Working from home is very common now, but it didn’t used to be! Y’all wanted me to talk about where I find the time to be a work-from-home homeschooling mom who still manages to take care of her home and cook from scratch. For those of you who don’t know, Barry and I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I love to homeschool our kids, keep our home, and cook everything (or almost everything) from scratch. But in addition to that, Barry and I run multiple businesses from home. I get asked ALL the time how I do it all.
But the truth is – I don’t! I can’t be 100% a stay at-home mom and 100% working woman.
I have to do one or the other at a time in order to do either thing well. And y’all may recall that I have said I think trying to balance it all is kind of crap. I try to be giving 100% to whatever I’m doing at each time. When I try to do too many things at once – I am not a good mom and I don’t accomplish much as far as working goes either.
In the past, I felt guilty if my children saw me working.
When I first started blogging and working from home, there was actually a whole movement about, “Don’t work when your kids are awake!” And, “You’re wasting their best years!” But y’all – I think it’s good for them to see (and help) me work! If I am not working, I am bored. And the work I do brings me enjoyment! But I no longer feel guilty for working because my children are home WITH ME. And bonus, now that they are getting older, my kids can help me with a lot of the things I need to get done in a day.
Barry and I are working really hard right now. We have a really big goal that I am not sharing about on social media at this point, but just know it is BIG. It’s important for me to work really hard NOW, so that later, my family can see the amazing benefits from it.
I know some of you get up early and work before the kids and some of you stay up later after the kids go to bed. This doesn’t work for me! If I don’t get enough sleep, my health is DIRECTLY affected. When I stay up too late and/or get up too early – I am not my best self in all the ways! What do I do each day instead?
Our “normal” daily routine looks a bit like this:
Barry and I both wake up around 6:00 and exercise. I like to be showered and have my makeup on before the kids get up. I like to get ready because it makes me feel better about myself. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks about me – I feel better about myself when I look my best and I am ready for the day.
I feed my kids breakfast, clean it all up, and then I eat breakfast. I know people think this is weird, but let me set the record straight… this is not weird. It’s something I’ve learned over the years and it is awesome! I get agitated when I try to eat at the same time as my kids. I sit down and EVERYONE needs something. Whether it’s ketchup, more water, a different fork… you get the idea! While they are little, I’ve learned it’s better for me if they go ahead eat and then head off to play so that I can eat my meal in peace and quiet. It’s one of the simple pleasures in the life of a work-from-home homeschooling mom.
After breakfast, the kids and I do whatever chores need to be done that day and then we begin our homeschool.
Some days we have more chores than others – but it’s usually an hour or less. After chores, we begin our homeschool. We try to get all of our schoolwork out of the way before lunch. It’s been our goal since we started homeschooling for our kids to be independent learners, so that’s what I’m striving for. I make Annie a list of what she needs to get done each day in her lessons, work with her on things that require me, and then get her going. She comes back to me if she has questions or concerns. I don’t walk her through each lesson or assignment. But to be clear – I couldn’t get to this point until she learned how to read (and read well). Kindergarten and first grade were much more hands-on for her, and will be for all the others as they get there as well.
We still do some things together, like certain history lessons or science experiments. I get asked a lot about her math. Math is not my strong suit, and her lessons for math are on the computer. Thankfully, that means she doesn’t need me much. I just have to go check her work once or twice a week to make sure she is doing well and getting the correct answers. If she’s struggling, we revisit those topics one morning to make sure she grasps the concepts. And it’s not like I’m off somewhere! If my kids need me, we are all together in the same room (or close) – all they have to do is ask me for help!
Our morning goal is to finish chores and school by lunchtime.
After lunch, I am able to work off and on for about 3 to 3-1/2 hours. During this time, the kids are downstairs playing quietly or watching a movie, and if they want it, taking a nap. This timeframe is when I typically churn out the majority of my work. A dedicated quiet time for them is a welcome break for us all. Plus, let’s be honest – the kids love getting a chance to watch a little show. At some point, when the kiddos start to get antsy to do something else, and if the weather is nice, all of the kids will go outside and play for the rest of the day. They only come inside for a dinner break (and then they usually head right back outside).
After dinner until bedtime is family time.
In the evenings, I very, very, rarely work. I will occasionally have to answer calls or texts during that time, but not often. This is also Barry’s only time during the week to spend with the kids, so we try to make the most of this time to be together. Once the kids are all asleep, Barry and I finish up the rest of our work: mailings, easy projects, outside or yard work, etc. Our goal is to be done and ready to relax by 9:00. Then we relax and unwind together – usually staying up until about 10:00 or 10:30 pm. And that’s a day in the life of Stacy!
This is where we are at right now, but life is always changing!
The seasons of life are full of trial and error. You figure out what works and what doesn’t. You have to be flexible when your seasons of life change. I realize my approach to being a work-from-home homeschooling mom isn’t for everybody. But no matter what stance you take with your family – embrace it and ignore the naysayers. Don’t let someone make you feel bad about your choices. You need to figure out what works best for you, your family, your financial situation, your profession etc. You’ve got this! And as always, I’m just a message away if you need me!