My Daily Routine with a Toddler
When I made the decision to stay home when my daughter was born almost 2 years ago, I had this vision of myself sitting at my desk working on a blog post, while my daughter played on the floor with a few toys quietly. Boy, was I wrong!
Working from home has so many benefits, but you need to realize that it is not as easy as you may think. With all this disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are now faced with “working from home” in some capacity. Whether you are a teacher or a working mom, this is unchartered territory.
Today, I am going to share my daily routine, while taking care of a toddler and working from home.
Depending on your child’s age, there is a big difference with how much work you will get done. With an older child, they are much more independent and understand boundaries and that “Mom has to get work done”. However, with a toddler or young child, this will look a lot differently. I have an almost 2 year old at home and work about 20 hours a week on my Teachers Pay Teachers store and blog here on Sweet for Kindergarten.
My biggest struggle as a Work At Home Mom (WAHM), was that I no longer had a schedule. When I was teaching, I had my daily schedule down to a minute by minute basis and I stuck to that schedule. With little one(s) at home, it’s honestly not feasible. (Unless they are about 8 or older and understand the concept of time) By keeping a predictable routine, with average times for meals and naps, I created a daily routine for myself and my toddler.
Here’s what mine looks like:
I know I have times listed above, but those are only the average times. I do not stick to those times on the dot exactly. For example, if she is getting fussy and rubbing her eyes around noon, I may put her down for her nap a little early. Normally in the morning, we would have somewhere to go (Little Gym, music class at the library, playground, Target, grocery shopping, etc) but now that we are practicing social distancing, I will have to be more creative with our playtime.
Morning and Afternoon Activities
My goal is to loosely “plan” two activities per day- one in the morning and afternoon one. It may be baking cookies, doing a color matching sort (free in my TPT store), an idea from Pinterest, or one of our favorite activities like these sticker pages from Amazon (you can find more activities on my Toddler Favorites page here). I am going to write them down in my planner at the start of the week, so I am not scrambling to think of activities last minute. With toddlers, these activities may only last 10 minutes, but it's nice to sit down and work on something together.
Finding a Work/Life Balance
Please remember… Finding a work/life balance is tricky, but not impossible. I've found that setting boundaries and specific work times IS helpful.
For example, only do “house” things (like chores) when it’s not nap or quiet time. When Caroline goes down for her nap, I make sure that I go right to work. Leave the dishes in the sink, worry about that laundry later, just forget it, so I can get some work done. I have Caroline help me by putting dishes in the sink or picking up her toys right before nap and bedtime. It’s a lot easier to try and do chores with kids being up, than try to focus on work-related tasks.
Give yourself some GRACE!
You also need to give yourself some GRACE! Times are crazy right now. Your child’s normal routine just got uprooted within a matter of days. You may not be able to do everything you normally would do because now you have to take care of your little one(s). So, give yourself some grace. Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Work when you can and it’s okay if you have to use TV or iPad time a little more than you would like to. Your hours may be different than you are used to working. Often, I work in the morning and also at night after she goes to bed. Set a daily “end work” time so that you can rest your brain. Mine is usually 8:30 pm nightly.
Hopefully, this blog post helps you now that you are working from home or trying to figure out what to do daily with your toddler/little one. I will be posting on my Instagram stories daily about the activities I do with Caroline each day.
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