might structure her day, as she tries to get time in for herself, for the household, and for the kids, all while she works a full day in her business.
Elise gets up early in the morning and tends to emails and work she can do quickly before getting the kids up. Before they head to school, she showers, makes beds, makes them breakfast and lunches, and starts the laundry. Later in the morning, she will take a break from work and start dinner in the slow cooker.
After the kids are at school, Elise works several hours without interruption before taking a quick break for lunch, which she packed the night before for herself. She also goes for a quick jog before heading to pick up Sasha at preschool.
In the afternoon, Elise reads to Sasha and plays a quick game with her before giving her “quiet time” which is when Sasha – who gave up naps long ago – plays quietly while Elise works. During this time, Elise also rotates laundry and pays a bill or two. Mostly, she’s working on client projects.
Right before telling Sasha her quiet time is over, Elise makes a quick work-related phone call. When Sasha’s is quiet time is over, she and Elise head over to school to pick up Ethan. Before heading home the three take time out to enjoy the park that’s adjacent to school.
In the afternoon, the kids want to play outside, so Elise takes a laptop outside and works remotely while the kids play and she keeps an eye on them.
When Elise’s husband comes home, she takes a quick break and makes salad and slices some bread to go with dinner. While he plays with the children before dinner, she finishes up her work day and makes a list of things to tackle first thing the next morning.
There are a few elements of Elise’s day that are worth noting.
First, she plans the evening before for the next day. She makes a quick list of what she needs to tackle first so when she gets up in the morning and she’s groggy and not thinking clearly, she is ready to hit the ground running. She doesn’t need to waste time figuring it out. As part of her evening routine, she also makes sure she has packed a lunch for herself, so she doesn’t waste time making lunch the next day, and she plans and packs the kids’ lunches and snacks. She also knows what will be for dinner the next day and she’s prepared to deal with it when the time comes.
Second, Elise makes time in the day for herself, answering quick personal emails and taking a jog. But she is focused on work and she doesn’t waste time with watching a soap opera on TV or texting friends.
Finally, Elise manages to take time for her kids as much as possible. No matter how busy she is, she tries to remind herself why she is at home in the first place and that’s to be available to her family and children.
Elise’s daily experience won’t be yours, obviously, but much can be learned from her good habits.