My Daily WFH Schedule with 5 Kids 5 and Younger at Home
Man, just that title alone is a mouthful! Sometimes, I think about being in quarantine with kids 24/7 and get overwhelmed easily with all that needs to get done in a day. But then I remind myself that there are tons of moms out there that are in the same boat as me, working from home with kids during this quarantine. It’s a juggling game, for sure.
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For transparency, I consider this blog- writing, creating, maintaining, and marketing a job. I have conference calls with brands, I sign contracts, I create content, and a I have a Tax ID that I get paid towards. I know a lot of people don’t think blogging is a job, but those that see the lucrative opportunity of working from home by blogging know that it is real work. Please don’t come at me trying to tell me this is not like a corporate job. I’m not here to play a game of who has it worse. I just want to share tips of what works for me to be efficient, productive, and successful while working from home with kids.
Anyway, I get asked a lot how I manage all the kids and still get time to work. We don’t have any outside help like a nanny, babysitter, or family that comes daily (or even weekly) to watch the kids. So how do we do wfh with kids and no nanny? The answer – I make an effort to be intentional and super organized with my time. There is a lot to get done and only one of me so I do my best to plan, prep, and be consistent.
I break my day into four blocks: morning block, early afternoon, late afternoon, and night.
If you’re interested in learning more about block scheduling, I suggest looking up Jordan Page’s Productivity Bootcamp. She has a whole lesson and training on why block scheduling works.
My morning block is from 530A till about 730A.
My early afternoon block is from 730A until 1230A.
My late afternoon block is from 1230P until 7P.
My night block is from 7P until 11P.
I understand that a lot of people will say they don’t or can’t wake up early. Please understand that it’s not easy for me, either.
I love sleep and carbs, but sometimes, you have to give up a few things temporarily and delay gratification in an effort to thrive.
Before quarantine, I did not wake up so early and that’s because all the kids went to school so I had plenty of time to get the things done during the few hours they were all at school. Now that they’re all home and I don’t have much (if any) alone time, I have to get up earlier to be productive.
Waking up earlier than the kids allows you to get one step ahead of the game. Also, it allows for quiet time, alone, cause Lord knows you’re not going to get much of that during the day!
- 530A – Wake up, drink water, do stretching and exercises
- 6A – Journaling, review schedule for day, check emails and respond to messages, verify that the blog post was published at 5am as scheduled
- 630A – Feed babies, enjoy some cuddle time, and get them dressed
- 7A – Brush teeth, get dressed, do skincare and make up, go downstairs as Sanj has already started on breakfast for the kids
- 730A – Wake up the big kids. Everyone gets dressed and brushes teeth on their own while I put in a load of laundry and fold a load from the day before.
Teach your kids to be independent. It takes practice and consistency to push through their tantrums and frustration, but it’s well worth it. Enabling your children to take charge of their own actions and behaviors is the key to teaching them to be independent. Use this clock to help them figure out what they’re supposed to be doing and what’s next. Little things like getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating food – all those things they learn to do themselves frees up time for you.
Early Afternoon Schedule
- 8A – Everyone is downstairs, the babies are playing in their pack n play or bouncing chairs, and the big kids are eating breakfast. Sanj logs in to work and since I logged in the morning, I focus on getting the kids fed and give them undivided attention.
- 830A – Everyone cleans up after his/herself (putting dishes straight into the dishwasher) and move to the play/schoolroom and start their morning binders.
- 9A – I feed the babies, do the tidying up in the kitchen, move the laundry around, and log in to the computer to start work
- 9A-11A – When majority of the work gets done: I update my tailwind, check on some pins on Pinterest, publish to be feed on Instagram, and start pushing content into stories, work on new blog posts, brainstorm, etc. During this time, (once done with the morning binder) the kids are shuffling between three activities that I’ve laid out for them the night before. The babies will get up around 10A or 1030A and sit in their chairs until it’s time to eat again.
- 11A – I take a break to walk the dog, warm up lunch if it’s leftovers, and feed the babies
- 1130A – Big kids eat and the babies play. Sanj and I both take a break from the computer and eat during this time.
- 1230P – Everyone goes down for quiet time for two hours. The boys are in their room. The babies take a nap in their cribs. Serena is in the guest room since she shares a room with the babies.
Find a place that the kids can have quiet time, away from each other. They don’t have to sleep, but their bodies need rest and a break. They can read in bed, have some daily boxes ready to go (I shared these on my Instastories). It’s a great habit to have because it also allows you to have up to two hours to get a lot of work done.
Late Afternoon Schedule
- 1230P – Until 230P, I spend this time dedicated to work and schedule my bigger meetings and conference calls at this time. I also schedule my grocery to be delivered this time so I can spend time uninterrupted in putting it away. I also use this time to schedule doctors appointments (some are virtual and some require me to go in person). This is the money time, literally, because I know they are all in their own rooms, quietly reading, sleeping, or in the boys’ case, goofing off.
- 230P – Everyone comes downstairs and gets a snack. I do sit with the computer or my iPad at the table with them since the babies don’t wake up till 3P.
- 3P – Feed the babies, free play in the playroom while I prep dinner
- 4P – Sanj gets off work and takes over for an hour while I go shower or get some time alone to finish up blogging work.
- 5P – The big kids eat dinner and Sanj and I feed the babies
- 6P – TV time for 30 mins while Sanj and I clean up the kitchen, tidy up the house, and close up shop
- 630P – 5 baths in a row!
- 7P – boys to bed, feed babies and they go to bed at 715P, Serena gets play time with one of us while the other one is prepping
If you have a partner that can help you, I suggest creating a tag team system. If both, Sanj and I are on a conference call at the same time, one of us is the emergency parent. In other words, if there is an emergency, then whoever is the primary parent has to drop off the call and handle the emergency. Having a back up plan in place is important so both of you don’t get frazzled. We learned this the hard way when the boys were playing in their room during quiet time and Sean fell off the top bunk and got hurt. Thank goodness one of us was able to take care of it immediately!
- 7P – Prep for the following day: Have lunches prepped, cut vegetables for dinner, fold laundry, have dishes ready for breakfast (so I don’t make too much noise in the morning and wake everyone up earlier than they need to be!), get all their activities for the following day prepared and laid out
- 8P – Serena goes to bed
- 8-10P We do Zoom calls for our online business and side hustle
- 10P – Skincare, brush teeth, get ready for bed
- 1030P – Read in bed and look over the calendar for the next day
- 11P – Sleep
Prep as much as you can the night before. The kids are having pasta? Make it the night before and keep it ready to warm in Tupperware. Kids will have fruits for snack? Wash and cut them ready. You need activities for the kids? Make sure everything is printed, laminated, or set out. Always look over the calendar for the next day before you go to bed so that you’re prepared!
Wow, when I type it up like that, it’s a lot.
I know, this can be and many times is overwhelming. You’re not alone. We’re in unprecedented times and we’re all on the struggle bus, trying to figure it out.
I do feel proud of myself for getting things done and keeping things afloat, but there are also times where the kids just watch TV or go on their iPads because I have a migraine or the babies just need my constant attention. Some days, I am getting blog post up, dinner made on time, and I get to do my hair and make up.
Other days, or should I say most days, the kids make their own sandwiches and I have cookies for dinner. I’m not perfect, but I do know that my anxiety gets the best of me if I fall behind so I give each day my best because my kids deserve it, and because I deserve it.
The best part is that by the time this is published, this really won’t be the schedule anymore since Sean will have returned to therapy and Serena is starting school in a few days. HA! We’re doing good with this schedule and I’m sure we’ll find a new routine that works for us again as things change.
What works for you? Do you like to be organized?