Monday, December 10, 2007

Work at Home Schedules: Do they work?

As a work at home mom (WAHM) with two preschoolers and a baby, I know first hand how hard the balancing act can be. And I know how much I need a good work at home schedule. As I type, I have my cranky 8-month-old baby in a carrier on my back. He's been fed and changed and is sleepy. It's time for his nap, but he can't fall asleep because of the noise being generated by his older brother and sister, who are happily sliding down the stairs on a blanket -- harmless enough, except for the loudness factor.

They are happily occupied, so I'd rather not redirect their energies at the moment (that approach has been known to backfire). At 4 and 3, respectively, my son and daughter have each other for constant companions and this works to my advantage--most of the time.

I've tried making work at home schedules. They usually begin with me arising at 5:30 to begin grading English papers for my first work at home job. These perfect work at home schedules also show a two-hour slot where everyone is napping (except me) and I am, in theory, able to get all of my writing done during those magic hours.

But in reality, my kids don't follow my work at home schedule. And if they are up in the middle of the night, I have a hard time following it too. (Why on earth did I set the alarm for 5 a.m.?! Snooze!)

I have learned that I can't force the perfect work at home schedule. Some days, everything clicks and it really happens. But more often than not, I have to fit my work in around children's needs (and they do come first, at least in my book), dinner prep and housekeeping (usually the first thing I let slide). I follow the flow of the day more than try to harness it into my Day Planner. I have a list of objectives, and try to accomplish the most important each day. But as yet, the perfect work at home schedule is not a reality...or maybe, in some way, it is, just not the way I'd expected.

And now the baby has fallen asleep, his head resting against the back of my neck. Time for me to get a few more papers graded. What's on your schedule?

1 comment:

Wendy Rahilly said...

I have to say, I absoultely know what you mean as I am a wahm also and a mother of 3 boys, ages 12 yrs, 3 yrs and a 7 month old. I know this post is old, but I had to comment! I love your writing and am inspired by you! I am now a happy eHow follower as well as AC. thanks for your help and motivation!