Day in the Life of a Work-from-Home Mom

Most of us are creatures of habit and routine, but sometimes that routine can be difficult to establish. Case in point: a growing baby. Something changes every week! I’ve found the key to keeping up with change and feeling comfortable in the midst of difficult situations is “flexible consistency”. An oxymoron, yes. Impossible, no. Our recent move to Indiana has brought with it many changes and new situations, including a fair amount of travel. Throw in a teething baby and you’re really set up for disaster! Hence the flexibility. Things won’t always go as planned or expected. But, even when they don’t, it’s important to keep some semblance of routine in place for the sake of everyone involved, and especially baby. They come to rely on a schedule and feel secure in know what to expect. And, at the end of the day, so do I.

So, more for my sake than for yours because I’ll probably reference this years down the road, here is what our schedule looks like right now (generally…remember, flexibility).
6:00am/6:30am – Wake, change diaper, nurse 
6:30am – Play in bed with momma while dad gets ready for work
7:30am – Fix coffee, feed baby breakfast (1 jar Stage 3 fruit+oatmeal)

8:00am – Baby plays with toys in living room while momma checks email and drinks coffee nearby

8:30/9:00am – Mom works in home office while baby naps (length of nap varies, usually 1-1.5 hrs)
10:30am/11:00am – Baby wakes, change diaper, nurse
Depending on my project load, I’ll put him in his playpaen in my office or let him scoot around on the floor with toys while I keep working. If it’s a light day, we’ll read/play together or run errands.

12:00pm – Lunchtime (1 Jar Stage 3 Veggies or Fruit Combo) + cheerios, rice snacks or fruit pieces. We’re experimenting with new finger foods as he’s beginning to learn to self-feed.

12:30pm – Run errands or play with toys, read books. If we’re at home, I usually use this time to get stuff done in the kitchen, fold laundry, etc.

2:00/2:30pm – Afternoon nap = mom gets some work done!

4:00pm – Wake from nap, change diaper, nurse

I’ll put him in the exersaucer or let him crawl around in the family room, sometimes I’ll put on the Baby Development channel (yes, I let my child watch TV occasionally) while I prep dinner

5:30pm – Dad gets home from work, bringing the dog with him! Baby loves this time of day. He plays with dad while I finish getting dinner ready.

6:00pm – Dinner for baby

6:30pm – Bathtime

7:00/7:30pm – Bedtime. Depending on his mood, we’ll either keep him up while we eat dinner or put him down right after bathtime.

Baby is still not sleeping 100% through the night, he sometimes still wakes at 2 or 3am and needs comforting. We dropped the night nursing at about 7.5 months, so if he wakes upset I pick him up and rock him briefly then put him back in his crib. He usually falls back asleep. Lately, he’s been sleeping through to about 5:30am, so that’s progress and I’ll take what I can get. 🙂

I’d call this a parent-led schedule, although I do try to pay attention to the cues I get from baby. I can tell when he’s hungry or tired and if that means it’s time for a meal or a nap sooner than usual, that’s what we do. Some things really throw this off — like teething or a growth spurt — but that’s the key to a flexible routine: if you have a couple bad days, just shake it off and get back on the routine when you can. And when things change, as inevitably they do while baby grows, patience is key. Eventually we’ll drop his second nap and a new schedule will emerge, but I’m hoping that I can keep the two naps for a little while at least as it lets me get a good amount of work done each day!

I love being able to work from home and care for my little one at the same time. It’s the perfect situation for us, and I’m so grateful it’s working out the way it has. We continue to take it one day at a time, though, and even on a particularly busy day I remind myself that the jobs will come and go — but this time with my  little boy is precious and I don’t want to waste a minute!

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