I’m a freelance writer and author, but mostly, I’m a mother to a very busy three year old.
I have never appreciated time more since becoming a mom, and I know now that the only way to get anything done, is to use my time efficiently.
Does this always happen? Of course not. Sometimes I procrastinate. Sometimes (sadly too often) my son gets sick and stays at home. Pesky public holidays keep sneaking up on me when I least expect it (public holidays just don’t feel the same now that I work for myself).
For the most part, however, I write as often as I can, and sneak a bit of work whenever I can.
I also no longer work on weekends. Have you ever tried to work with a toddler around? Impossible! Also, my mom time is important, too.
Here’s a weekday schedule (without public holidays or illnesses).
4.45am: Toddler calls me for cuddles. I climb into his far too small bed, curl up, and try to sleep despite the constant whacks to the head I get. I remind myself that he’s cute.
6am: Toddler wakes up in excitement. He wants to play immediately and cannot understand why I’m still lying there. “But mommy, it’s the morning,” he says in case I didn’t know.
6.30am: I drink coffee, and make breakfast for the hungry three year old (who is always starving).
7am: I attempt to get him and myself ready for the day. I forgo makeup and ironed clothes, and spend the next half an hour chasing him around the house to get his clothes on.
7.30am: School drop off. Toddler cries like I’m the worst mother in the world, but seconds after leaving I hear him chatting away to the teacher.
8am: I go for a run. Length is dependent on how much sleep I got the night before.
9am: I drink coffee, eat something, and start my day (sometimes this is 8am if I don’t run). Computer on, I go through all my emails to make sure there’s nothing urgent. I look at my social media and attempt not to get too distracted.
9.30am – 12pm: I either do content writing for some of my clients, work on some of their social media platforms, create some SEO blogs, or do some ghostwriting gigs. Every day is different here, so it depends on what I need to do and when I need to do it by. For the most part, there’s some sort of writing involved. And yes, you can make money as a writer. I also spend a lot of time thinking about snacks, and usually end up having popcorn or cereal.
12pm: Lunch time. I also usually get some photos from the school around this time and I forget all about all the tantrums and meltdowns and remember only the cuteness.
1pm: Back to work. Another coffee. Pretty much the same as before, focusing on whatever job needs to be done first.
2pm: Now is the time I spend on my own fiction writing. I almost always have one book that I’m working on. Since becoming a mother, I don’t get the chance to write as fast as I used to, but I always make sure that I’m at least always writing something of my own and I worry less about how long it takes me.
3pm: Unless my husband is cooking (he’s a way better cook than me), I get dinner ready (well hello there air fryer), and do a quick clean of the house if I haven’t already (and by clean, I mean shoving things into cupboards). If I’m not cooking, I still go to the kitchen to snack.
4pm: Fetch toddler. Play. Eat. Bath. Play more.
6.30pm: Read ALL the books because toddler doesn’t want to sleep. Get him a snack because he’s suddenly starving again. Keep trying to put him to sleep and convince him that sleep is actually good.
7.30pm: Creep downstairs (silent mom ninja). Watch a show. Read a book. Think about the book I’m writing. Email myself ideas and revisions because I don’t trust my own memory. If I have any illustration jobs, I do these (if I haven’t snuck in some time for them in the day).
9.30pm: Sleep. Because, let’s face it, as much as I want to stay up, I know that before the sun is even up, I’ll be woken with “MOMMY!!!”
For the most part, this is my day. I write a lot of different things, for a lot of different people, and sometimes I even write for myself. And even though I don’t have nearly as much time to write now that I have a kid… I wouldn’t change it for anything. Not so long ago, my schedule was a little different, because I tried to work at night, too. But unless there is a strict deadline, I don't do this. I need my sleep, too. And honestly, sometimes work can just wait.
And, a little bonus, my son told me a story the other day which I wrote down, and I’m pretty sure we have a bestseller on our hands. Which means soon I can retire, and spend my days reading. Here’s his story… I know you can’t wait for the next one!
“Once upon a time, there were three bowls of pear soup. And we made a card. And Snoopy licked me. And Snoopy barked at somebody else. And the dog licked me every day. I laughed so much. Marty just fell down. And the fan just broke. Tyler yawned. The end.”