Workin’ for the … weekend? No, sorry, we don’t get those!

What day is it today? No, really? I went through *all* of yesterday being completely convinced it was Tuesday, and I think that happened because Tuesday was so busy that it melted into the real Wednesday.

Things are busy on the freelance front this week. That’s a good thing (financially), and kind of a rough thing (parent-y wise).

A couple of readers have asked how I work from home (and how often), so I thought this would be a good time to clear up some of those questions!

In our house lately, there are two kinds of days:

  1. Days where Daddy works, and I work a little
  2. Days where Daddy is off, and I work more
Not unlike most households, of course, but because Darling Husband works shift-work (and a modified work-week at that), he doesn’t have a traditional schedule. He isn’t necessarily off on weekends or holidays — it’s all a matter of how their rotation goes — and he is actually in a “relief” position, which means he works whenever The Bosses need him to work.
(I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have a husband with a Monday-Friday, 9-5 schedule, and I can’t even picture it. It must be nice, though? Maybe?)
I used to work a 9-5, Monday-Friday office job — you know, back a million years ago almost three years ago when I wore skirts and tights and bracelets and stuff. It’s almost hard to remember, it’s been so long.
But ever since D was three months old, I’ve been working from home as a freelance writer/editor. I used to just work during his nap-times, and occasionally after he went to bed at night. Fast-forward almost three years later, and now I work … more. A lot more, sometimes.
So where does it all fit in? Well, here’s a quickie breakdown of our two “types” of days, and where I might work during them:
Sample day #1 (Darling Husband works):
  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. The kids and wake up, get dressed, change diapers brush teeth, etc.
  • 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast & clean-up
  • 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Playtime
  • 10 a.m. Baby C goes for her nap, D gets quality “big-boy” playtime with Mommy
  • 10:30 a.m. Darling Husband gets home from work, goes to bed
  • 11 a.m. Baby C wakes up, we all play
  • 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch & clean-up
  • 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Getting both kids settled for naptime
  • 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Mommy zooms down to the office and works!
  • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Kids are up from their naps, we play, make dinner, etc.
  • 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Dinner & clean-up (Darling Husband gets up around now)
  • 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Playtime (or running out for groceries, etc.)
  • 7 p.m. Cereal for both kids (Cheerios for one, oatmeal for the other)
  • 7:30 p.m. Bathtime for both kids (or playing, if it’s not a bath night)
  • 8 p.m. Teeth-brushing/jammies/prayers/stories
  • 8:15 p.m. D is tucked into bed, and I nurse C and put her to bed
  • 8:30 p.m. Parental freedom! Darling Husband goes back to sleep for a few hours, I get a precious two hours to myself (tasks include TV-watching, reading, hair-curling, nail-painting)
  • 10:30 p.m. Darling Husband leaves for work, I go to bed!
Total hours of work: Usually 2.5 
Sample day #2 (Darling Husband is off):
  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. We all wake up, get dressed, change diapers brush teeth, etc.
  • 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast & clean-up
  • 9:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Playtime
  • 10 a.m. I put Baby C down for her nap, and head down to my office
  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. D gets quality “big-boy” playtime with Daddy
  • 11 a.m. Baby C wakes up, plays with Daddy and D
  • 12 p.m. I come upstairs and help with lunch & clean-up
  • 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. We get both kids settled for naptime
  • 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Mommy zooms down to the office for more work!
  • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Kids are up from their naps, they play with Darling Husband
  • 5 p.m. Quitting time for Mommy 
  • 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Dinner & clean-up 
  • 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. Playtime (or running out for groceries, etc.)
  • 7 p.m. Cereal for both kids (Cheerios for one, oatmeal for the other)
  • 7:30 p.m. Bathtime for both kids (or playing, if it’s not a bath night)
  • 8 p.m. Teeth-brushing/jammies/prayers/stories
  • 8:15 p.m. D is tucked into bed, and I nurse C and put her to bed
  • 8:30 p.m. Parental freedom! Darling Husband and I get to spend two hours together! We play cards a lot, or watch TV or a movie, or sometimes play a game on the Wii (we go through Mario phases)
  • 10:30 p.m. I go to bed, Darling Husband gets a few precious hours to himself (he watches movies I don’t like, watches scary TV shows, plays PS3 games, watches music videos on YouTube, etc.)
Total hours of work: Usually 5.5

So that’s basically our routine right now, as long as Darling Husband works this particular shift. He’s worked a lot of different combinations, and we just find a way to fit my work in around it. I’ve managed to build up a solid list of clients, and I’m proud of the work I do (in the small windows of time available, with a two-year-old and an eight-month-old).
Not every day is the same. On Saturdays and Sundays, I try not to work, but I often end up only getting one of the days “off” — which means when the kids nap, I get two hours of ME TIME! There are some days I don’t work in the mornings (and we all go out somewhere instead, or I take the kids to a playdate or playgroup). But there are also some days when I work lonnnnnng into the evening, too. 
That’s the thing about freelance work — you never really know when assignments will come in, and how long you’ll have to work on them. And because I’m super Type-A/over-achieve-y and HATE disappointing authority figures (clients), I sometimes take on too much, and then stress out trying to get it all done on time.
I’m always interested to hear how other moms work from home, because there aren’t too many of us. It’s hard sometimes, because people don’t always think of you as a “working mom” (but you are), and yet you don’t get the respect that a full-time, out-of-the-house working mom gets, because they think of you as a “stay-at-home mom.”
“Work-at-home mom” is the new pink, right? Right? Where else can you work in leggings and a sweater, juggle a baby monitor and a headset, and take breaks to flip the laundry from the washer to the dryer? I even get to use the executive washroom!
xoxo

One Comment on “Workin’ for the … weekend? No, sorry, we don’t get those!

  1. I don't know how you do it, Mama! Your routine is pretty flawless — that's what I need! You've inspired me to make a schedule for us, too.

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