One of the things I’ve had to come to grips with as a mom who works from home is this:
my schedule and what works for me is always changing.
Ruby’s first popsicle. This picture was taken 2 years ago. My how time flies. Now I have a new baby who will be 2 this summer. I chose this picture, which has nothing to do with blogging, to illustrate that my work life must bend and stretch around what’s going on with my family, especially the ones who need me the most.
When my youngest was a newborn, working was actually a bit easier because she mostly slept and nursed, and Ruby has always been a very independent child who loved to do her own thing. Now, things are different, as I have a cuddly toddler who wants to be near me every second, and Ruby is older and fiercely defending her territory, which means constant vigilance. I can no longer count on having a peaceful space in the midst of my day to write.
Getting my blog work done around taking care of babies and big kids and meals and housework and homeschooling: it’s always in flux. What works for a time won’t work in a few months, and I’ll have to rearrange things. Here’s what’s working for me right now.
Tightening my focus.
This year I sold a niche site and shut down my old domain, NaturalMomsTalkRadio. I was spending very little time talking about the topics that I used to center my blogging thoughts around: homebirth, breastfeeding, natural baby care. I hadn’t published a podcast in a couple of years. It was time.
When time is of the essence, it’s even more important to streamline your work.
Outlining posts on paper.
Taking notes before sitting down to write at the computer means it takes me half the time to crank out a post. I keep a running list of post ideas and business to-do’s so that when I do sit down to the computer, I don’t waste time. I know exactly what I want to do. (Also, I don’t do Facebook at all, and spend very little time on Twitter or Pinterest.)
I wrote each of my ebooks mostly in the early A.M. between 5-7:30. That doesn’t work as well as it used to, as the baby is cutting eyeteeth and seems keenly aware of the instant I creep out of the bed. But a couple of times a week, she sleeps in and I can get a couple of hours of work done before the household starts stirring.
Taking off for coffee shops.
When I head into my “office” (the desk in my bedroom), I can count on a child knocking on the door at least every 90 seconds or so despite my husband’s frequent reminders to “come ask me, mom’s working”. This is when I pack it up and head to Starbucks, where it’s loud but at least it’s noise I can tune out.
Keeping my phone in the other room.
During school time, I keep the phone on its charger in another room so it doesn’t distract me. But later on, I pick it up when I’m nursing or rocking the baby to sleep, as it’s quite useful to do easy admin stuff such as: delete comment spam (and rescue legit comments that end up in the spam blocker!), respond to emails, browse my RSS feed reader and other tasks that are easy to handle during non-productive (read: tired) moments of the day.
If you’re a work at home mom, blogger, writer or other, when do you work?