Nike, how on earth do you find time to run a business as a homeschool mom? Inquiring minds want to know, so here it is! A detailed schedule chronicling how I manage to steal increments of time to work my business during my homeschool days. The secret? VERY early mornings! It’s either wake up early, or sacrifice that sacred time.
I know, fellow mom. You’re probably tired, have more kids than me, and an infant to boot. But trust me when I say that waking up several hours before your family will do your household some good. Even better? You get “me time” to work on your passion, health, business, or whatever it is you’ve been craving to get done. So do it! It’ll feel good. If you don’t know where to start, check out my mommy morning routine below.
My Mommy Routine
Balancing Work and Homeschool
5:00-6:00 am—TAKING CARE OF MY SPIRIT.
This is basically my “me” time. It’s a time to study, pray, and meditate to get my mind, body, and spirit ready to take on the day. Contrary to what other mommas may tell you, these practices do NOT guarantee perfect days. They do, however, place you in the mental space to make better decisions, increase productivity, and extend love and grace to others. A new mommy tip I’ve been practicing is placing “action verses” onto the mirror above my bathroom sink. They are the first thing I see in the morning and I like to recite them aloud before I begin my devotional. I call them “action verses” because I don’t just want to memorize them, I want to live them! Below, I share one of my favorite action verses. If you aren’t a Christian, try motivational quotes!
6:00-6:30 am—FUELING MYSELF.
If I’m going to stay awake, I need some energy. During this time, I like to prepare myself a “pre-breakfast” and eat while I check my agenda for the day, as well as respond to any important business emails. What do I eat? It depends on the season. Lately, I’ve been loving a spinach, pineapple, and blueberry smoothie. When I’m not in the mood for a smoothie, I’ll make a yogurt parfait topped with banana walnut granola. And on those mornings when I just want refined carbs, I’ll simply have a bagel and cream cheese—but usually regret it because the energy from these foods lack longevity.
6:30-7:00 am—GETTING DRESSED.
Now it’s time to get ready for the day. I won’t pretend that I get dressed every day. Believe me, I’m working on it. But this time-frame is simply my little window of opportunity to spruce-up in peace. And, trust me, a half hour is plenty time for me! My hair is usually no-fuss because of my simple hair routine—which consists of flat twists that literally take less than five minutes to take down and style. If you’re not a black woman, you may be lost! For my non-sistah’s, flat twists would be equivalent to plaiting your hair at night and taking the plaits down in the morning to achieve effortless waves. Sometimes, I also tie my hair back with a chic head wrap. Other things that help me save time in the morning are showering and laying my clothes out the night before, as well as perfecting a simple fifteen-minute makeup routine.
7:00-8:00 am—WORK TIME.
This is my first available hour to work on my business. Anything absolutely pressing is done during this hour. This is usually the time I like to create my first drafts for products. Recently, however, I’ve been recreating and editing my vision and mission statements, as well as business proposals. It’s only an hour block of time, but over the course of an entire month it equates to 28-hours. My second available hour (or two hours!) is during the afternoons when my kids have quiet time. Finally, my last hour of opportunity is usually between 7 and 8 during the evenings when my husband helps the kids get ready for bed. That’s a total of 112 hours a month dedicated to my business if I play my cards right.
8:00-9:00 am—OFFICIAL BREAKFAST.
Okay, the kids are up and about by this time! Luckily, my husband fixes the boys’ breakfast and makes sure they do their morning assignments before our formal school day begins. This is usually the time I cook my real breakfast. What do I consider a real breakfast? Welp, I could literally have a spinach, egg, and cheese omelet served with toast EVERY day and not be mad about it. And I am not shy about the spinach, I pack it in there! If I happen to have leftover baked chicken in the fridge, it makes the omelet even better! I’d like to say I eat breakfast with the kiddos, but usually what happens is I grab my plate, take it upstairs to the office, and eat while I sneak in some extra time to work my business.
9:00-11:00 am—SCHOOL IS IN SESSION
(Family Devotional, Story Time, Math, Language Arts)
11:00-12 noon—BREAK TIME.
- This is the time we break for lunch and recess. I typically steal this time to work on my assignment for the day. Mondays are laundry day; Tuesdays are dedicated to the second draft of my blog post (first draft written on Saturdays); Wednesdays are my curriculum planning days, as well as days I do final edits on my blog post; Thursdays are my subsequent laundry days (got to tame the monster!); Lastly, Fridays are my meal planning days. I reserve Saturdays for family days and grocery shopping. Since we typically have family time during the mornings and early afternoons, later in the day is reserved for grocery shopping and blog writing (unless we take a day trip out of town).
12:00-1:00 pm—SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION
(Science and Geography)
1:00-3:00 pm—QUIET TIME.
It’s finally quiet time! Sometimes my little one takes a nap, but most days he doesn’t. What do I do? I let him play (not so quietly) with his toys during the first hour so that my first-grader can focus on his daily reading. During the second hour, we have screen time. My first-grader reads a book a day for the opportunity to play a video game for an hour. My preschooler watches a show of his choice (his choices are limited to educational programs). On desperate days, I put on a movie or allow them to watch a playlist of Lego Building videos on YouTube (hey, I’m human!). It’s important for my boys to be occupied during this time so that I can steal an hour or two to work!
3:00-4:00 pm—SNACK TIME!
4:00-5:30 pm—DINNER PREP
(Unless I use the crockpot! In which case is more time for me to work!) As you’ve read prior, I usually plan our weekly meals on Fridays. A typical dinner rotation looks something like this: Mondays—spaghetti & broccoli; Tuesdays—leftovers; Wednesdays—beef stew & potatoes; Thursdays—leftovers; Fridays—chicken & veggie quesadillas; Saturdays—leftovers; Sundays—my MIL typically cooks dinner (gosh, I love her!)
5:30-6:00 pm—DINNER TIME!
6:00-7:00 pm—FAMILY CHORES.
You know, the typical stuff—loading the dishwasher, wiping down countertops, sweeping, vacuuming, and disinfecting bathrooms. Everyone gets involved. Teamwork makes the dream work!
7:00-8:00 pm—KIDS NIGHTTIME ROUTINE.
They shower, brush their teeth, and all that good stuff. Hubby is usually in charge during this time, which means I have an hour to devote to work or whatever else I’ve got going on (like the mundane task of folding clothes)
8:00 pm—LIGHTS OUT FOR THE KIDS!
8:00-900 pm—NIGHTTIME ROUTINE FOR MOM.
Now it’s my turn to get ready for bed. I remove my makeup, shower, twist my hair, and workout. Yep, I work out during the evenings. Why? Because it just works for me. I spend about twenty minutes every day rotating between ab workouts, total body workouts, and deep breathing and stretching. I actually find it relaxing. It’s not much time, but the theme here is “every little bit counts.” It all adds up!
9:00-10:00 pm—DEVOTIONAL TIME!
What am I currently reading? Beautiful Already by Barbara Roose! I highly recommend this devotional. I will talk more about it in a later post.
10:00 pm—LIGHTS OUT FOR MOM.
Yep, on a perfect day this happens. For the most part, I’ve been sticking to it. But on a day like tonight, I won’t see my bed until 11 or 12. Sometimes that’s just the way it is.
Okay, Now that I’ve shared a typical day with you, let me throw out some disclaimers. Disclaimer #1, sometimes I have hiccups with my schedule. Disclaimer #2, we do spend time out of the house! It is usually during the mornings. When we return home, I simply resume the schedule. Disclaimer #3, my boys are not playing any organized sports this semester, but are involved in other extracurricular activities (like I stated before, those activities are typically during the morning/early afternoon and are worked into their schedule on the days that they have them).
Finally, as my last disclaimer, this post is not to boast about how “productive” or “organized” I am, but rather to share with those who may be interested in how I manage to work as a homeschool mom. I hope you’ve found this post helpful in developing your own homeschool mom “work schedule.” If you have other helpful tips you’d like to add, let us know down below!