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My Part Time Blogging Schedule as a Stay-At-Home Mom
When my son was a baby, I usually only squeezed in between two and three hours a day of work time. In those days, I often worked on weekends to help make up for the fact that I didn't have much time during the week to work on my blog.
Once my son turned two however, I found a preschool class for 2-year-olds that ran 3 hours a day 4 days per week. This arrangement has been wonderful, because it frees up 12 hours per week of work time for me (uninterrupted!!) And my son loves going to preschool. Around this time I also hired my part-time VA to help me be even more efficient with the little time I have.
So why am I even telling you all of this?
Here's what I want you to know.
Working online as a stay-at-home mom is going to look a lot different for us than it is for non-parent entrepreneurs.
I spent a lot of time feeling dissatisfied with how my work schedule looked after I had a child.
I had this subconscious sense that "real" entrepreneurs have a dedicated office or a local cafe that they go to during normal working hours.
I felt that if I wanted my business to be successful, I would have to work in six to eight hour chunks at a time, like everybody else.
And you know what? That is nearly impossible as I stay at home mom. Unless you are working in the middle of the night and not sleeping, or you have a full time nanny, that's probably not going to happen.
But I felt bad about it. I felt like I wasn't working hard enough. Or that I wasn't taking my business seriously enough. (Even though I was taking it very, very seriously).
All of this, of course, is complete and utter crap. Because I didn't have anyone else to model how this worked, I felt that I was doing something wrong. But that simply wasn't true!
After a while, I started joining blogging groups on Facebook and chatting with other bloggers who are also stay-at-home moms, and my eyes were opened.
This is how other stay-at-home moms were working too! It's not just me.
So in this post I want to give you an idea of what a typical work day looks like for me. You'll see that I work in small chunks, broken up between taking care of my son and getting other things done that need finishing. It isn't a perfect system, but it's working.
And I want you to know that if this is what your schedule looks like too, you can be successful! There are a lot of very, very successful women entrepreneurs out there who manage their business around raising their children and do great. Success is not reserved for childless entrepreneurs who can work 18-hour days.
While the schedule doesn't reflect my everyday (Hello! Every day is a new day in mom life), it is a pretty good representation of what most of my work days look like.
My Part Time Blogging Schedule
6:15am to 7:15am
This hour is my quiet work hour. Once I've had some coffee, I'll grab my laptop and get to work while the house is still quiet. Since I'm most productive in the morning, I usually try to jump into something that is pretty productive.
I will write blog posts, schedule my pins to Pinterest, implement new strategies I've been wanting to try out, etc. I usually put off doing easier tasks like answering emails and editing posts for the evening when my brain is more tired.
These morning hours are the preschool rush. This is the time I use to make breakfast, hang out with my husband, and get our son dressed and ready for preschool. On Fridays when there is no preschool in session, I'll usually take this time to do breakfast and then take my son to the playground and the library for some fun play time.
These are by far the best work hours I get all day. My son is in preschool from 9:00 to noon, and I spend every second of that that I can working. Once a week or so, I will take one of those chunks and head to a workout class instead. But for the most part, this is my prime working time and I try to use it wisely.
I'll usually jump into the most difficult tasks on my to-do list, or the ones that are most brain intensive. Usually content creation is at the very top of this list. One thing I've learned about motherhood is that it makes you incredibly time efficient.
While I used to procrastinate a lot and spend a lot of time thinking about less important tasks, I'm now able to jump right to the meat of it and get the really important stuff done in little time because I know I simply don't have very much.
This hour is my lunch hour, sort of. I pick up my son at noon, and we head home. Now that I've started cooking my meals in bulk over the weekend, lunch has gotten a lot easier. I'll usually heat up some soup or burritos for me and the kiddo, and we'll eat lunch together and maybe read some stories.
This is also the time when I'll do a quick 20-minute clean of the house. I'm grateful that we have a small home, because I can clean it rather quickly. If we had a much bigger place, I don't know what I would do!
My son's nap hour usually lasts somewhere between 2 and 3 hours. He doesn't always sleep, but he will play quietly by himself very happily. I'm so glad he does, because this is another chance I get to work with some quiet time. Now, to be honest I do not always spend all of this time working. Moms need to relax too!
Sometimes I'll read a book, do some extra cleaning while listening to my favorite podcasts, or just get some other chores done. But, often times I will get in an extra hour or two of work here as well. On days when I'm all caught up, I'll usually just spend time relaxing. But if I've gotten behind or have an unusual amount of work to do, I'll definitely take this time to catch up.
This big block is what I call our family time. This is the time when my son wakes up from nap, we go for a walk, I get dinner ready, my husband comes home, and we all spend time together. I really try to never work during these hours, unless our schedule for that day has changed significantly. This is the time for all of us to just be together and do family things.
I don't work every evening. In fact, I would say I probably only work two or three evenings out of the week, and for about an hour at that. These evening hours I really try to set aside for me and my husband to spend time together while our toddler is asleep. We'll clean up after dinner, chat, occasionally watch Netflix, and talk about our days. When he has a few things he has to tie up with work, I'll definitely take the same time to work too. But aside from that, I try to keep most of our weekly evening hours work free.
Sleep, glorious sleep.
All in all, I typically spend between 4 and 7 hours working per day. (Remember, it wasn’t always that way! I built this blog on a 2-3 hour per day work schedule with a baby.)
I think I’ve found a good groove where I’m able to balance family time, work time, and get the rest of our “life chores” done too. I hope this post has been helpful for you, and I also want you to know that your schedule is going to look different from mine.
I wanted to share my part time blogging schedule as an example, so that you can figure out how to squeeze the hours out of your day to work on your blog too.
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