Day in the life of a WAHM

It’s Tuesday morning, 6:50am. The kids have just asked me if it’s morning yet and can we get up, and I send them back to bed knowing full well the alarm is going to go off in 5 minutes, but every second I can spend tucked in bed wrapped in limbs and duvet improves the chances of me not being a grumpy arse when I do get up.

7:05am — oops, I realise I must have forgotten to turn the alarm on last night. Drag my weary butt out of bed and get the kids out of theirs.

The next hour is a confused, frantic mess of breakfast choices, getting the kids dressed and hair brushed (urghhhhhhhhh worst part of every morning), me showered / dressed / protein shake in my gob, feeding the cats and getting everyone out the door. We’re running 10 minutes behind schedule.

8:10am: chuck Izzy out at the school breakfast club. She loves going, because it means she can have a second breakfast and it’s usually poached eggs.

8:25am: drop Olly off at nursery: his favourite lady is there this morning, so we have a smooth and smiley handover. This allows me to recoup some of the earlier lost time.

8:30am: arrive with a client whom I have committed 8 hours a week to, split over 2 days. It guarantees regular income (so a bit of stability for me) which pays my childcare bill, allowing me to do all my other (more profitable) work.

Work work work.

12:30: home time

12:45: raid the fridge for anything vaguely edible

1pm: catch up on e-mails, social media

1:30pm: remember I’m supposed to be working, close down twitter

2pm: remember I’m supposed to be working, really close down twitter this time

2:05pm: realise that the spreadsheet I’m working from is out of date (probably because I haven’t updated it)

2:15pm: chuck some notes in spreadsheet, mark things completed, email to client in anticipation of call at 2:30 which is probably going to be a telling off because I expected to have other bits done by now (August was a disaster work-wise)

By 2:20pm I’m already sweating. Not because I’m hot (hello, Britain, September!) but because I hate phone calls. There’s something about not being able to read the body language and facial expressions of someone that reduces me to a jibbering wreck.

2:32pm: Desperate for a pee and the call is already late, what do I do, what do I do?

2:33pm: Risk it.. sit down, start to pee, phone rings. Pee faster, pee faster! Grab phone, accidentally cut him off.

2:34pm: Call back, telling off for slipping deadlines and unclear communication. Oops :(

2:58pm: Joke about pee on twitter, suddenly remember I need to pick the kids up. Forget sometimes there’s an “M” part to this WAH thingy.

7:53pm: Sit back down at computer somehow having lost 5 hours to feeding, bathing, bedtime stories and the like. Suppose I best get some work done. Ooh, what’s happening on twitter….

First Week

So, it’s been just over a week since I returned working from home. A week of exercising self-control, willpower and planning. A week of trying out a new routine, of getting used to waking up in the morning thinking “I don’t want to go to work… oh”.

The ~Grand Plan~ for this time round was to break up my working days into chunks, taking time for me and juggling the kids / school runs / etc better. My weekly routine is supposed to look a bit like this:

Monday: long run first thing, work efficiently til 3pm, pick up the kids, bit more work after their bedtime
Tuesday: work on location with client, pick up the kids, workout, bit more work after bedtime
Wednesday: full day of super efficient working, evening off
Thursday: work on location with client, pick up kids, workout, bit more work after bedtime
Friday: full day of super efficient working, evening off

(With a bit of work over weekends as required)

My routine last week looked more like this:

Monday: half-arsed run first thing, on the phone til 3pm, pick up the kids, all the work after their bedtime
Tuesday: work on location with client, pick up the kids, failed to workout, work after bedtime
Wednesday: procrastinate all morning, do as much as possible in the afternoon, evening off
Thursday: work on location with client, pick up kids, workout / bit more work after bedtime (win!)
Friday: procrastinate all morning, do as much as possible in the afternoon, evening off

Which, while not ideal, has made me realise that I really struggle to get my head going in the mornings if I don’t have the impetus to do so. I also work best towards the end of the day / evenings. Fighting against that is going to cause me problems in the long run, but I don’t want to end up spending all my evenings working thus sacrificing time with Gaz.

Perhaps if I move my workouts to as soon as I get back on a Tues/Thurs, that frees up an hour after the kid’s bedtime which I can use for work. I could do the monotonous / mindless stuff like admin, invoicing etc on a Weds/Fri morning and then crack on with the more brain-intensive stuff in the afternoon, leaving me free to take those two evenings off. In theory.

I suppose that’s the biggest advantage to working for myself again: I get to actually try this stuff and fiddle with my routine. I don’t have to force myself into a 9-5 pattern with barely half of those hours at peak productivity and then wonder why nothing is getting done.