My Daily Schedule as a Freelancing Mom
Over the past 5 years my life has changed in so many ways — I got married, I bought a house, I've steadily grown my career, and I've had two baby girls now 4 and 1 year old. Over the years our day to day schedule has changed a lot, but we’ve recently settled into a routine that’s really working for us, and I thought I'd share for anyone wondering what it looked like to work a creative job while in the company of small kids. Spoiler alert: It can be done!
Here's a typical working day for me:
6:00 — Up for the day, get myself and the kids dressed, teeth brushed, etc.
7:00 — Breakfast
7:30 — Pre-School drop-off
8:00 — Home with the baby, clean up from breakfast, pick up the house a little. Reading and play time.
9:30 — The baby takes a nap. As soon as she goes down it's time to check email and respond to anything important.
10 - 1:00 — Creative work. I stagger my schedule in such a way that I only have one "big" project each day which gets this block of time for concepting, sketching, and creation.
1:00 — Baby is up, we have lunch
1:30 — Errands
2:30 — 4:00 Emails, admin or production work in between crafts or sensory activities
4:30 — Pre-school pickup, then to a park for some outside play
5:00 - 6:00 — Cook and eat dinner
6:15 — Bath time, quiet play
7:30 — Bedtime for the kids
8:00 - 12:00 — Creative work while hanging with the husband
As much as I love being a mom, my career plays a huge role in my life. Say what you will, but work has a lot to do with my sense of self-worth and days where I feel productive are the days that I feel best about myself. I get a ton of satisfaction from what I do, and sometimes my job feels like self-care in a way. So, it was important for me to make working work.
So how do I balance having two young children and growing a business? Creating routines and schedules that serve all of us. I make sure to include creative time when I will be the least distracted and can immerse myself into a project without anyone needing a sippy cup refill. I save most emails for the afternoon when the kids are working on a craft, or playing quietly.
By the way there are absolutely days where I leave the kids at home with my husband and camp out in a local coffee shop for some true, focused work. Those days are often weekends, but I welcome the change of pace and the chance to catch up on things in a quiet environment. The schedule above is most days but there are exceptions and they keep things balanced too.
Here's the thing: There's some sacrifice involved. My house isn't the cleanest and I don't sleep a ton and while I don't love working from 8-12pm, I do love my job so that makes it fine by me. I also have a lot of flexibility to my schedule and can take a day off without much trouble. So far it's working. I get to spend a ton of time with my kids while they're little, and I feel in control of my schedule. A win, win!