I know a lot of my clients are working moms, and since we do not have children yet I can't quite relate to you all on that level right now! :) I asked my super talented sister-in-law, Megan, if she would write a blog speaking to other moms out there, specifically work-at-home moms, and she delivered perfectly. Thanks so much for such a great post Megan!
A Day in the Life of a Work-At-Home Mom
I’m a work-at-home mom, or “mompreneur,” as I like to say. Mompreneurs’ lives are a unique blend of stay-at-home mom and working mom. In any one day, we bounce back and forth between making lunches and changing diapers; client calls and intense focus; mopping floors and folding laundry. Being a successful mompreneur requires creativity, discipline, adaptability, and a hefty dose of self-motivation. It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart! The rewards far outweigh the risks on the good days, though.
But, in the crazy life of a mompreneur, not every day is a good day. Some days, we crush it: the kids behave, the work gets done, and dinner’s on the table by 5. Other days...not so much. Last Wednesday was one of those “other days” for me.
It started dark and early:
3:20 am I’m abruptly awoken by the sound of my eleven-month old son crying. I check the clock and groan. When he doesn’t immediately fall back asleep, I trudge downstairs to make a bottle, feed and change him, then put both of us back to bed.
5:15 am My alarm goes off. I blearily roll over and hit snooze, then repeat until 5:45 when Latergramme reminds me to post my scheduled Instagram content. I post it, check my notifications and respond to a few comments, then return an email from a potential client.
6:00 am I finally roll out of bed, sighing (even becoming a mom hasn’t made me a morning person), and start my morning routine. A few minutes later, I hear Wyatt (that’s the baby) start to stir and pick up the pace, but I can’t move fast enough to finish before giving him another feeding and putting him back down.
7:00 am I'm actually pumped for my workout this morning! I start day 2 of the “Bikini Body Mommy Challenge.”
7:02 am Wyatt’s stirring again. Since he is contentedly playing in his crib, I keep one eye on the monitor and finish my workout. Afterward, I walk upstairs to get him up and notice he has fallen back asleep. I silently celebrate, then jump on my iMac to get a head start on my work for the day.
8:05 am I hear him waking on the monitor. Just a few more minutes and I’ll have this task complete...
8:16 am I realize it’s been ten minutes since he woke when I hear him starting to get agitated. Feeling like the world’s worst mother, I dash upstairs to get him up and dressed.
8:35 am I let him run around my office while I answer emails and complete one more to-do list item. A few minutes pass; I look down and notice him biting my shoe and chewing the laces. Is he teething again?!
9:05 am He’s bored of the office and starts to fuss. I take him in the kitchen to give him his daily dose of reflux medicine, unsuccessfully try to entertain him until his meds kick in, then feed him. I remember that I still haven’t eaten, so I sneak a few bites of his applesauce.
9:50 am I pour myself a bowl of cereal and attempt to eat; Wyatt alternately runs around the living room pulling things off shelves and tries to put his hands in my bowl. I end up throwing out half a bowl of soggy cereal.
10:10 am I take Wyatt up to his room for morning naptime. I start a load of his laundry, marinate a pork loin for dinner, then manage to get absolutely nothing else done until he wakes.
11:30 am I try to sneak in some dish washing since the nap seems to have improved his mood. After approximately thirty seconds, he runs laps around the kitchen, crying.
11:55 am It’s pretty early for his lunch, but I heat up some leftovers for him since he’s still fussing. He eats 2/3 of the small bowl, then refuses anything but freeze- dried fruit and veggie melts.
12:32 pm Lunch seems to have pacified him. I let him play in the living room while I eat the rest of the leftovers; I actually get to finish my entire meal with only one mess to clean up afterward. He “helps” me switch the laundry to the dryer.
1:25 pm I try to get some work done while he plays, but his good mood is quickly deteriorating. After a struggle over the afternoon bottle, he easily goes down for his nap. I bask in the silence. I know I need to work, but after the morning we had, I can’t get motivated. I treat myself by using a heating pad on my bad back and sitting on the couch while working on blog posts (and eating generic Cheetos).
2:55 pm Where did that hour (and all the Cheetos) go? Wyatt’s still asleep, thank goodness. I intend to start working on revising some copy for my newly- launched website, but stop by Facebook first to place an ad for my business page. Inevitably, I get sucked in by my newsfeed.
3:20 pm Wyatt wakes and I realize I’m still scrolling Facebook. Crap.
3:30 pm We go back to my office. I get distracted by some emails, then actually start revising the website copy. Wyatt dumps his basket of toys and then proceeds to start ripping my folders and books off the shelves.
4:00 pm His office boredom sets in (does he have an internal alarm that goes off after 30 minutes in the office?) just as I get really involved in writing. I head to the kitchen and bounce back and forth between cooking dinner, cleaning messes, and trying to placate him with baby snacks. (How long until Daddy gets home?)
5:00 pm I feed him dinner. Soon, he starts dropping pieces of food over the edge of his highchair (his new favorite game). I feed myself while dodging grabby hands, but must give him some food from my plate (the same stuff he was just throwing in the floor) to avoid a meltdown. Where the heck is my husband?
6:30 pm The return of fussing is my cue to take Wyatt upstairs for bathtime. Just to keep things interesting, he pees in the floor before I can put his naked booty in the tub.
6:35 pm Steven finally arrives as soon as I wet Wyatt’s hair. Hallelujah! I get a blissful few minutes to relax and not be the primary parent.
6:45 pm Bathtime’s over and we start Wyatt’s bedtime routine. I’m thankful that Steven is home tonight to help (not always a guarantee in the military).
7:00 pm Baby’s down. Relieved, I get ready for a business call coming up at 8, then sit on the couch with Steven for a few minutes before heading into my office to clean up after Hurricane Wyatt and work briefly.
8:30 pm Steven and I discuss our days as we band together to clean the kitchen and do the remaining dishes. We decide to watch an episode of one of our favorite shows before bed, but I end up working through it and beyond.
10:10 pm I reluctantly call it a day.
I think I got two hours of real work time in that Wednesday. Wyatt was cranky all day, the dishes didn’t get done until well after Steven got home, and I was mentally and emotionally frazzled long before baby’s 7:00 bedtime.
You’ll have more days like this than you care to admit. Sometimes, your pace will be frustratingly slow. You’ll compare your business to other businesses—both mom-owned and not—and get discouraged with your comparative lack of progress. You’ll wonder why you’re hustling so hard on top of everything else you have to take care of at home. You’ll feel isolated and lonely, especially on the bad days.
But mommas, listen up: you’re not alone.
I’m right here in the trenches next to you, diaper in one hand and keyboard in the other. There are thousands of others just like us who are brave enough to chase our dreams while raising our children (Don’t believe me? Just check Facebook). Find your mompreneur tribe! Talk to them. Share your struggles like I shared my bad Wednesday. They’ll be there to say “me too!”, to lift you up, and to encourage you to keep going.
If you take anything from this post, please remember that: just keep going. Any progress, no matter how slow, is better than giving up.
Mommas, your dreams are worth pursuing. <3