Working from home mum

Daily Routine of a Busy Working Mum

Sometimes, I wonder…is being a mother not a work in itself?

Jane Sellman appeared to have answered my amazement with her thoughts:

“Working mother is redundant.”

This sounds funny but ironically precise.

Being a mother isn’t just about mothering.

It also means being a wife (in most circumstances), a homemaker, a daughter, sometimes a full-time worker, it could potentially be a sister or an auntie, a friend, and so much more hats in between.

This sounds like a lot of work to juggle in a day but you know we can only do as much in 24-hour clock.

Addressing each day without clear direction often leads to unproductivity, exhaustion, and frustration.

 

Working from home…a blessing or a curse?

It is crystal clear that having a structured daily routine helps us to achieve as much as we can in our daily waking hours.

When I was a stay-at-home mum for over a year, it was somehow manageable but it was still very hectic.  Inserting full-time work and business into the equation made it a lot more challenging.

Nowadays, working from home has become a common perk that more working parents and homemakers consider as a blessing. But, in fact, it could also be a curse if you are not able to make the most of it.

 

Designing my daily routines…

To ensure that I fully maximize my time as a busy working mother, I devised a routine schedule that is easy for me to follow and allows me to be more in control of my daily activities particularly when I am working from home.

For ease of recall, I have divided my weekday time into 5 Daily F’s.  I will leave it with you how you wish to name yours.  But I like calling mine my “Fun Favorite” daily routines.

I try to associate my daily intentions with pleasurable tasks I needed to complete.  These are the things that I care about every single day that makes me feel accomplished, that light my fire, and add fire to everyone around me. You know the cliché saying…“Do more of what makes you happy.”

Let me happily share with you my fun favorite daily routines when working from home.  I use the same guide but I tweak some of the routines when I am rostered to work in the office.

 

My 5 Daily Fun Favorites…

 

1. For Me Routine Time

2. Fix Routine Time

3. Focus Routine Time

4. Family Routine Time

5. Free Routine Time

CONCLUSION

 

1. FOR ME Routine Time – 6:00 AM to 7:00 AM

 

For me, self-care is not selfish.

Every morning, I fill up my glass first before I pour it on others. Literally and figuratively.

I allot my ME Time early in the morning when kids are not yet awake.  On weekdays, I start my day at 6:00 AM. I would like to train myself to wake up earlier – but it depends on what time I sleep the night before.  I want to make sure my mind and body recuperate well from the physical, emotional, and mental demands of the day before.

“For Me” routine time serves as my warming-up time.

During this routine, I make my bed first thing in the morning, I hydrate by drinking water which I always have a bottle of water next to my bedside, I go to the toilet and wash my face or shower with cold water, brush my teeth, and get dressed (either for working from home or going to the office).

I also start my day with a bit of stretching and meditation exercise.  I am not a pro to either of these but since I started incorporating them into this routine, it has given me that sense of calm and ease to face the challenges of the new day ahead.  For some guided meditation, I listen to Sara Raymond’s podcast of  The Mindful Movement.

Lastly, before jumping into the next set of routines, I see to it to map or plan my day by itemizing my priority goals for the day.

 

 

 

 

FOR MYSELF

ROUTINE

TIME

 

Routines

Work

From

Home

Work

From

Office

 

Comments

1.       Wake up/Pray

Yes

Yes

2.       Make the bed

Yes

Yes

3.       Drink Water

Yes

Yes

4.       Toilet break

Yes

Yes

5.       Wash face/shower cold water

Yes

Yes

6.       Get dressed

Yes

Yes

7.       Stretching

Yes

Yes

10-15 minutes
8.       Meditation / Breathing exercise

Yes

Yes

10-15 minutes
9.       Plan my day

Yes

Yes

 

2. FIX Routine Time – 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM

 

“Fix” routine time allows me to prepare the house and the households particularly the kids.  This is the time I will put away the dry dishes from the kitchen rack (I don’t worry about the dishwasher as that is kids’ territory to manage) and attend to my scheduled quick cleaning routine depending on what day it is and I will prepare the breakfast and eat the breakfast with the kids (as hubby leaves early whilst I am having my “For Me Routine Time”).

If I am working from home, I can squeeze a bit of time to journal, plan tasks for my blogging, and my other activities.

 

 

 

 

FIX ROUTINE

TIME

 

Routines

Work From HomeWork From Office 

Comments

1.       Quick house chores

Yes

Yes

2.       Make/eat breakfast

Yes

Yes

3.       Mind my business/hobbies

Yes

Writing down my plans for the day  (journaling)
4.       Quick exercise with kids

Yes

When home learning
5.       Drop off kids to school/ Prepare kids for home learning

Yes

Yes

 

3. FOCUS Routine Time – 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM

 

“Focus” routine time partakes most of my productivity time.  This is the time I spend working, attending meetings, and teaching the kids with their home learnings.  I also try to implement some time management techniques that will allow me to have quick breaks in between by doing some easy physical routines like skipping, stretching, going out in the garden to check my plants and breathe some fresh air, and checking the kids’ progress with their learning activities.

Though most of my current co-workers don’t eat snacks or lunch. I honestly don’t know how they are surviving the day. But for me to focus on my task at hand, I make sure to eat my snacks or my midday meals on time otherwise I will not be able to concentrate.

When working in the office, finishing work on the dot is a no-brainer but when it comes to finishing work when working from home, it is a different ballgame. This is one of the areas I would love to be more in control especially when there are urgent things to deal with at work. But I see to it to put a maximum time of finishing the necessary critical tasks.

 

 

 

 

FOCUS

ROUTINE

TIME

 

Routines

Work

From

Home

Work

From

Office

 

Comments

1.       Work (from home or go to work)

Yes

Yes

7.6 hours or more
2.       Homeschooling (during remote learning)

Yes

Assist kids in home learning
3.       Quick exercise in between tasks

Yes

Quick active breaks (stretching, skipping..etc)
4.       Eat Lunch

Yes

Yes

5.        Pick up kids / Take kids to extra-curricular activities (if any)

Yes

Yes

Continue work after kids’ pick-up from school
6.       Finish work

Yes

Yes

At the moment, when I am working in the office I leave early to pick up the kids from school and continue work from home.  This would mean I need to extend a bit of time working from home to make up the time I spend traveling.  This is one of the reasons (I believe) working from home works better especially for working parent/s like me, I don’t have to worry about being stuck in the traffic or being late going to work or back home.  It gives me a better sense of management in fulfilling the so-called work-life balance.

 

4. FAMILY Routine Time – 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

 

“Family” routine time should be all the time. But with the busyness of modern family life, I find allotting specific undivided quality time with them is helpful especially when kids are getting older and more independent.  This includes getting kids involved in preparing the meals, cleaning the kitchen after meals, having a decent meal together, chatting about everyone’s day, watching kids’ favorite shows, or a simple family game before bedtime.

 

 

 

 

FAMILY

ROUTINE

TIME

 

Routines

Work

From

Home

Work

From

Office

 

Comments

7.       Prepare dinner

Yes

Yes

 

With the help of family

8.       Dinner

Yes

Yes

9.       Clean kitchen

Yes

Yes

10.     Family time

Yes

Yes

Chatting with the family, family game or watching shows/movie

 

5. FREE Routine Time – 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM

 

“Free” Routine Time is my version of cooling down after the crazy demands of the day.

I prefer soaking at the end of the day especially after a tedious or messy task with a warm shower then finishing with a very cold shower.  My hubby was the one who introduced me to this cold shower habit.  I swear it worked magic to my immune system! I used to catch colds easily and once I caught it, it normally takes a couple of weeks or more before I fully recover but now I seldom catch it and even if I do, I quickly bounce back from it.

On weekdays, I am assigned to put kids to bed as hubby sleeps the same time as the kids (8:30 pm) because he starts work early in the morning.  Tucking my kids to bed at night is my utmost cue to start my silent disco time – a.k.a. my free time.

This is the time I get to concentrate on my blogging, social media planning, product design, and other tasks, personal or business-related.

In all honesty, I am yet to master the strict sleeping time, particularly during weekdays with work the following day.  At the moment, copywriting and learning about the ins and outs of business consume a lot of my energy as I am yet to be familiarized with it. But hopefully, it will be easier once I get to do it more consistently.  I am looking forward to that time when I will be able to stick to my sleeping and waking up time routine.

 

 

FREE

ROUTINE

TIME

 

Routines

Work

From

Home

Work

From

Office

 

Comments

11.   Cold Shower

Yes

Yes

12.   Put kids to bed

Yes

Yes

8:30 PM on weekdays and 9:30 PM on no school days
13.   Mind my Hobbies/ Business

Yes

Yes

14.   Sleeping Time

Yes

Yes

7-8 hours (preferred)

 

CONCLUSION:

 

I treat this daily routine schedule as a guide. I hope you didn’t get intimidated by the strict time assignment per phase nor the complexity of the sub-tasks per time allotment. That is just setting some zone time per phase to make it a more efficient and more effective routine.

I find it helpful to assign specific times on key activities like wake up time, the start of work time, finish work time, sleeping time…etc.  It allows me to make the transition from one zone to another without much trouble.

This routine should help you map your day to achieve a more consistent system in achieving your goals during the day. Like any other map, acknowledge the possibilities of detours but see to it to revert to the map as far as is practicable to help you get back on track.

On weekends and Fridays, I have a different set of routines. I allow myself to sleep in and be more flexible and free-flowing.  I spend more quality time with the kids and more time with “you and me” (couple time). These give me the much-needed break to get off the ever-accelerating hamster wheel of professional and personal living.

I don’t aim for perfection but I always strive to follow it as much as possible in a flow that makes sense to me.  Sequentially, it will help me to be the person that I want to be not just as a busy working mother but a good enough mother, wife, homemaker, and conscientious human being in general.

Like James Clear said in his best-selling “Atomic Habits” book, we don’t have to be perfect. We just need to show up as much as we can and cast the majority of the votes on the person we want to be which then supports the goals we want to achieve.

I hope these routine ideas help you in a way to devise your routine schedule as a working parent or homemaker either working at home, going to the office, or staying at home.

If you enjoyed this post, I would be very grateful if you would help to share it by emailing it to a friend or family or sharing it on Facebook or Instagram.

Thank you for your valuable time.

Keep thriving and keep inspiring one another.

Much joy and thanks,

Ann of Hometiculous

I am a busy mummy of 2 and a wifey to one. I am very careful when it comes to the needs of my family and home. I am particularly lazy to look for things and thoroughly crazy to do everything that’s why I am thankful for organizing. I am a certified meticulous when it comes to anything that involves effort, time, and money at home and beyond our home. In my spare time (if I am lucky), I engrossed myself reading, experimenting in the kitchen, exploring my tiny little garden, learning and saving from DIYs.

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