This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Lennox. All opinions are 100% mine.
Have you ever wondered how work-at-home moms balance it all?
Before Mila came along, I imagined being a stay-at-home mom and blogging full-time fitting together oh-so-effortlessly – like two pieces of a puzzle.
Mila, of course, would nap like an angel (don’t all babies?! Ha!) During her naps, I would work two-three hours uninterrupted – or so I imagined. The ultimate goal: I would never miss a single detail of my daughter’s life and yet could continue pushing myself creatively through various blogging projects.
Oh, the naiveté of a first-time mom!
Let’s just say that real life is a lot less perfect than the scenario I envisioned in my head. What is perfect, however, is the end result: I get to stay home with my daughter and earn an income from something I enjoy. Though how I make it happen is a whole different story…
With the help of Lennox, who’s sponsoring this blog post today, I thought it would be amusing to share a behind-the-scenes look of what my life as a work-at-home mom really looks like. No sugar-coating, “I’m a supermom” nonsense here; only a healthy dose of reality!
Just how much time do we spend at home?
But before we dive into what a typical day looks like around here (is there really such a thing as a typical day with a baby involved?), let’s shift gears for a minute.
I recently came across a statistic from the American Lung Association that said 90 percent of our time is spent indoors – especially in the heat of the summer – and a huge part of that is in our own homes. That estimate couldn’t be more accurate in my case, and I’m sure many stay-at-home and work-at-home moms can relate. Sure, there are occasional errands and playdates and what-not, and, of course, those days when we desperately need to escape the house – doesn’t matter where. But the majority of our days are spent at home.
I can’t help but wonder of the effect that much indoor time might have on my mental and physical health – or more alarming, my child’s health. We as moms obsess over the slightest sign of danger to our children, but how often do we question the indoor air quality of our own home – a place where, as we’ve established, we spend a vast majority of our time?
Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is a relatively new topic in environmental safety. But at the risk of adding yet another thing for you to worry about, it’s a topic that has to be talked about, especially if anyone in your family suffers from allergies. While a lot of attention has been placed on outdoor pollution over the past few decades, the focus on indoor air quality is fairly recent, although just as – if not more – important.
The air quality in our homes is determined by three factors: the amount of pollutants inside the house, the humidity levels and ventilation. One of the most effective ways to improve indoor air quality is with the PureAir™ S Air Purification System from Lennox. It can clean the air in your home better than any other single system on the market. Single-area air cleaners may help the air in one room, but they don’t address pollutants that can circulate throughout your entire home. The PureAir S is a whole-home solution that means cleaner air in every room, and more importantly, that much-needed peace of mind for us moms.
How does it work? The PureAir S works right alongside your existing HVAC system to deliver hospital-level filtration and rid your home from the following:
- Allergy-aggravating particles like dust and pollen;
- Mold and germs that thrive in damp places like basements, crawl spaces and bathrooms;
- Odors and chemical vapors from paints, cleaning supplies and the many additives used in carpeting and furniture.
And now, a day in the life of a work-at-home mom…
Mila is my alarm clock. It’s rare for me to wake up before her – no matter how hard I try. Girlfriend has gotten into a terrible pattern of nursing three, four, five, sometimes even six times a night. So come morning, I am desperate for any extra sleep I can get.
On the rare occasion that I do get up before her and have time to make myself look somewhat presentable, I find that my day is less stressful. But those days are rare, because at this point of my life, sleep trumps looks.
Besides, Mila and I have this magical connection that even if I was to get up earlier, she’s awake exactly 15 minutes later. So magical, right?
Upon waking, Mila, of course, wants to nurse yet again. Oh, how thankful I am for those extra 10 minutes of snoozing next to her. Then it’s on to cuddles and me attempting to convince her to play on the bed while mama watches her with one eye open…
Spoiler alert: it rarely works, and off to the kitchen we go with one mission and one mission only: coffee.
If it’s a nice day, we like to venture out for a walk first thing in the morning, before the summer heat becomes unbearable. Sometimes we go visit Mila’s grandmother at work. Other times – like on days we skipped the mama-needs-coffee part above, we pick up breakfast and head for a stroll at a nearby park or playground. Thankfully, there are at least four different parks close to our house, which adds a bit of variety to our routine.
On days when we don’t go for a walk, I set about preparing breakfast while Mila occupies herself in the living room.
After breakfast and playtime, Mila is ready for her first nap. But first – you guessed it – another nursing session.
While Mila naps, I can choose to 1) catch up on my sleep (if the night was especially terrible), 2) do some chores around the house (not feeling it so early in the morning), 3) relax by catching up on my latest favorite show (Mad Men, in case you’re wondering), or 4) work on the blog, which can mean drafting a blog post, planning and styling a photo shoot, executing that photo shoot, editing photos, checking social media (gotta stay somewhat relevant), write emails, respond to emails, and the list goes on and on and on.
Don’t let the photo above fool you. I really prefer option 1. Eating while she naps is another favorite pastime of mine. There’s just something so luxurious (ha!) about sitting down and finishing an entire meal with no interruptions.
Before I know it, Mila is up once again. I usually find her standing in her crib, plotting her escape because I didn’t come save her soon enough.
Post-nap, I realize that half a day already passed and I have yet to do something productive. So I force myself to move on to option 2 from above: house chores. That includes never-ending laundry, starting lunch, tidying up a mess or two (like if I was too exhausted to clean up after breakfast). Usually though, I’m pretty good at cleaning as I go about my day, because I find it much easier to keep up than to catch up.
A few words about laundry: It has got to be my least favorite chore. Here I am folding clothes that have laid in the dryer for – I kid you not – nearly a week.
In between the house chores, we eat lunch.
Throughout the day, with no particular rhyme or reason to my approach, I also offer Mila snacks. She always accepts, which buys me a whopping 10-15 minutes of free time. Needless to say, I offer lots of snacks throughout the day.
Anywhere from 2 to 3 PM, Mila goes down for her second nap of the day. If the previous night was especially rough (and I missed my chance to nap during Mila’s first nap), then come mid-afternoon I am barely functioning. So off to bed I go. Otherwise, I’m once again deciding: Do I work on the blog? On the house? Or maybe, just maybe I’ll finally take a shower.
Mila awakes. Sometimes she wants to cuddle afterwards, so we sit on the rocking chair while I sing her silly, made-up songs. With less than an hour before the husband comes home from work, I set about preparing dinner. I rarely cook twice a day, though. So if that day I made lunch, then leftovers are what’s for dinner. In that case, I spend the hour playing with Mila.
By 6PM all three of us are usually sitting down for dinner. Afterwards, weather permitting, we either take a family walk, or Vadim plays with Mila while I clean up after dinner.
I don’t bathe Mila every day, but when I do, the ritual always starts at 7 o’clock. Let’s be honest, it’s rarely as serene as the scene below may lead you to believe.
When I tell people that Mila’s in bed by 8PM, they’re usually surprised. We’ve always had a relatively early bedtime for her, and I feel like this has worked well for us. She needs her sleep, and Vadim and I need a couple hours to ourselves. Some days we’ll watch a movie or a show together, or finish up a few projects around the house.
If I have any upcoming blog campaigns, this is the time I get the bulk of my work done. I usually end up working way past midnight. It’s the only time I can do so uninterrupted – at least until around 11 – 11:30PM. That’s when Mila wakes up for her first (of many!) nightly feeding sessions.
Well, if you’re still awake and reading, that’s my work-at-home mom schedule in a nutshell. It’s not much and yet SO MUCH all at the same time, you know?
Although working from home with little ones can definitely be challenging (some days far more than others), it’s also a set-up that I’ve dreamed about for a long, long time. I get to do two things I love – mothering and blogging – and I’m so very grateful for everything that has lead me to this point of my life.
Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to check out today’s sponsor, Lennox, to learn more about indoor air quality and to find a dealer near you!
Thank you to Lennox for kindly sponsoring this post. All writing and opinions are always my own and never influenced by any type of compensation. Thanks for supporting the brands that make FOXYOXIE.com possible!