I love reading a good “Day in the Life” story. I’ve always found it interesting to see how people spend their time, and especially now with the pandemic changing our lives so much. So, I decided to write one of my own to illustrate how going back to work in the midst of a pandemic has fit into my life as a business person, an artist, and a new mother of a three-month-old baby girl.
7:20am – wake up before the baby to get ready for her first feeding, make coffee, get a glass of water, kiss husband good morning and goodbye as he leaves for work.
7:30am – wake up baby Mila. Sometimes she’s all smiles and sometimes she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed just like everyone else. This morning, I get a great big smile to brighten my morning.
7:30-8am – feed Mila and check my email on my phone for just a few minutes. The rest of the time I devote my attention to the baby. She’s at an age now where she can tell if I’m paying attention!
8-8:30am – Change diaper and put her down for tummy time while I drink some coffee, get dressed for the day. Intermittently, I have to get down on the floor with her to cheer her up and even pick her up – she hates tummy time.
8:30-9am – Play with Mila, get her ready for her morning nap. Today I don’t have anyone coming to help with the baby while I work, so I have to squeeze in time during naps.
9-10:15am – Work on my computer while Mila sleeps. During this time I check my email and get my list ready for the day. The list helps me to optimize my time. Today, I also prepare a statement of work for a potential infographic design client and collect samples of our graphic design work to share with the prospect. I spray finish a piece of art and let dry so I can stain the edges later.
10:15am-11am – Mila wakes up a little earlier than usual and needs attention. I feed her, change her and play with her some more.
11:35am – set Mila down in her play gym for some independent time – we all need some “me-time” right? Back to the computer to sneak in a few minutes – check email to see if anyone needs anything. Today, someone sent an email requesting some changes on their website design, so I add this to my list for the afternoon or tomorrow when I have a sitter.
11:45am – she doesn’t last long with her “me-time” at this stage. She hasn’t learned to appreciate it the way I do just yet.
11:45am-12:30pm – play with Mila and then wear her while I make myself a sandwich. Read a book to her before nap time.
12:30 – put Mila down for second nap
12:30-2pm – eat my sandwich and work on computer some more. Mila takes a decently long nap, and I expect that so I’m able to do some of my more thoughtful work like write an article, video editing, and review website changes. I start editing an interview video for one of our financial services clients.
2pm – Mila is awake! Get the happy baby from her bed, change, feed, play.
2:45pm – Time for more “me-time” for Mila. I try to do this a couple times a day to foster some independence and she is actually much more creative at this time too, since she doesn’t have us dancing around trying to entertain her.
3-3:15pm – Mila is over “me-time” so I pick her up, strap her on, and bring her over to my desk. She likes to watch as I edit video or do things where the screen is moving. Today I finish editing the financial services interview video and while it’s rendering I start writing a blog for our website. I turn the brightness on my screen down and try to keep this time to a minimum as I’m sure it’s not great for her baby eyes.
3:15-3:30pm – Mila is starting to show signs of sleepiness so I take her into the dim bedroom and read some books to her. I put her in bed, singing to her as she gives me the evil eye. She does not like being put to sleep!
3:30-4:15pm – Mila takes short afternoon naps, so during this time I check emails and schedule client calls for the days when I have someone here to be with the baby while I am on a call. Today, I schedule calls with one of our technology clients, one of our education clients, and one of our financial services clients. Each project I’m working on today is different, varying from website design to video editing. Lots of calls coming up later this week! Good thing I have someone coming to help out.
4:15pm – Get Mila out of bed, feed, change, play. Take something out for dinner and prep as much as possible while still entertaining my munchkin. I usually wear her while I’m doing this so it helps if I put on Otis Redding radio or 80’s dance music and dance around the kitchen. This is fun for both of us!
5:15pm – Daddy gets home so I hand Mila over to him, get myself a glass of wine and work on my art a bit. I have a piece that is almost finished so I want to get that one done before his mom comes to stay with us to help with the baby this week. That way I can put this piece in storage to get it out of the way. House gets cramped with 4 people in it!
5:30pm – Mila needs to squeeze in one last catnap before bedtime, so we put her down for this nap now and continue making dinner, I respond to some emails to confirm my upcoming calls and meetings later this week, and we hang out and listen to music while we cook.
6pm – wake up baby Mila – she resists, but it’s time for our nighttime routine.
6-6:45pm – feed and change diaper, sit down at the table as a family for dinner time. Mila is a handful so we put her in her swing next to us for as long as she’ll tolerate it, but eventually we have to get her out and take turns holding her. She loves to be held and watch us eat, particularly daddy. One arm around the baby, one arm to eat with. It works! The dinner table routine is new for us. We wanted to lay a good foundation of dinner time and the celebration of food for Mila and thought it’s never too early to start. Gone are the days of eating on the couch in front of the television. Turns out, we love this so much more anyway!!
6:45pm – clean up dinner stuff and get ready for our evening walk.
7-7:15pm – walk around the neighborhood, chatting about life, our day, the future, weekend plans, how crazy this pandemic is, whatever comes to mind.
7:15-8:15pm – bath time, pajamas, last feeding and story-time for Mila. Our intention is to get her in bed by 8pm, so we’re a little late tonight, but we’ll just have to try again tomorrow.
8:15-9:30pm – mommy and daddy time! We hang out, watch some tv (usually Big Bang Theory or Ridiculousness), and get sleepy quick. Both of our days are hectic, so we get tired so early these days!
9:30pm – bedtime. We are spent. Mila wakes up once or twice in the night, but she goes back to sleep. No more night feedings, thankfully, although a big part of me misses those quiet moments feeding her in the dark late at night.
This is a pretty hectic day because I am alone with the baby all day, but I try to stay organized to make it work. On days when I have someone to care for Mila, I get so much more work done. The days with a caregiver are almost like regular work days, although having a 3 month old baby in the house can be a little distracting at times, even when someone else is watching her. We make it work. My best windows for productivity are in the morning. I’m fresh, rested, and have a cup of coffee in hand.
We’d love to hear from you – what is your day working at home like? What is your most productive time of day?