I used to think achieving work/life balance is possible if I try hard enough. Like many of you, I have my mom goals and working woman goals. Some of you may know my past struggles with postpartum depression. Those dark days are behind me yet I still fall into my old habits of trying to do too much. It’s a lifelong battle really, something that I’m constantly trying to work on.
And frankly, I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as perfect balance.
When a new mom asks me my secret to maintaining my sanity with three kids, one of my first answer is this: figure out what kind of mother you are. (You can read more about it here.) I didn’t know this at the beginning of my motherhood journey and tried to do what everyone else was doing. Except, I didn’t understand that every mom has her own demons and struggles behind closed doors and I was chasing an ideal vision of motherhood that I didn’t fully comprehend.
There is no such thing as perfection in motherhood. This is an illusion, an empty promise that burdens us and strips us of authentic joy.
So I finally figured out what makes me most happy- working from home. I hate to admit this but I don’t enjoy being a full time SAHM. I did it for 10 years and it was the hardest 10 years of my life. It’s just too much for me and I need my own space and outlet to do what I love or I fall back into depression. I think it comes from being an introvert, a topic that needs its own blog post one day.
So I gave up the idea of trying to be a full time SAHM or working outside of the home because being around my kids is priceless for me. I also decided to invest in a part-time nanny for my sanity and see it as a business decision to grow my passion into a business. Even if all my paycheck goes into paying my nanny it’s okay because I’m still working towards a goal and learning something new everyday.
Today I want to reveal a snippet of my everyday life and share with you what my day looks like. I have to reiterate here that I don’t believe in fixed schedules, just a good routine. I don’t dictate my life around a predetermined schedule, instead I have a general idea of what I need to accomplish that day and try my best to do them. If I don’t complete them, it’s not a big deal. I just shake it off and move onto the next day.
I don’t believe in fixed schedules, just a good routine. I don’t dictate my life around a predetermined schedule, instead I have a general idea of what I need to accomplish that day and try my best to do them.
These are some of my secrets to mastering this motherhood game without going down that road of chasing perfection and falling into anxiety and depression. It’s my hope that by the end of this post, you get a better idea of my daily life and how I manage my household (and sanity) with three kids.
Typical Day Of A WAHM Blogger
I hear my daughters shuffling around and getting ready for the day. I close my eyes tightly and pray that they don’t barge into the room. Usually they do, with questions like “Mom where is _____?” or “Mom, does this look okay?” I try to stay in bed as long as I can because every 5 minutes matter.
Alarm goes off. I’m usually dead tired and regret sleeping late the night before. I do this almost everyday. Yes I’m still working on it.
Brush my teeth, wash my face (sometimes I don’t even have time to wash my face) and start getting the kids ready. I pray that baby isn’t awake.
Help them choose what to wear for school. My second daughter has been dressing herself ever since I can remember so she doesn’t need help. Oldest daughter needs help with brushing teeth, washing face, doing hair, etc.
Husband usually fixes breakfast while I get the kids ready. Breakfast is usually eggs and fruits or vegetables. If we have leftovers from the night before, we give them that. I love cooking Korean soups for this reason. It allows at least 2 meals with one batch of cooking.
If baby is awake I change him and give him his morning bottle. This buys me at least 10-15 minutes.
If everything goes well, kids are ready to leave for school. We give my first daughter her daily seizure medication. My husband is in charge of the morning drop off. On a bad day chaos and tantrums ensue. On a good day they smile, wave good bye and tell me they love me. I like good days.
7:45 am- 10:00 am
Morning time with Baby D. If he’s awake I change, feed him and play with him. Sometimes he sleeps in, which gives me some time for warm coffee with the kids’ leftovers. I reserve this time for baby D and let him dictate what he wants to do.
On a good day when husband doesn’t have to go into work early, he takes over the morning duty so I can crawl back into bed. This really depends on his work schedule which varies every week. I love slow mornings.
My nanny arrives and work day begins.
10:05 – 11:00 am
I check my emails and social media, try to respond to some comments and DM’s. I read over my calendar because I sometimes can’t even remember what day it is. I try to respond to the urgent emails first. I usually don’t have the time to finish responding to them all.
11:00 – 2:30 pm
This is my time to work. I use this time to write blog posts, shoot and edit photos, create content for social media, etc. When I publish a blog post I spend at least an hour sharing my content on various social media channels. I post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Posting a photo + caption for IG can take as long as 30 minutes. Facebook is usually faster because my content is already done.
I be sure to check in with Baby D during this time and hug and play with him as much as I can. I also fix myself a simple lunch and eat while working.
Kids return home from school on a school bus. I can usually see them right through my office door. Unless I’m in middle of writing or shooting, I stop work and spend time with the girls.
2:45- 3:00 pm
Afternoon snacks. Afternoon chat with the kids. Wind down time. Give E her second dose of seizure meds. I start thinking about dinner.
3:40 pm- 5:15 pm
Mommy chauffeur duty begins! Some days I take my older daughter to her speech therapy class. On other days I take my second daughter to her art class. I wait in the car for about 50 minutes. I usually use this time to read a book and avoid social media. If I have a longer break in between I use it to run errands, do grocery shopping etc.
I arrive home and nanny leaves. By now Baby D usually took his afternoon nap (currently about 2-3 hours) and had his lunch and snacks. Time to prepare dinner for the family.
6:30- 7:00 pm
Husband is usually home by now and we have dinner as family. If he isn’t, we eat without him.
7:00- 8:00 pm
Chill time. We work on homework, watch some TV, talk, eat fruits, lounge around and just spend time together.
Bedtime rituals. I have to wash 2 out of 3 kids. Sometimes I do it alone, sometimes husband does it alone, sometimes we wash one child each. It really depends on our work flow and how our day has been. We give E her last dose of seizure meds.
9:00- 9:30 pm
All kids in bed by now. Baby sleeps between 8-9:00 pm depending on how long his afternoon nap was.
9:30 pm – 12:00 am
I love this time of the day so much that it’s hard to go to sleep early. I use this time to continue work, prepare a new blog post, finish up on emails and catch up on social media. This is when I usually work on my Pinterest account while watching a Korean drama or show.
Sometimes I drink a glass of wine or cup of tea, sometimes I do face masks, sometimes I take a bath, sometimes I just Netflix and chill. Sometimes hubby and I catch up on GOT (Game Of Thrones). We’re still on season 2 and it’s taking us forever to finish.
And that’s it! With three kids it’s important to divide and conquer and be flexible with our schedules. My Mondays and Tuesdays are usually reserved for my first daughter’s speech therapy, my Wednesdays and Thursdays are reserved for second daughter’s extracurricular activities and Fridays are usually free and I try not to schedule anything on this day except my first daughter’s ABA therapy.
My thoughts on extracurricular activities
I avoid overscheduling and focus on quality over quantity because there’s no way I can fit them all into my schedule. I don’t have my kids do busy work, just homework, daily reading and one (two max) extracurricular activity they enjoy. My first daughter has speech therapy and ABA services 4 times a week and my second daughter is in piano + violin with the same teacher and art, all of which she loves. They’re not in any sports right now because I can’t manage all the practices and games. Instead they get their outdoor activity by swimming during summer, playing at the park and bicycling with their dad around the neighborhood.
I avoid overscheduling and focus on quality over quantity. I don’t have my kids do any busy work, just homework, daily reading and one to two extracurricular activities they enjoy.
Eventually as Baby D gets older I’ll try to squeeze in something for him. As of now, he’s at home with me and the nanny and we take turns giving him outdoor play.
What do you think? Did you like reading about my typical day as a WAHM? How do you spend your day, is your routine similar or different? Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear!