If anyone can understand what a 2 hour workday looks like, it’s mompreneurs. Maybe you are one, or maybe you are soon to be one. Either way, this post is going to shed some light on the reality of being a stay at home mom who also runs a business/side hustle. Prepare to feel really seen, and to also get tips that can help you make the most of the little time that you have.
Since stepping into the motherhood space I was hit with a brick wall I never saw coming. The lack there of time that I have to get anything done in a day. There’s a running joke that moms can never keep a clean house. Or if you have a business it won’t succeed because your kids will take up 99% of your time. Honestly, I brushed this off and thought to myself “not me”. I will be the exception. My kids will be quiet and well behaved and I will always get things done. Spoiler alert, that has not been my reality.
For so long I wanted to pull my hair out. I would be in tears because it was so hard to do ALL THE THINGS when I felt like I was constantly being needed 100% of the time. Getting a nanny was not something I wanted to do nor was it financially something we were really able to do. Being a full time mom IS what I wanted. But I love my business too. And wanted it to still thrive and work for me. But how?
Kiddos and their schedules are forever changing. That’s probably one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my 18 months of parenting. BUT in the past few months, I have really learned to make this chaotic life work for me. We are going to call it, the 2 hour workday. Because 2 hours is about all I get on any given day to be my most productive self.
If you are going to run a business while also being a stay at home mom, drop the idea that you will have endless amounts of time. I make the joke about having a 2 hour workday, but it’s true. Get really comfortable with change and pivoting. Whatever you think is going to be your reality is actually far from it. It’s a beautiful and terrifying thing. Learn to laugh at the chaos and lean into all that it is, and I promise you are going to be more productive than you ever thought you could be. You will be SHOCKED at just how much you can really get done in a short amount of time.
Lean into your kids current schedules and attitudes
For so long I tried to put my baby on my schedule and the way I wanted to do things. But that would blow up in my face. When I started to work around him, things felt easier and I could get more done. My son tends to be his happiest self in the morning after breakfast and before his nap. This is when I get the most independent play out of him. I use that time to get work done. But work that I can do with distractions and sound in the background. Answering emails, writing content copy, planning social media posts, etc.
Once he goes down for this nap, that is when I get my heaviest, most brain powering work done. Either writing out important copy or recording podcast episodes. This is the meat of my day and I usually only get 2 hours to do it. I limit my distractions during this time, avoid phone calls and scrolling randomly. And most importantly, I go into nap time with a plan. I never want to put my son down and waste that time by wondering what I should work on. Be very intentional and put that crucial time toward important stuff.
Alternating boss life and mom life
Prior to having kiddos, my day usually looked like waking up, immediately jumping into work until the evening and then stepping into my “wife roll”. AKA: laundry, cooking meals, cleaning the house, etc. I tried to maintain this schedule after having my son but found myself just being frustrated by what little I got done in the day. Turns out, your kids don’t like it when you just sit around at your desk all day. My son is much happier when I am busy moving around the house. This might come as a surprise, but I NEVER clean the house during nap time. Honestly, I would rather sit and watch a Netflix show than waste that time cleaning. Especially because as I move from room to room, so does my kid and he is just happier in general.
If I am at my computer trying to work and my son is having a meltdown and needs attention, I stop what I am doing and tend to him and try to find something else productive for myself to do. And then when he settles and I have a minute, I will go back and work on whatever it is I need to. Yes, it’s a flip flop all day long. And there are times where it drives me nuts, but it’s the best thing I have found to work for me.
My typical schedule for my 2 hour workday
5:30am – wake up, make my husband coffee and lunch for the day
6:00am – get myself dressed and ready, make the bed
6:45am – sit down at desk and come up with plan for the day, work on small, quick tasks, answer emails, etc.
7:15am – my toddler wakes up (this varies day to day)
7:30am – give him a bottle of milk, and turn on a show
7:35am – got feed the horses
8:00am – make us both breakfast
8:20am – clean up, and either go work some more or do household tasks (depending on his mood)
10:00am – take a break and play together, go outside, change up activity or scenery
11:30am – start making lunch (or snack)
11:45am – eat lunch/snack
12:00pm – my toddler goes down for his nap
12:15pm – start heavy brain powered workload
2:00pm – toddler wakes up from his nap
2:15pm – eat snack or lunch, and watch some more of a show
2:30pm – finish whatever work tasks I can for the day
3:00pm – work day is usually done, enter mom & wife mode (clean house, put stuff away)
4:00pm – start dinner
5:00pm – toddler eats dinner
6:00pm – my husband gets home and we eat dinner (this time very much varies day to day)
6:30pm – toddler gets a bath
7:00pm – my toddler gets a bottle and snuggles dad on the couch, mom cleans up dinner
7:30pm – bedtime for toddler
8:00pm – mom and dad watch a show
9:00pm – bed time for mom and dad
Time saving business tips for your 2 hour workday
When it comes to the mom stuff, I just squeeze it in wherever I can. Folding laundry on the bed while my son is in the kitchen pulling everything out of the cabinets. My life these days is basically just following him around and putting away his messes. Let you kids make a mess if that means you can get the stuff you need to do done.
As for the business stuff, I have some advice for that too.
- Use a content calendar (you can get mine here!)
- Have a main idea for the month on what your focus is going to be. Are you wanting to book a certain number of clients? Sell a certain type of product? (Be specific! Don’t just say “I want to make $1000 this month” go deeper. WHAT are you specifically going to sell and push to make that goal)
- Create all your content for the month around that goal. Use free value to push people toward your paid offer.
- Plan out talking points and captions for each week
- Schedule Facebook and Instagram content inside of Meta business suite. Yes you can schedule reels too!!
- Use a content resource membership like the Social Herd for done for you captions and templates to make the creation process even faster!
Being a mama is the most important job you have. So just remember that even if you only get a 2 hour workday, it will never compare to those moments you got to spend with you little one. You have to be a special breed of a women to be a stay at home mama AND a business owner. And I am so dang proud of you for all the things you are accomplishing. Even if it’s just showering that day. You’re doing great!
GET IN TOUCH: Podcast@SarahElrod.com
I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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