In the past three months we have had to deal with:
- a new puppy
- three stomach viruses or flus
- a double ear infection combined with a sinus infection
When curves are thrown in my schedule, it’s tough to work a set schedule from home.
I used to be crazed abotu this. I set upon developing these very structured schedules, something like this:
- 9 AM feed the baby
- 10-12 work while baby naps
- 12-1 eat and play with baby
- 1-2 walk baby
- 2-4 work while baby naps
And so on, throughout the night, until I tucked her into bed and finished up my days work.
Then came baby two.
Going from one to two babies is like going from one to ten, I swear! The amount of things you have to get done in a day does not just double; it quadruples, at least. Work became a, “I will get around to it when I can,” issue, for many days, and I found myself agitated that I couldn’t ‘get it all done.’
Then I realized the problem: I was relying to heavily on this ‘schedule’ I made.
It took me a while to see this, though. Now, I remain more flexible. In fact, this week I totally changed my schedule so that I am working more at night and not so much in the morning hours. I had to do this because the girls are waking earlier and earlier (6:15) and if I want to run and get work done before they get up I would have to get up at 3 AM! I tried a few weeks of a 4:30 AM morning call but by noon I was wiped out; and so, I began running at night and working at night, then leaving my morning hours for more sleep time.
What can you do to ensure you don’t get too bogged down in your schedule?
- Make a schedule, but don’t be so hard on yourself if you can’t stick to it. Kids get sick, things come up, and we have to realize that we can’t always do what it is we really want (or even need!) to do right that moment.
- Have a backup plan. If you know you have a work related call, or calls, to make the next day, understand that something might come up to change your schedule. Have a plan in case you need childcare; for instance, if your child gets sick and has to stay home. Otherwise, understand you may need to have backup plans for your kids during this time: they can do crafts, watch a show, or otherwise entertain themselves (if they are older. If they are younger, believe me, this will probably backfire for you!)
- Better yet, set a schedule time and date to make phone calls – and then make sure you have alternative plans for the kids during these hours. If you work from home and your children are in school, you can much more easily schedule these calls during the school day. If you work from home with tiny little ones, you might need to have one day per week when you do nothing but make phone calls; or you only make phone calls from certain hours and then during that time your children are out somewhere or watching a show.
- Be realistic. Don’t be so hard on yourself when something goes wrong. For the longest time I would get frustrated with myself if I couldn’t get it all done. If the house was a mess or I didn’t get in the run I wanted to do or I couldn’t complete a job that I wanted done, I felt disappointed. Now I’m more realistic. I understand there are only so many hours in the day and I will get done what I can – and then I will say, “I did the best I can do and tomorrow is another day!”
- Finally, don’t be so set in stone. You don’t always have to work in the morning; sometimes you can switch schedules completely, as I have done this week, and work late into the night. It’s fun to see how the other half lives! You don’t always have to exercise in the morning; sometimes you can go in the middle of the day or in the evening when your husband gets home. Trust me, the world will not stop just because you didn’t get XYZ done exactly as you intended! I’ve lived this way for five years now, and I’m still getting along just fine!