Get up before the kids
This one might not be for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me until Evan started sleeping through, but now that he’s 8 months and in his own room he’s finally sleeping through more often than not. This means I’m waking up much more refreshed, so I get an hours work in before the kids wake up. In that hour I normally pack everything away that I made the day before and write my to do list for the day. Then I do a few chores and catch up on messages before the breakfast rush starts.
This used to mean reply to messages while Evan slept on me – he wasn’t keen on napping anywhere else for a long time. Now I sometimes get a decent afternoon nap which means some creative time for me. I’ve normally written a to do list in the morning and get started on that when I don’t have baby distractions.
Use tummytime to check your messages
Evan is at the age where he likes to roll around the floor, trying but failing to crawl and interested in everything he can find. I sit on the floor with him and watch him enjoying himself and use that time to check my messages. But I have to admit, sometimes I’ll just get a brew and watch him – I love seeing how fascinated he is with everything!
Get your partner to do the bedtime routine
My husband used to go to football 2 evenings a week, but since Evan came along he’s given that up so I can work. He will put the kids to bed and I get on with the rest of my to-do list. Sometimes that means working until 10pm but sometimes I’m done by the time he’s got them to sleep. If I work right up until bedtime I’ll end up dreaming of what I need to do the next day – the perfect recipe for a bad nights sleep – so once I’m finished I try and do something that’ll take my mind off work, like read a magazine or take a bath.
Focus on your goals
Remember why you’re working so hard and make sure the work you’re doing is getting you towards your goals. I like to write down my goals to keep me on track and set myself time limits to achieve them. For example one of my goals for this year was to set up a website. It was long overdue, but it feels good to cross it off my goals list!
I know that this won’t last forever, that one day the children will be at school and I’ll be able to work during the day. There are days where fitting it all in is really hard, but there were days like that when I was a salaried worker too. I enjoy being self employed, being able to work when I’m feeling productive and enjoy the kids when I’m not. I like that Annie sees me working and comes to me when something needs fixing (My gluegun is perfect for fixing most of her toy emergencies!). My main hope for the future is that by working hard I’m instilling into both my children a good work ethic and can inspire them to seek out their own paths and do something they enjoy, rather than just following the norm.