If you’ve ever been curious about what life looks like for a work-from-home mom of an 8 month old baby, this post is for you! This is my first time writing a post like this (it was suggested when I surveyed readers via Instagram about topics they’d like to read about in the new year) and I’m already looking forward to reading it in a few years. With small business and motherhood, everything changes SO FAST!
I want to preface this by saying I decided I was writing this post on a whim around lunchtime last Thursday and started scrawling notes onto the backside of a nearby envelope. We recently switched to a new sleep/nap schedule for Sage and it’s been great for us. I’m really enjoying a more predictable schedule, and even though baby girl is not even close to sleeping through the night right now (thanks 8 month sleep regression!), things feel much more manageable for the time being since we have this new daily routine in place. Also, that picture above is from when Sage was 3 months old and we got family photos taken, so NOT a typical day in the life but I didn’t take many pictures on this day so I threw that one in for good measure. Ok, here we go!
M O R N I N G
6:30am | I wake up and hop in the shower, then put on my bathrobe so I can see Anthony off to work and start making breakfast for me and Sage. I usually make quiches for weekday breakfast that way Anthony can just grab a slice on his way out the door, but we’ve been running low on groceries so I didn’t have one made.
7:00am | I wake S up for the day, change her diaper and bring her downstairs to the kitchen where I put her in the high chair and we eat breakfast together. For me, scrambled eggs and a slice of beer bread I made earlier in the week and for her, scrambled eggs and some leftover oatmeal I made her for breakfast the day before.
7:30am-8:30am | I take my coffee into the living room and we play for about an hour. At this stage, she’s really enjoying knocking down the block towers I build and reading books. At 8:30, she starts looking a little tired - not rubbing her eyes yet, but she gets the vacant stare and starts sucking her thumb. I recently realized that’s the time to start getting her ready for a nap.
8:30am | I carry S upstairs, nurse her and sing her a little song then lay her in the crib awake. She plays in the crib quietly on her own for about 15 minutes then falls asleep close to 9:00. I check on her periodically on the monitor and have noticed this has become her morning pattern. Girl likes her alone time, I get it! After I put S down, I get dressed and go downstairs to start my work day.
9:00am | The first thing I do is finish my coffee (which is definitely now cold) and spend some time writing down my top priorities for the day in my bullet journal. I’m able to check the first two things off my list during this first chunk of work time: following up with all of my new client leads from January and posting my availability for February to Instagram. I also make a little story about a blog post I published the day before and forgot to tell anyone about...
10:30am | S wakes up, I change her diaper and get her dressed for the day. While we have momentum, I just pack both of us up and get ready to leave the house. Our local library has a free Baby Literacy class on Thursdays I’ve been wanting to take her to and I decide today is the day!
11:00am | We arrive at the library to find out the Baby class was cancelled due to snow. Oh well! We return our books and get new ones, hanging out in the storytime area to give them a test read before we decided to take them home. We found one that’s definitely a new favorite and I added it to my Amazon wishlist before we left. While we’re there, I get a response for one of the potential client leads I followed up with earlier in the morning and send a few quick messages back and forth to answer her questions.
A F T E R N O O N
12:00pm | We get home and I let S play in the walker while I make myself some lunch. Today it’s leftover pork BBQ and some baby carrots. I finish eating and S is still happily playing so I start listening to a podcast and take a few minutes to change a load of laundry I started yesterday and then my little sister Frankie calls, so S and I spend the next 20 minutes or so catching up with her via Facetime.
12:30pm | S is already acting tired again so I change her and take her upstairs for a nap, repeating the same routine from her first nap of the day. I make a mental note that I need to wash the cloth diapers because she’s in the last clean one. Then I send a voice message to my mother-in-law who’s coming this afternoon to watch her. At the moment, she comes from about 2:00pm until 5/6:00pm when Anthony gets home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
12:50pm | I come back down to my studio for my second chunk of work time in the day and start by scheduling with the client I had been in touch with earlier. I then get a little distracted and watch this video my best friend posted to Facebook about the Codorus Beautification Initiative - York locals, wouldn’t this be amazing?! I check on S with the monitor and see she’s asleep. Then I start researching and pulling inspiration for a new project and answer a few inquiries from my February availability post through Instagram DM.
2:00pm | S wakes up, I nurse her and change her into a disposable because the cloth diapers still haven’t been washed.
2:10pm | My mother-in-law arrives and takes Chloe on a short walk then takes S for the afternoon. I spend a little time cleaning up the house and put the cloth diapers in the washing machine.
2:40pm | I sit down to work again and spend a little more time working on that new project before shifting my focus to preparing interview questions for a potential part-time Studio Assistant who is coming at 4:00.
4:00pm | We have the interview and it goes great! She’s starting next week (this week by the time you’re reading this!) and I’m excited to introduce you guys to her.
4:45pm | After the interview, I come into the living room and chat with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law who also stopped by to see S. At this point, I’m pretty exhausted so I go to make myself some tea but got confused and made myself chamomile tea, which definitely wasn’t going to help things… Sage starts getting a little fussy so I take her upstairs and nurse her and then lay her down. She doesn’t usually take a third nap, but she will lay in her crib for about 10-15 minutes, then she lets us know she’s ready to come back downstairs and she’s like a new baby again! It’s kind of odd but I love it. I’m pretty sure S is an introvert like me and just needs some alone time every once in a while to recharge her batteries. Between when I lay her down and go back to get her, I order Instacart like I’ve been meaning to do all day because, again, we are running low on groceries.
E V E N I N G
5:30pm | Anthony gets home a little late because he stopped at the grocery store, and we all chat in the kitchen for a bit before his mom and brother leave. We eat dinner, leftover chicken, rice and veggies for me and S and cereal for Anthony. We had “real” food for him, but he’s weird and wanted to try this new cereal he got at the store instead. We spend the next 30-45 minutes talking and playing with S. Just time together as a family!
6:30pm | We take S upstairs and give her a bath. Actually, Anthony does by himself. I start running the water and realize how completely tired I am and A takes over so I can lay down for 10 minutes. When I hear them finish with bathtime, I join them in the nursery. We get S in pajamas, I nurse her and we sing her a bedtime song with A on guitar. For a long time, we did “Country Roads” but we recently switched to “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind mostly because Daddy was getting a little tired of playing “Country Roads” every night. S is asleep by 7:00.
7:10pm | I come downstairs, dry the cloth diapers and clean up S’s high chair so it’s ready for breakfast the next day. Then I camp out in the kitchen while A takes a shower just in case our Instacart order is delivered while he’s in there. And good thing! Because it comes at about 7:30. I put the groceries away.
7:45pm | I go to bed. This isn’t normal, but I would also say it’s not NOT normal either… I didn’t actually fall asleep until much later but I was just completely drained and needed to lay down in a quiet room by myself! A took the opportunity to play some Fortnite with his other brother who’s in college a couple hours away at Penn State. He hasn’t had much time to do that since S was a tiny newborn. If I wasn’t so tired, Anthony and I probably would have done a few things around the house and then watched an episode of Jeopardy together. That’s another thing we haven’t done much since I was pregnant, but we’ve been able to catch the show a few times this week thanks to S’s new sleep schedule. He comes upstairs around 10:00 and I’m still semi-awake. Sage wakes up for the first time shortly after that and then the rest of the night is a blur.
Okay, thoughts: Today was kind of a unicorn day that was packed to the brim but also felt very balanced between work and family. That doesn’t happen most days, or at least it hasn’t in the past. Looking back, I got a lot done but I was also totally burnt out by about 6:30pm. But overall I feel happy with the day as a whole, I just wish I had a little more time with Anthony but hey, we’ll catch up on the weekend. I want to note that the next day, I was planning to sleep in a little bit and let Sage wake me up. Well, Sage woke me up but it was at 6:00am instead of 7:00 so I guess half of my plan worked! So that day, I took it a little easier. We didn’t go anywhere and tried to rest more when Sage was napping.
Do you guys have any questions for me? Are you confused why Anthony went to the grocery store and I ordered Instacart at practically the same time?
If so, the answer is we get most things from Aldi and just a few things from our local Giant like frozen pie crusts for quiches and Diet Dr. Pepper, which Anthony drinks instead of coffee in the morning. I know. I told you he was weird! It feels a little strange writing out everything I did in a day but I know I love to read these types of posts too so I get why you guys were interested. I think it will be fun to remember this stage and what life was like with balancing motherhood and owning a small business.