This summer, Bill and I headed out of town for a conference and left the children with our neighbor for two days after she insisted that she would survive. About 12 hours into our trip, the text messages began.
- “How do you get it all done?”
- “How do you find a balance between your family, business, and homeschool too?”
- “What does your daily routine look like?”
Honestly, I did not find my daily groove until about a year ago. Until then, I often felt like I was drowning. I could see the sun. It was shining. But I was beneath the surface of the water and struggling for air.
In the struggle to get everything done, I had to realize that I couldn’t do it all.
How I do it all
When asked how I get everything done, I have said this over and over again… I DON’T.
Homeschooling takes a third (if not more) of my day. Working from home and building a business takes another third (if not more). Then, I have cleaning, cooking, playing, and… sleeping. Something has to get neglected and for me, it is my home. The house is frequently a mess, but things are getting better because as the children grow, we are teaching them how to clean. So, I can dedicate 30 minutes each morning to working with the kids on our assigned chores and that helps keep me on top of things.
Of course, I would be completely wrong if I neglected to mention my awesome husband. A supportive spouse is the key ingredient in the life of a work from home, homeschooling mother.
Bill works all day and then comes home and bathes the kids. He is also the Chief Operating Officer in charge of laundry. If I get behind on running the loads, he picks up the slack. Does it always get folded and put away? No. But who really cares if we are wearing wrinkled pants to hang out around the house? Not me.
Also, I have slowly added a team to my business. Over at Teaching with Cents, the majority of the posting is done by my amazing virtual assistant, Sharon. I also have an assistant who sells advertising and someone who helps with Facebook. Do I have a team because we are rolling in extra money? No. We break even each month… for now. But, in Feburary, God pressed me to hire some helpers. To invest in their lives and their families and allow them to bless our family with extra time. I told the Lord, “OK. I will hire them, but YOU have to pay them.”
Finding balance is a myth
Since I mentioned my amazing husband, I have to say that this routine works for us. We have found our balance and it works for us. Will it work for you? Maybe not.
I truly believe that finding your perfect balance is a myth created to make mothers feel guilty.
One afternoon, Bill came home to find me in tears. “I just can’t do it all,” I wailed. “I’m a terrible wife. A terrible mother.”
“Who told you this?” he asked.
“No one. I just know it. Other mothers don’t struggle like this.”
He looked compassionately at me and said, “There is your problem. You are comparing yourself to other mothers.”
What a light bulb moment for me! Our children are happy, smart, and well-fed. My marriage is strong and secure… even if we do spend most evenings sitting side-by-side in bed with our computers in our laps. We have found what works for us. Our perfect balance.
My daily routine
So, what exactly does my day look like? Here we go…
5:30 AM – The alarm goes off and I reach for my thyroid medication, water bottle, and iPad. Bill goes and gets me a cup of coffee and I start with a daily devotion. Then, it is time for advertising the latest posts from each blog in social media. I check my email and forward anything my team needs. My goal is to leave the inbox empty.
6:30 AM – Stretch and shower time. I have to make myself take a few minutes to focus on me because much too often, I will skip this part. It is so important to pick a few splurges – if you can call showering daily a splurge – and view them as non-negotiable.
7 AM – My boys are up, not because I wake them but because they have already been sitting in their room and watching the clock. I make them stay in the bed until 7-0-0, as they call it. I cook breakfast and make myself eat. The girls wander in between 7:30 and 8 AM. After everyone is fed, we start our morning chores: get dressed, dishes, clean the bathroom, etc.
8:30 AM – Time for school. Sometimes we start earlier and if the girls are awake when we have breakfast, we will start history while we eat. If we get school done with time to spare, the children head outside while I prepare lunch.
11:30 AM – The children wash up and we have lunch. After lunch, they help with the dishes and then play until the youngest goes down for nap.
1:00 PM – Rest and Language Arts. During Ariary’s nap, we do a literature unit study with reading aloud and activities. Once completed for the day, the children can quietly play their Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 tablets. I affectionately call this “P&Q Time” or “Mommy’s Peace and Quiet Time.” I turn on the computer and take care of some blogging responsibilities: writing, check email, follow up on social media… whatever is pressing.
3:30 PM – Unless it is marching season, Bill comes home about this time and I begin prepping dinner. The children tell him about our day while I cook. We eat at about 5 PM and then Bill bathes the kids while I clean the kitchen. Once the kids are clean, we kick our feet up and either work on our business or play with the kids.
7:30 PM – The children must have their rooms clean by this time if they want to place their electronics the next day. We have family devotion time, sing, and pray. The children are in bed by 8:30 PM and Bill heads off to get his shower while I work on blogging responsibilities.
Once a week, we have business-free nights where we watch our favorite television show together. Other nights, we work side-by-side.
10:30 PM (11 PM at the latest) – Lights out because 5:30 AM comes awfully early in the morning.
Since blogging as a full-time business takes more time than I have to commit during the day, Bill will watch the children after dinner one or two nights a week so I can work alone in our bedroom.
Will this schedule work for you?
No. You have to find your balance. Your routine.
My schedule might give you an idea to work with but remember that you are not comparing yourself to me. No guilt. Right?
This post is linked with love at the NOT Back to School Blog Hop.