How To Balance Working From Home with an Active Toddler
For the past 2 1/2 years India has been right at my hip as I manage to work from home, start a business and tackle my daily to- do list. I must be honest, it is not easy at all. But, when India was first born, I decided that I would not go back to my part time job, the pay just was not enough for the average cost of living in Chicago, secondly most daycares depending on where you’re located are the cost of rent or for some a mortgage. So my husband and I decided together that I would stay home with India until we not only found a daycare that we think she would fit in but, until she is able to talk clearly. I want to hear about her day and know that she is being treated well where she attends.
So with this decision, I knew within the first few months of motherhood, that I wanted to work. Prior to leaving my job, the majority of my pregnancy was spent planning a business which was put on the back burner when I realized that I wanted to return to blogging. So I immediately go to work and found online jobs that allowed me to do what I love to do while taking care of my daughter. When I am not blogging I am a digital stylist. Which is a lot of work, I work with at least four clients a day giving myself a two hour break between each session. This break isn’t so much of a break as I am still working, but it’s the time where I prep for my next client , run out to do a quick blog shoot, or most importantly spend some time with India.
Most days I do not know HOW I am going to get all that I want to do done. So I have to get up at 4am, for me it’s not a choice. In fact as I am writing this post it’s 5am, because I know that if I sit down to write a blogpost throughout the day I may have multiple things going on that I need to do. Prioritizing my days are so important, I want to make sure that I am able to excel at everything that I do. In order to do that I have to prioritize my yes’s and nos.
So how do I manage my toddler?
India normally wakes up between 6:30 am -7am. I know she’s an early risers, which is another reason why I have to get up early. So from 7am-9am I am giving India 100% of me, I make her breakfast get her dressed for the day and sometimes we will run to starbucks for a quick coffee run. Once we are home India has her screen time or depending on my husbands work schedule he will go over her learning activities with her.
But… someday’s India just wants me, she is the only child and loves attention. So most of the time we pass on her screen time and opt to give her a notebook and her crayons and she will sit next to me as I am working. It sound so simple right, but she is two and it’s usually me telling her not to write on the desk, touch my laptop and so on. But nonetheless it works.
Around noon in between clients is our lunch time, again this is normally the time I take blog pictures but I only take blog pictures twice out of the month unless it’s for a campaign. So while we are shooting india eats her snack in her stroller. Multitasking, but India enjoys it. If it’s freezing outside we take pictures in the house, because well it’s cold.
Once blog pictures are taken, we run back in I get India another snack and then if she hasn’t already had her screen time now would be the time to do it. For the most part she is very creative and loves to create. We also have several workbooks and flashcards that we go through. Since I do not actually talk to my clients via phone, but by email and text. It’s much easier to divert my attention when needed.
This is how I manage my time, again it may seem like alot to some. But I think as moms we have to stop judging other moms for not doing things the same way you would do something. Everyones situation is completely different and most importantly we are all trying to figure this thing out together. At each age I’m learning that there are new challenges and hurdles that we’re all trying to overcome. I don’t want others to think I have it easy. Last night I went to bed so early, and I am grateful for my husband who helps meet me where I am. When I am tired he allows me to rest and vice versa. It’s literally just he and I in this season but we are figuring it out together. Having a team no matter how large or small that team is will help you raise your little one.
Somedays you may be overwhelmed with mom guilt, sometimes mom guilt is that little voice of perfectionist that wants to get everything right at all times. But most importantly, having a happy and healthy kid is the ultimate prize.