Monday, April 25, 2022

My WAHM (Work At Home Mom) Morning Routine to Maximize Productivity

Right after K was born, we had no routine. We woke up and just did whatever we saw fit to do in the moment. That was all good for the first few weeks, but once it was time to get back to a regular work schedule I found myself struggling. I was trying to get work done for my business, take care of our newborn and maintain my sanity like I did when I first brought her home. 

My expectations of my workday were quite different than what I anticipated and I was trying to make my old routine work for our new situation. It wasn't working. I was overwhelmed and regularly felt like I was buried under a mound of work that I would never get out of. Not to mention, I was really wanting to get back into focusing on my health and fitness, but felt I had no time. Before pregnancy, I was doing yoga nearly everyday and had become quite strong and flexible in doing so. After pregnancy, I was struggling to get up off the couch. 

After one teary, frustrated conversation with my husband, he suggested that we put together a morning routine that would help me feel a bit more structured and make some room to fit in some of my goals. Once he asked me about my priorities and responsibilities, we decided to start using this routine. It has stuck. I love it and sometimes feel out of sorts when the day has to take a different turn because of something out of the ordinary happening (like a doctor's appointment or being on the road). 

The first thing I do upon getting up is feed the baby. She has been such a good sleeper and, once she wakes, she is ready to eat.  After she's been fed and snuggled, I do my yoga workout. I try to target at least 20 minutes. I stick K in her bouncer and she gets a kick out of watching me exercise. I initially felt like I couldn't exercise with her, but I have had very little issues with her just playing on her own and watching me.

A little yoga time...

By the time my workout is over, she is about ready for her first nap. She mainly catnaps and this first nap is quite short. So once I put her down, I immediately pump and fix my breakfast and coffee. I usually have just enough time to go through my emails and get my plan together for the workday before she wakes up.

Once the first nap is over, I take her into the bathroom in her bouncer while I shower. I've discovered that she's not as content as she is during my exercise time because, even though I pull back the shower curtain to the see-through liner, she can't see me. I attribute this to separation anxiety. I've decided to keep doing this because the moisture from the shower is good for her (especially in the winter months) and, eventually, I believe she'll realize I'm right behind the curtain. When she's content, I take a longer shower and enjoy myself. When she's a bit fussy, I do the bare minimum and get out quickly. Once I pull back the curtain, she is content watching me finish getting ready.

By the time I'm done with that, it's her naptime again. I rock her briefly and lay her down at each naptime. This is the beauty of working from home--rocking my baby at naptime. Once she is down, I do what I call a "work sprint". She usually sleeps for about 45 minutes to an hour, so I hit the ground running to see what I can do in that amount of time. I don't allow myself to be distracted with my cell phone or housework...I sit down at my computer and go...as fast as I can. 

I've found baby snuggles help with productivity.

When she wakes up, we do our tummy time and floor routine. I find she is in the best spirits to do this when she is fully rested. Then once that is over, it is time to eat again and then immediately down for her third nap (she usually takes 5 short naps a day which may be drifting into 4 long(er) naps). I then immediately go into another work sprint for the next 45 minutes or so. 

And that's our routine! While this situation works for us, it's important to recognize that everyone is going to have a different situation. If you have more than one child, you'll have to find a rhythm that works for that. If your baby takes fewer, long naps it'll look different. However, you can still apply the "work sprint". 

Regardless of how you set up your own work routine, having some kind of structure helps tame the feeling of overwhelm and give you a plan of action when it comes to tackling your day. Each day will inevitably be different, but a framework for where to start can be a lifeline for a mom working from home.

What is an aspect of your morning routine that you've found works for you? 


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