Our Work From Home Schedule

Every single day I get messages asking me how I’m “doing it all” during this pandemic. Asking me how I’m so productive. I feel like I need to set the record straight because I am far from doing it all. In fact, I feel like I’m barely staying above water most days.

I share a small portion of my life and am just trying to hold it all together in the in-betweens. Like most of you, the last few months have been a major challenge in getting it all done, especially if you have little ones.

Anel and I work really hard every single day to keep both of our businesses above ground while keeping a moody little monster  (who doesn’t nap) happy and entertained. We are very aware of how lucky we are to be able to create our own schedules and have jobs at all right now when 1 in 4 Americans are unemployed.

Does our parenting involve more screen time than usual? You bet! Does it sometimes involve bribing? Clearly. Do we get everything done? Definitely not!

The fact that we have one kid is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that we only have to take care of one and a curse in that she doesn’t have a little buddy to play with.

(Yes we want another, no I’m not pregnant!)

Here is what the majority of our weekdays look like. We’ve gotten into a groove with this schedule.

Our Work From Home Schedule

6 am: I wake up at 6 or 6:30 and answer emails and DMs from my bed while Anel trains his first virtual clients downstairs. He generally trains straight through from early morning until the afternoon.

7:30 am: Amalia wakes up and I snuggle with her in bed for a few minutes until she’s ready to go downstairs. We brush her teeth and hair and she’ll usually play with her dollhouse while I make my morning tea and get breakfast ready for all three of us.

8:00 am: Amalia and I eat breakfast together (usually eggs and toast but sometimes a smoothie, banana pancakes, or French toast). Anel will jump out to the kitchen between clients and eat a bite before going back to work.

9:00 am: We take Boots for a walk and Amalia usually rides her bike or scooter. We do a quick mile loop every morning to start our day unless it’s raining. If we skip it and don’t get outside before lunch, the rest of the day is generally a disaster.

9:30 am: School time… kinda. We have a Zoom call with her daycare teachers and friends every morning for 30 minutes. She always looks forward to it and loves connecting with her buddies even if it’s only online. They sing songs and show each other toys and tell stories about the day before. Amalia has been giving them updates from our garden daily which is really sweet.

10 am: We finally get dressed in “real clothes” (which, by the way, means day PJs half the time) and I try to give her some sort of activity whether it’s Play-Doh or puzzles or art. Sometimes it lasts an hour, sometimes it lasts 10 minutes. The joy of toddlerhood! Then we just play together. Often with the dollhouse or her kitchen or just a dance party. Once a week Anel has a break at 10 for an hour and that’s when I go grocery shopping.

12:30 pm: Lunch… Amalia and I eat together at the kitchen island. I’ve been trying to share her lunches on IG stories lately but they’re getting less and less exciting lately to be quite honest. After lunch, she’ll play again while I clean up the kitchen.

1 pm: TV time. Sweet sweet TV time. My goal every day is to make it to 1 pm without TV or iPad but that doesn’t always happen like on days when I have calls in the morning or deadlines that I can’t move. On those days, it looks more like the picture above. But at 1 pm, no matter what, I finally sit in front of my computer and start answering emails again and working on the next day’s blog post.

BTW if you’ve ever hung out with an almost-three-year-old for an entire morning, you know that by this point I’m about ready for 12 hours of sleep 🙂

1:30 pm: Anel finishes up with virtual clients around 1:30 or 2 most days and we meet about Countdown while he eats lunch. I usually leave with a to-do list for his business that I tackle in the afternoon.

2:30 pm: On most days this is when my real alone time starts. But lately, as we’re gearing up to open back up Anel’s studio (safely, more on that later) he has to be working so Amalia and I will go play outside or go to the beach. On the days that I do work, Anel takes her and Boots for another walk and then they do scootering, biking, and soccer in the driveway. She likes to help him water the garden and count all the new wildflowers that have bloomed since the day before.

During these hours, I get as much done as possible for Coundown and Lemon Stripes. I also try to fit in a mental health hour (or half-hour most days, TBH), something that Anel and I have implemented to stay sane while working from home with a toddler. We each get one hour alone to do whatever we want, no questions asked. Some days I get out and go for a run, other days I’ll organize a drawer or closet, and sometimes I just read a book in my bed or the backyard. Once in a while I’ll drive to the beach and go for a walk with a podcast.

5 pm: I shut down my computer and head out for playtime while Anel takes his mental health hour, usually working in the garden or yard. We often blow up the bounce house before dinner to get some energy out.

6:00 pm: I cook dinner and we eat together. Lately, we’ve been grilling so I’ll prep everything inside while Anel mans the grill outside. When it’s nice out, we all eat together outside. Eating dinner as a family has been one really nice change in the last few months. Anel has always had to work late so I would wait for him to eat, but family dinner feels really special. Every night we go around the table and say our favorite part of the day and I love hearing what made Amalia happy that day.

6:45 pm: Family walk! Amalia jumps and chants family walk family walk family walk as we clean up dinner until we leave. All three of us and Boots head out for another loop.

6:45 pm: Bath time. Anel and I take turns doing bath and bedtime.

7:15 pm: Books and lights out for Amalia. She gets to pick three books before bed and she snuggles into whoever is reading to her that night. She smells clean and delicious and I love it.

7:30 pm: Anel and I fire back up the ole laptops and work side by side until 9ish, figuring out details for the next day for Countdown or just doing our own thing. Sometimes we’re just exhausted and say screw it and watch a movie or have a glass of wine or tea outside together instead.

9:00 pm: I try to shut down no matter what but when I’m on mom duty in the afternoons, this gets pushed later and later which I’m totally ok with since Anel’s business is our main focus right now. If we’re both done working, we will watch an hour of TV.

10:00 pm: Shower and reading time. There is literally nothing better after a long day than getting into bed with a good book and the promise of no child jumping on your body for the next 8 hours.

11:00 pm: I’ve been going to bed much later than I used to which is catching up with me but I’m for some reason finding it impossible to have lights out at 10 lately. Anyone else feel that way?

Overnight: Random but had to mention that my dreams have been out of control lately. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer but holy cow, over the last few months it’s been insane. I found this article about vivid dreams during the pandemic to be really interesting.

And that’s it! That’s what our days look like around here most of the time. I share snippets from our art projects or a few minutes from family playtime or dinner on IG and stories, but there is a lot of mom-ing and scrambling to get work done in between. And although I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now, here are my best tips for working from home.

What do your weekday schedules look like lately?

My dress (runs short!) and Amalia’s Amazon Fire Kids.

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  1. Olivia said:

    I’ve been finding myself going to bed way later than normal too! Even though I’m collapsing on the couch to veg out by 8:30 every night (I’d be going cross eyed trying to look at my computer anymore!). Our biggest struggle lately, is that with all of this home time, my toddler is super attached to me and not allowing dad to do any bedtimes! I need a weekend away just to give them time to bond again 🙂

    5.29.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I feel cross-eyed every night! 🙂 We have the same attachment issues. When I leave the room you would think she’s being eaten alive by sharks. She’ll let Anel do bedtime but only if I read one book first and promise to be there first thing in the morning.

      A weekend away sounds delightful…

      5.29.20 · Reply
  2. Liz said:

    Can I just start by acknowledging: it is so hard. My husband and I both work from home and it is tough for both of us to predict our schedules — yes there are prescheduled meetings, but a lot of it is reacting to emails, calls, etc. and then trading off time with the kids.

    We’ve had lots of screen time, too much snapping at each other and just sort of a mix of good days and bad ones.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with two of your points: Getting my kids outside in the morning is critical (so much easier with this warmer weather) and mental health hour “tap outs” are so important, though during the week they’ve come after the kids are in bed over here.

    One thing that you didn’t reference but have in other posts is just the mental toll this takes no matter what scenario people are in right now: out of work, less/more work, childcare/no childcare, amidst financial and emotional stress and more,

    Yes people assume you’re “lucky” and of course it could be worse, but doesn’t mean you haven’t been financially or emotionally impacted by this. You’re doing great!

    We’re all doing the best we can and

    5.29.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      It is so hard. No matter what the situation it’s hard. Every day presents it’s struggles but like you said we’re all doing the best we can. Hang in there! We’re all in this together.

      5.29.20 · Reply
  3. We had been playing a different family game every night. We rotate through who gets to pick it and we had been trying to play every game we own at least once, but we all tend to have our favorites! We have not been as consistently lately, but when we do play, it’s a lot of fun, friendly competition. Personally, I like the games that take 30 minutes or less to complete.. my attention span isn’t what it used to be 🙂

    5.29.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I love that. Amalia’s a little young for most games but Anel and I did that at the beginning of all this. Good reminder to start again. I see a game night in our future tonight 🙂

      5.29.20 · Reply
      • Brittany said:

        Check out First Orchard, my daughter started playing that one at 2 🙂

        5.29.20 · Reply
      • have you heard of Zingo? It’s “actually” kind of fun and perfect for her age 🙂

        5.30.20 · Reply
  4. Abby said:

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your social distanced day-to-day life. I enjoyed reading it! I’m on the same page of having a later bed time during this. It’s like I get a second kick of energy at 10 pm, right when I don’t want it, ha!

    Abby
    abbymeister.com

    5.29.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I don’t get the energy kick but I just want some time to myself to relax. I’ll read even if I’m exhausted and can’t keep my eyes open. It’s so bad!

      5.29.20 · Reply
  5. Erin said:

    The “12 hours of sleep” by noon is so relatable! Mom to a 3 and 5 year old; both my spouse and I are working from home full time with our kids here, too!

    I’m typically a night owl but I feel like I could sleep from noon to 7am one day a week in this chapter of life. We’re safe, we’re together… and we can’t wait to drop them off at their grandparents for a weekend when possible again!

    5.29.20 · Reply
  6. Mary said:

    Hello Julia, I love your blog! I have a 4 year old boy and my house each morning is a mess, it takes a good two hours -minimum- to clean up and deal with laundry and cook so sometimes I dont even have the energy to go out for a walk with my boy in the mornings.I try to spend as much time as possible with my boy doing educational activities but let’s be honest : you tube and games on the tablet rule most of the time.We usually go out in the afternoon in order to avoid screen time and recharge our batteries.I dont even know how I would be able to fit in work responsibilities if I had to work from home during this time without schools and uactivities.When do you find the time to clean your house and deal with chores, they are time and energy consuming activities especially when you work full time.

    5.29.20 · Reply