I was going through THE sticky notes on my computer and realized Doug and I made a schedule for ourselves a few weeks ago that has literally saved our sanity so I thought I’d share! I know not every SAHM works with their husband, but these tips can really help any Mom or person looking for help prioritizing their time with a toddler/baby. Before having a set schedule, we were like chickens with our heads cut off running around trying to cram in as much work as we could during our child’s naps/ after she went to sleep. We have chosen to hold off hiring help until we move and because of this, we needed a structured plan of action in order to get things done…so here it is!
Since we work for ourselves we found it surprisingly difficult to have discipline and structure in our lives with a toddler to occupy. **Note the phrase “with a toddler to handle”! Before having Annabelle we were both so focused and dedicated to our work. Doug’s being SEO at the time and mine being Youtube. I’d wake up, get ready, film 1-3 videos, edit, and analyze my channel daily. Now that we have this little crazy angel to distract us, time flies by and our days are spent because lets be honest, we’d rather be playing with her than working half the time! I think that’s only normal when you’re together as a family 24/7. It hard to switch from work mode to parent mode when you don’t have a babysitter.
That’s when we realized we needed to come up with a plan of attack. I read this book and my mindset shifted. I noticed that we were spending so much of our day crossing off menial tasks off a to-do list instead of focusing on the things that would truly make an impact. So, we simplified our days and now structure them around BIG important goals. Doug also leaves the house M-F for the first half of the day so he can work in peace and after Annabelle’s nap he will take her out for 1-2 hours while I film and edit. It’s glorious, however it is getting difficult to come together as business partners/ a married couple and talk things out because whenever we work it’s separate, but for now it’s working.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned when working at home with a toddler or baby (pre my husband working with me mind you):
- Wake up, get ready, and get dressed before your child wakes up. It will make the world of a difference in what you can accomplish.
- Don’t ever say to yourself “But I have no time. My child occupies all my time.” I’ve learned from this book that what you say out loud to yourself in turn becomes reality. You’re basically setting yourself up for failure. NO excuses!
- Time block and batch create/work/whatever it is you need to get done. Negotiate with your partner to watch your child on the weekends so you can get things done, hire help, ask a friend. Whatever it is time block and set goals.
- Do the most important thing first like your life depends on it. I used to answer emails first, but in my job, content creation is king. I’d spend an hour answering emails and Annabelle would wake up from her nap and I had accomplished barely anything important. Ask yourself “If this was the one thing I could get done today, would I be content?” I usually have 3 things I MUST get done and that’s it. No need spending 20 minutes crafting a to do list of 30 things that will take weeks to accomplish.
- Don’t do things just to fill the time. Accomplish meaningful tasks. Often times we get 10 things done to feel accomplished, but none of them are truly important. I learned that here.
Working with your toddler or baby can be done! At 22 months, Annabelle demands ALL my attention so I have to get creative and even when my husband worked full time for the first 18 months of her life, I figured out ways to work so have hope! It’s very frustrating at times, but being at home with my child is #1 and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!