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Productivity tips for moms is a fairly hot topic of discussion lately. Recently, I have been getting questioned by friends and family, “How do you do it?” “Do you ever sleep?” “Where do you find the time?” The answer isn’t so simple, unfortunately. As with anything in life, each day isn’t guaranteed and each day isn’t the same as the last.
Fortunately, I found a way to do it all up to this point in my work-from-home-mom journey. I wanted to share my productivity tips for moms for those looking for a little more inspiration or encouragement in their lives.
*Keep in mind, this schedule works for my family and is based on the experiences of my family.*
Why Did I Become a WAHM?
The first on my list of productivity tips for moms is finding your “why.” What keeps you going?
This past winter was one of the most challenging winter seasons I have had in a very long time. I was unhappy with my work situation and my son was constantly getting sick while in daycare. I know children in daycare get sick often, but this was just too much sickness for my barely one year old.
After many trips to the doctor’s office, we found it best to withdraw my son from daycare for health reasons and for me to stay home with him. You can imagine the financial worry that swept over us as I transitioned to being a stay-at-home-mom.
Five months later and here I am still alive after being home with a toddler each day. While being home with my son, I wanted to ensure I was contributing to my family’s income.
During this time, I also decided to make a change to my fitness lifestyle and therefore changed my routine and eating habits. All this took place in a short few months and I can say that today I am a happier person because of it.
Productivity with a Toddler
This might seem like an oxymoron because productivity and toddler definitely do not belong in a sentence together, right? Pretty laughable some days to think about being productive while being home with my toddler.
However, I make it work! Some days are prettier than others, I will admit. There are days when I just can’t do it and the end result is simply celebrating the fact that we survived the day.
Most days, I strive to make my time management skills kick into high gear and I get it done. By “it” I mean the work-from-home AND the stay-at-home roles.
My second tip on productivity tips for moms is to make a plan.
Each Sunday, I take time in the evenings to plan out the week ahead. This includes creating a checklist of what I want or need to complete during the week. Then, I write down each task for every day of the week.
To get even more tight with my time management, I block out chunks of time and designate that time frame for specific activities. Take a look at my daily schedule below!
Since becoming a stay-at-home-mom, I have been doing things to help generate an income for my little family. This includes freelance writing, blogging, teaching online, and a few other things here and there.
My third tip on productivity tips for moms is to split your time equally. Don’t let one thing fall to the way side over another.
My main focus during the week is to make sure I am giving the right amount of attention to each source. I wear several hats throughout the week so it is important that I know when it is time to take off one hat and replace it for another.
I offer freelance writing services right here on my website. My most common request for freelance writing is website or blogging content creation. This is when other businesses request for me to create content for their website and pay me an agreed upon amount per post.
Blogging has been another source of income for me. It is not the highest source, however. There are various ways you can make money through a blog. I am currently monetizing my blog through affiliate links.
My newest goal is to make money through the eBook that I am currently writing. I hope to have that completed within the next month and generate a passive income off those sales!
There are many programs available to help people learn a different language. The company I joined is VIPKid! I am teaching English to children living in Beijing, China!
I had considered joining VIPKid months ago, but never took the dive. One day I thought, “Why not now?” And from then on, I haven’t regretted it a single bit.
With VIPKid, there is no lesson planning; you execute the lesson plan that is developed by the company. You teach on a one-on-one basis for 25-28 minutes. The parents of these children book you for a 30 minute time slot. You teach and then provide written feedback about the student at the end.
After doing VIPKid for some weeks now, I have a system down now where I give myself an hour before my first class starts to review the lessons ahead of time and gather any props that I might need to enhance the learning experience!
The children that I see in my virtual classroom are so fun and make the teaching experience memorable. I look forward to sharing my experiences with others after each class I complete.
What Does a Day in My Life Look Like?
Below, I have a daily schedule of a typical day for me and my toddler. These are productivity tips for moms seeking time management techniques with a toddler!
Each day of the week looks a little different than the next. However, I always make sure to make time for myself as well as meet the needs and desires of my growing toddler.
The most important part of my day is making sure we both get to do the things we want to do. This keeps us happy and provides a sort of give-and-take method to our routine.
Some background information: My toddler will usually sleep or at least stay in his crib happily until 9:30 A.M. which is why you will see in my schedule below that breakfast doesn’t start until that time. I can usually squeak in an hour of work from 8:30 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. before having to get my toddler up and ready for the day. At night, my toddler goes to bed by 8:30 P.M. and then I am in bed by midnight.
A Typical Day
The above daily schedule is an example of a typical day for me to ensure I am both productive and engaging with my son. There are days when this schedule doesn’t work and that is okay. Sometimes, we just have off days and need to think of a better way to go about the day.
The schedule above reflects what Mondays and Fridays look like for us. On Tuesdays, I take my toddler to Tiny Tumblers during the 10:30-11:30 time frame. On Wednesdays, I may need to run some errands so we substitute outside time for errands. Thursday mornings usually consist of a trip to the library.
My son typically gives me a good nap time. Generally speaking, he is mostly a late sleeper as well in the mornings. Therefore, I take advantage of him being asleep to really get my work done.
If for some reason he wakes earlier than anticipated, I can count on him to be content in his crib reading books or playing with his stuffed animals for a good 30 to 45 minutes before he starts fussing. During that time frame, I can get so much more work completed! If he’s content, why not?
My point in having this schedule is to create balance and harmony in my daily life as a WAHM. Many mothers can agree that life at home with kids (especially toddlers) can be challenging. However, I love that I am able to share in my son’s new discoveries and experiences each day!
In May of this year, I decided to change my lifestyle and become a healthier version of myself. This change has shown me how important it is to take care of myself and show my toddler how to live in healthier ways. Therefore, I am diligent to include my workouts as part of my self-care routine every day.
Additionally, I allow myself to have breaks away from teaching. On Thursdays and Sundays, I do not teach English online. This gives me a chance to just relax for the evening with my family.
Self-care is imperative in a parent’s life no matter what stage of parenthood you are in. You have to take care of you first before you can be the best for your child(ren). If that means taking a long bath, working out, or just watching some uninterrupted TV, do what you need to do to recharge and take time for yourself.
Entertaining a Toddler
I have experimented with many activities with my son to gauge which activities truly interest him. Books are his number one source of entertainment. A close second is any activity that involves being outside. He LOVES to be outside playing. Therefore, we include the outside time in our daily routine and I set up on our bench with my laptop for completing more work in-between engaging in activities with him.
Additionally, I have found some other experimental activities that he can explore with on his own. I tried some of these activities with him this past spring and they were a hit!
Time Management In-between
While tending to my momprenuer side and my son’s needs, there are also those pesky house things that need tending to each day. I have found ways to implement time management strategies in order for me to get the most done each day while not creating more work for myself.
My productivity tips for moms relating to house work mainly include laundry and kitchen duties.
In the morning right before we get breakfast going, I try to throw a load of dirty clothes in the wash. I switch the clothes to the dryer before our 10:30 A.M. activity. If the clothes aren’t finished in the wash cycle by then, I will swap them over to the dryer before nap time.
While my son takes his bath in the evening, I set up shop right next to his tub and fold clothes while he plays in the water. I engage with him and talk to him about what he is playing with or I tell him what I am folding (towel, blanket, shirt, etc.) to expand on his language development.
There are those days when the laundry has piled up too much and therefore I have to designate some time to get it done during the day. However, I really strive to abide by the one load a day rule to keep my sanity and not let the clothes run my life!
My toddler is actually a pretty good helper when it comes to dishes. He helps me unload the dishwasher (after I have removed the utensil rack with all the sharp items). He hands me random dishes while I dry them and set them aside to put away.
After he is finished helping me, I buckle him in his booster seat at the table and give him an activity to play with. Then, I finish with loading the dishwasher and/or hand-washing remaining dishes.
Build Your Team
In the end, being a momprenuer, WAHM, and SAHM is about how you make it. When you begin to look at your momprenuer tasks as an actual business, you are more likely to treat it as such thus driving you to want to stick to your schedule.
Employ your toddler to help where they can. Have them pick-up their own toys or help you with the dishes. Teach them how they can help you.
Remember that you are only one person. Yes, we are supermoms. But we are not superhuman. We cannot do it all on our own. Voice your concerns to your spouse or partner and delegate to make sure you aren’t becoming resentful about all the responsibilities you have on your plate. Open that line of communication.
How Do You Manage Your Time?
I love hearing new ideas on how other parents manage their time!
Share your productivity tips for moms to use with their little ones. What are some of your productivity go-to tips? Share your secrets in the comments below and help other parents learn some productivity hacks, too! Your contribution to the conversation is greatly appreciated!