“Mom, is it waking up time now?”
On a good day, my daughter would wake up on her own and calls out to me to get her. It’s my signal to take my first break from work and get us ready for school. Within minutes, I have the toasted bread, milk and a piece of fruit on the table while I finish off my (already) cold coffee.
Since my work-from-home journey began, I knew that discipline and prioritization would determine my success as a freelance digital marketing manager. By being strategic in scheduling and accomplishing my to-do list, I was able to win projects with my old laptop and a cheap Internet. It wasn’t long until I realized that I was earning more than my salary as a regular employee.
Here’s how my work-routine had changed when I became a mom:
Pre-baby work routine as a freelance Digital Marketing Manager
Before I became a mom, I had six solid months to focus on working as a freelance Digital Marketing Manager. I was doing all the work from project bidding, client negotiations and meetings to doing the actual project. To make the whole solo-act work, I followed a particular schedule.
- I dedicated my mornings to perfecting my proposals and responding to client inquiries while afternoons were for hunting projects online.
- As soon as I got the projects, I spent most of my day working on them and reserve my evenings for client calls.
- Check out the online marketing tools that I’ve been using for years to make my workload so much easier.
My bedroom was my home office, and our living and dining room were dedicated areas for client video calls. And if I get too bored, I would take my work to a coffee shop for two to three hours.
My work routine as an expectant mom
By mid-year, the shock of discovering about my pregnancy put my work in the backseat. I knew I had to prioritize to getting my body ready for the baby. So, I temporarily paused all client work and focused on learning more about the pregnancy. As soon as, I felt I was ready to take the next level, I signed up to work with a client who happens to have multiple client accounts. I worked relentlessly from day till night, but I would allow myself to take as many naps as I needed during the day. It was tougher than I thought because I was managing work alongside the pregnancy symptoms. But, earning an income while anticipating the arrival of my baby gave a sense of accomplishment.
Work-from-Home Starter Kit
1. ComfiLife Lumbar Support 2. ComfiLife Seat Cushion 3. Ello Ceramic Travel Mug in coral 4. Unlined Spiral Notebook 5. OrgaNice Hourglass Sand Timer – 30 Minute & 5 Minute Timer Set 6. MacBook Pro laptop 7. Huanuo Laptop Lap Desk 8. MOFT Laptop Stand 9. JBL Tune True Wireless Earbuds
What my work routine was when I was caring for a newborn
I was working at my home office when my little girl decided it was time. From there, I took one week of maternity leave from handling three different projects which my clients agreed on. Everything went by smoothly since I have pre-scheduled my work in weeks. It was comfortable most of the time because infants sleep most of the day, which gave opportunities for work. What came as a huge challenge was the never-ending house chores. So, instead of exhausting my time and energy with housework, I hired a part-time house help to handle the tasks.
I followed my daughter’s schedule and matched it with mine.
Here’s what my daily routine would look like:
- By the time my baby wakes up at around 7 am, I have completed some of my work. I would have a few minutes take her to the park for some vitamin D and get her ready for the day.
- Her mid-morning nap time was my chance to get on calls with clients.
- I would take my usual lunch and play with my baby after feeding.
- By afternoon, instead of a coffee break, I would take a power nap while my daughter sleeps. And then I would return to working on my home office desk in the living room.
- It won’t be long till it’s time to prepare dinner. By this time, my daughter would be playing on her bassinet or crib while I cook. But on some restless nights, I would take my daughter out to the mall and order take out.
- If I still have some energy, I’d squeeze in some light reading with my daughter until we both doze off to sleep.
- And repeat.
How my work routine has evolved from a one-man-team to having a lean team
Everything went by smoothly when my daughter was an infant. Her routine was predictable. But when she reached her first-year milestone, her sleep patterns changed too. It became shorter to almost no naps in the mid-morning at all. Suddenly, she had this energy for more playtime and exploration. My daughter needed more, but I didn’t want my work to suffer as well. That was the time when I hired some extra help to keep her company during those moments that I needed to work. Eventually, it signalled the beginning of building my team to grow from a freelancer to have a lean team. From a one-man-team, I was managing not just myself but a small group to keep things running smoothly.
Here’s a sample to-do list template you can use to manage your work from home.
PRINTABLE ROUTINE SHEET (in small file)
And here’s a sample of my work-from-home routine
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The key takeaway to thrive from working-from-home while being a hands-on parent is to have a routine that continually evolves to your and your children’s needs. Nothing is more important than our kids, but we also committed to doing our best at work. With the right planning and tools to support the things that matter to us, we will surely get to where we aspire to be.
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