Have kids, they said. It'll be fun, they said.
...Okay, having kids is actually pretty fun. But nobody warned me how HARD it is to get things done with little kidlets running around! And I only have one; I see you author mamas out there with multiple kids! You are warriors!
In the two and a half years since I gave birth to Annabelle, I've struggled with my identity as a mom and author. It felt like two full-time jobs were trying to pull me in separate directions, and I lived on the precipice of being torn apart. (Dramatic? Probably, but the feeling was real!)
I wanted to work on my art, but this little human required so much of my attention. By the time I gave her what she needed, I had zero mental energy or willpower to work on my author career. I coasted through the first year postpartum, struggling to keep all the balls in the air at once.
Then I learned to delegate. To take the time I needed to work on my passion.
And THEN? Annabelle started preschool.
Okay, she's only going 2 days per week, but WOW. 12 hours per week of uninterrupted work time. What is life??
I thought it would be fun to break down what a day looks like for me as a full-time mom, part-time author, and part-time freelance editor! Here we go!
Morning: Mom Time & Mom Duty
I've made a resolution to wake up earlier than Annabelle. Some days I succeed, some days I don't, but when I do, my day always starts on a positive note. I've read countless blog posts about productivity as a mom, and the number one advice is always to get up early. I didn't think it was true until I tried it!
On preschool mornings, I get Annabelle up, fed, and ready for the day so we can get out the door by 8 am. On non-school mornings, I let her sleep until she wakes up, which is usually around 8. We spend the morning playing and getting some chores done. Sometimes we take the dog for a walk or go to the park to kill some time before lunch.
Nap Time: The Ultimate Work Sprint
Annabelle takes one nap every day from 1 pm to 3 pm, which gives me two hours to get ALL the work done. As soon as she's down, I shut myself in my office and tackle my task of the day. Since I'm working 6 hours a day on Annabelle's preschool days, that's where I do my long writing sprints and editing sprints. I reserve naptime on other days for random tasks that need to be done, like business courses, marketing, social media, and blog posts. Those are usually pretty easy to complete in a two-hour block.
If it's a preschool day, I'm working from the time I drop Annabelle at school to the time I have to pick her up. It's a huge chunk of time that I’ve organized into blocks with certain tasks. It's been so helpful to have long blocks to get stuff done and be productive!
Evenings: Shift Work
On weeknights, my husband and I take shifts on Annabelle duty. Two nights per week, I have the night "off" to work on whatever I need to, and my husband gets the other two days. Often, we end up hanging out as a family, but it's nice to have the responsibilities delegated! If I have the night off, I'll sometimes work on editing projects if I'm on a deadline, but I'm trying to shift away from working during the evenings when I can avoid it. I'm trying to spend more time intentionally focused on my family!
In the past two and a half years, my daily schedule has shifted more times than I can count. This is a snapshot of what my schedule looks like today, but tomorrow it may be different. As a mom, I have to be flexible and adjust my schedule to what's needed on any given day. That being said, I'm really working on dedicating time to my author career and finding a work/life balance that works for me.
Any other writer moms out there? What does your daily schedule look like? Let me know in the comments!