If you’ve been a stay-at-home mom for many years, then calling yourself a “working mom” might feel a little unfamiliar! If you ask me, every mom is a working mom. This job never rests!
But if you have a job or business that takes you away from household or parenting tasks for some or most of your day, this blog post will help you create a functional and stress-free daily routine to ensure you get everything on your to-do list done. Afer all, we busy moms know that having a daily schedule is the best way to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
My favorite bedtime routine
I know, it seems weird to start a post about a daily schedule with what happens at the end of the day, but I’ve found that when I have the right evening routine, I’m way more productive the next day. So what does an ideal evening look like? That’s going to depend a lot on your own life circumstances. If you’re more of a night owl, then getting to bed earlier might be an important part of your new evening routine.
I will say that for me, a good evening routine begins with shutting off screens at least a couple hours before bed and then some free time. It includes quality time with my husband after the kids have gone to bed (or just quiet time alone), as well as a couple chapters of a good book and then at least 7 hours of sleep. When I can allow my brain to shut down and decompress like this at the end of a day, my next day starts bright and early and I have plenty of energy.
Successful mom morning routine
My time management in the mornings is just as crucial as my evenings, since what I do first thing sets up the entire day for success (or not-so-much-success). So what does that kind of energetic next morning look like?
I’ve never been much of an early bird, but I have been able to figure out how to fit in all the components of a great morning, even when I wake up at my usual time (usually between 6:30-7:30). First off, I say a morning prayer and then brush my teeth and get dressed in workout clothes. I head to the gym or out for a run, then come home and make breakfast for myself and my kids and hop in the shower. While I’m getting ready, I’ll listen to a podcast or an inspiring book, and then I help kids with whatever they need. At some point during my morning I’ll fit in scripture reading as well.
I realize that homeschooling means I have a much more flexible morning schedule than some moms, but even if you don’t have as much time as I do before your work hours start, making a goal to spend that morning time with some great physical, spiritual and emotional self-care is crucial. Do you include anything else in your favorite productive morning routine?
What my work day looks like
After helping kids with schoolwork (admittedly, our tutor does most of this work now; she has been a huge blessing for our large family!) and doing cleanup, laundry and caring for the preschoolers, I make lunch for the kids, put my toddler down for nap time and then head into my office with my phone and a full water bottle.
If you work from home and have all your kids in school during the day, you can admittedly set up shop in your living room, kitchen or anywhere else. But I do suggest having some sort of dedicated space in which to work. I think it helps signal to my brain that it’s work time and helps me avoid getting distracted on social media or doing other online tasks.
A great way to jump into your work day is to start by planning out the week, first thing on Monday. I don’t start my working hours until 1pm on Mondays, but that first hour is always dedicated to a brain dump of all the tasks I have on my plate and then slotting them all into my calendar for the rest of the week.
This simple activity has revolutionized my productivity and completely changed how I see my limited working hours. Instead of feeling like there was never enough time to get everything done, I prioritize the tasks that come up on Monday and always take the time to schedule those daily tasks. If you’re not much of planner, you’ve got to try this for a few weeks and see what happens!
I usually wrap up my work day around 5pm, although admittedly it’s often hard for me to turn the computer off and head out to make dinner (it’s easier when I’ve done my meal planning). But since my family life is extremely important to me, I’ve decided that having a family dinner every evening is non-negotiable. This is definitely not always easy to pull off (and with busy teens not even always possible), but having this reliable family time every day helps me feel like our family is a cohesive unit that gets time to check in with each other every day.
Achieving that work-life balance
As a working mom, we have two major priorities constantly tugging at our hearts: the desire to be amazing mothers who show up consistently for their children, and a need to create something of value to put out into the world. This balance requires work and intentionality, but I don’t think that it has to be hard or cause us unnecessary angst.
If you’re struggling with feelings about how you’re showing up for your home life, your work, your children or anything else, that’s something we can take a look at in a coaching session. As a life coach, I help you look at the thoughts that are creating the feelings you’re experiencing and driving the actions you might not love about yourself. There’s so much power that comes with taking a look inside our minds and determining whether or not we like what we see there.
Curious about how I can help you with a certain area of your working mom routine? Click the button to set up a 20 minute chat.
Watch the video version below!