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A Day in the Life of a Work at Home Mom

Heather van Mil12 comments4524 views

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Many people I talk to have a misguided notion of how wonderful, glamorous and luxurious it is to be a work at home mom (WAHM for short). Doing business over coffee or lunch, working weekends, being able to spend more time with your kids and be involved in their school and extracurriculars, they wonder how I ever got so lucky. Please don’t get me wrong, I truly do love what I do and some of the freedoms and perks it offers, but make no mistake. It is tough. Very. Tough. I figured I’d illustrate a general day in my life as an example.

It’s hard to determine exactly when my day “starts” after being up every 2 hours all night with a difficult toddler, but for the sake of brevity, lets pretend my day starts at 5am when she is up for the day. Between 5 and 8:30am I need to feed and clothe 2 children, make 3 lunches and write a blog post – not to mention making myself look presentable and reasonably professional (no simple feat after 3 hours of broken sleep). I herd the kids into the car, making sure we have backpacks, lunches, and everything I need for work. Drop of my oldest at school and my youngest at daycare before heading off to a meeting. Assuming traffic cooperates and I make it on time, I take a minute to close my eyes and do a few breathing exercises, then review any notes or information I have in order to switch from Mommy Brain to Working Brain.

After the meeting I have a quick conference call en route to the grocery store (hands free of course!) where I grab a few staples plus some ingredients needed for dinner that night. Back at home, I put dinner in the slow cooker and grab a quick bite to eat while checking emails and catching up on work-related social media feeds. Then I dive into a (hopefully) uninterrupted 2 hour block of time where I can put a serious dent in a project with a looming deadline. Before I know it, it’s time for school pick up. I grab some snacks for the girls and rush over to pick up my oldest – probably late as usual – and sprint her off to her piano lessons. I make sure to write notes and take pictures of her lessons to share with her Dad, and later the world in a future blog post. After her lessons, it’s off to pick up my youngest from daycare and home for dinner which is thankfully already made. Once dinner is done, while Daddy takes over bath and bedtime routines, I either finish up some more work if I’m feeling very disciplined, or collapse into bed and pray for at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, before it all starts again.

For those of you wondering, no this is not a mash-up of the most difficult parts of being a work at home mom. This is a typical day in my life. Aside from the no sleep, it’s actually a pretty good day in my life as it doesn’t involve sick kids, dealing with nap times or uncooperative technology. It’s not every day, since my youngest is only in daycare 3 days a week, but this is what working at home usually looks like. It takes dedication and organization and an awesome partner backing you up. It’s wonderful and crazy. It’s not for everyone, but it is most definitely for me!

Are you a WAHM? Tell me, what does your typical day look like? Want a laugh? Follow me on twitter, check out my tongue-in-cheek #FirstWorldWAHMProblems and share your own! 


  1. This world just isn’t set up for moms. Period. Nothing is really “fair” when it comes to careers and personal development. I’ve struggled with this a lot. Especially since my husband is a well paid, well respected Engineer who goes on free lunch meetings… not jealous at all 😉 But I’m so glad that there are millions of moms out there who “get it” and I am hopeful, one day, the rest of society will realize that when you support moms, the whole world will function better. There… now I had my rant 😉 Thanks for the great post and keep on trekking!

    1. Thanks for your rant and commiseration! My hubby doesn’t do lunch meetings, but I’m jealous of his ability to go to work and have 10 exclusive hours of uninterrupted work time without any home life creeping in. And then he comes home and has uninterrupted home time without work. Must be nice! 😉

  2. I worked at home long before kids and loved the flexibility it gave me to work around the other things I wanted to do with my life. Then I had kids. Sometimes it feels like I don’t have the flexibility any more. I do, but I’m flexing around family instead of around me. Typical day: if I went to bed on time, I get up 1 hour before my kids and do some yoga, creative writing, or get that thing I need to get done early done. From 7 to 9 it’s breakfast, getting ready for school, waiting for the bus, and drop off. 9-12:15 is my focused work time (though I usually take a break and walk with my husband). Lunch with my husband and the preschooler. Then if all goes well, I have an hour or two to work, though we seem to be fading out of nap time so that will end. Get the kids off the bus. Make dinner. Eat, bedtime . . . sit down with the computer realize it’s time for bed and the kitchen is still a mess . . . This is actually a good routine because for four years I was working from home with no school and no childcare. That was crazy making.

  3. I love the fact that neither of my kids are in public school yet and so I get to enjoy 3 full 8 hour work days while they are at daycare/preschool. It’s glorious. But I work a TON on evenings and weekends. That’s got to stop!

  4. I am at once terrified and envious!

    Somehow you managed to make your crazy day sound great!

    I am glad I found your blog. 🙂

  5. I started my own business over 5 years ago, so I vividly remember the sleepless nights of which you speak! Luckily, my kids are now 6 & 9, so (other than the always-waking toddler), my day sounds a lot like yours. It’s an insane life and I, too, am always late – for everything! But I agree…it’s wonderful to be part of my kids’ school life, volunteering when I can and taking them to after-school programs is worth it. The late nights (working) and general chaos will eventually pass…they will only be kids for a few more years.

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