Picture a woman balancing a laptop on her knees so she can check her email while she tries to spoon-feed her baby, wipe the hands of her toddler, check the homework of her seven-year-old, toss out spelling words to her nine-year-old, and make sure her 11-year-old has completed his chores. Work-at-home-moms (WAHM’s) such as myself juggle this and much more as we balance work and family all under one roof.
So, what does a typical day-in-the-life of a WAHM look like? It’s different for everyone, but for me—an author, writer, blogger, speaker, wife, and mother of five—it looks something like this:
- 5:00 a.m. – Alarm goes off. Hit snooze 2-3 times until the hubs asks if I’m going to wake up. I can take a hint.
- 5:30 a.m. – Yoga (it’s cheaper than therapy).
- 7:00 a.m. – Shower and make myself presentable for the day (a.k.a. washing four days’ worth of dry shampoo out of my hair) while answering emails and text messages.
- 7:45 a.m. – Kiss the big kids and hubs goodbye. Get the baby and toddler ready for the day.
- 8:30 a.m. – Morning activity: Bible study, playdate with friends, appointments, errands, or hang out at home, all while sneaking in a few minutes to make a to-do list, brainstorm future blog posts, or check social media (gotta stay relevant, ya know).
- 11:45 a.m. – Lunch time for the littles, which looks like a school cafeteria food fight by the time they’re time done.
- 12:45 p.m. – Naptime!!! My littles go to sleep and I fly into production mode: writing a blog or an article, writing or editing a book (if I have one in the works), updating my website, posting items to social media, or whatever else I need to check off my list—trying to accomplish a week’s worth of work in two hours.
- 3:00 p.m. – The littles wake up and I shift back into mom-mode, snuggling on the couch watching Peppa Pig while waiting for the bigs to arrive home from school.
- 3:30 p.m. – All systems go: talk time with the bigs! Snack time, homework, chores, school projects, and if we’re really bored, soccer practice for all three bigs. As a WAHM, every block of spare time is potential productivity, so I usually work on an article or blog post during practice.
- 6:00 p.m. – Dinner: the only time of the day when this WAHM truly unplugs. No cell phones or tech devices at the table. Just family, conversation cards, and a devotional. Sure, the bigs might bicker, the toddler might use her pasta sauce as shampoo, and the baby might cry like a, well, baby, but for one hour no one works. It is just us. I like us.
- 7:00 p.m. Bathtime and bedtime routine for the littles. The bigs stay up and read as the chaos winds down . . . just in time for my work to rev up.
- 8:30 p.m. – Worktime. Respond to emails and text messages once again. And those blog posts and articles I started? Time to finish them.
- 11:00 p.m. – Bedtime. Force myself to shut everything down until the new day.
The most challenging part about being a WAHM is that there is no escape. Work is always surrounding me, staring me in the face, daring me to tackle it. When I read to my toddler, work taunts me, “Don’t you want to finish writing that blog post? You’re almost done.” When my nine-year-old wants me to go bike riding after dinner, work reminds me, “You don’t have time for that. Your toddler didn’t take a nap today and you only got 30 minutes of work done.” Work is my sixth child—and my most annoying. As much as I love writing, work steals time away from my family and no matter how much time I give I devote to it, work is never satisfied. It always wants more.
On the other hand, being a WAHM has many advantages. First of all, I set my own hours. If I want to go on a field trip with my seven-year-old, I go. If I want to eat lunch with my nine-year-old, I eat. If I want to watch a movie with the eleven-year-old, I watch. Being a WAHM is ideal for goal-oriented, independent self-starters, who enjoy setting their own hours, schedules, and goals.
I also have no dress code (yoga pants are my BFF), no office politics (I am an awesome boss, just ask my co-workers), and no commute (my Fitbit is so ashamed of my single blinking dot).