A Day in the Life…Homeschooling & Working with a Baby

Since I get the question “How do you do it all?” often, I thought I would give you a glimpse into a normal day in our home. I say this not with false humility but in all seriousness: right now I don’t feel like I’m getting anything done, and that’s with my husband home full time and three really great helpers. I’m doing my best to be okay with that, but as an INTJ, I miss getting things checked off my list!

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{7:15am} Still trying to get on a regular morning routine. Baby boy’s going through a growth spurt and woke up to nurse at 5:30 rather than his usual 7. I just couldn’t convince myself to get up, so I went back to sleep while he nursed and then we got some snuggles in before the sun came up!

By far, the hardest part of having a new baby for me is missing out on my early morning hours. I would happily get up at 4 or 5am every morning, but because I’m determined not to mess up the success we’ve had in “sleep training” (I say that loosely, because I’m mostly following his lead!), I spend a lot of the early morning hours retrieving Jackson’s paci for him. Because I know sleep is important for my sanity too, that means I’m sleeping in as long as he’ll let me, which is usually around 7am.

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{8:00am} A friend invited me to join her group for this session of GoodMorningGirls.org, and I’m really excited about the accountability and format of this Bible study! {I didn’t get signed up until Monday night, so that’s why I’m already behind, lol!}

Although I almost said no to joining this study (because the last thing I need is one more thing on my to-do list!), I decided that the format was perfect for getting back into the habit of regular Bible study, and so I signed up on Monday. I’m committed to doing it first thing each morning during the week, and so far I’ve been able to wake up and pop Jackson’s paci in one last time while I do it. It takes me 20-30 minutes, which seems like a realistic amount of time to set aside each day during this season!

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{8:15am} Little man woke up, so I got him changed and the nursed him again. In the meantime, the girls woke up and came downstairs to start working on crafts and Legos. Then the chorus of “Can I hold him?” began, so our oldest is holding him while I work on writing my to-do list for the day!

While we’re not on a strict schedule, our mornings do follow a fairly predictable routine. Either before or after he nurses (depending on whether it’s his first feeding or he’s already eaten), I get Jackson changed and ready for the day. This gets me off my butt and moving because otherwise I could become permanently attached to my seat on the couch. Baby boy is usually really happy during this part of the day, so it’s a great time for the girls to hold him, which gives me time to get something done as well!

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{8:30am} Got a load of laundry folded while I waited for my tea kettle to whistle. The girls are using their 20 mins of Wii time while Sean makes breakfast, and I’m going to attempt to finish today’s post and answer a few emails!

While I used to be on top of the laundry, it’s pretty much out of control at this point. I do my best to get caught up at least once a week, but I’ve given up hope of staying on to of it! But folding laundry while my tea kettle heats up is a great way to at least make a little progress.

I also used to try really hard to have my first post of the day up at 8am sharp, but I’ve learned to be flexible with that time and just get it up at some point during the morning (as evidenced by this post, which still isn’t ready at 10am!).

Note, too, that I’m not even responsible for preparing most of our meals, a blessing I don’t take lightly. Normally I do dinner, but right now Sean’s even handling that meal so that I can focus on the baby, work and homeschooling.

After breakfast, the girls started on their schoolwork. This is a light week for us because my grandmother was visiting and our oldest had a friend spend the night on Sunday night, and we ended up calling Tuesday a snow day as well, but we’re still doing the basics since we took off quite a bit of time between Jackson’s birth and the holidays!

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{10:15am} Time for language arts with the big girls {my favorite!} while our kindergartener does her math! The baby’s in the sling and the 4yo is Lego-ing.

Thankfully, I was able to get my post done and emails answered, but Jackson didn’t stay happy in the swing for long, so he ended up in the Boba Wrap. After I finished my post, I called the girls over for language arts. They do most of their schoolwork independently, but language arts is the one subject I love to teach.

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{11:15am} Read alouds while I nurse the baby.

We read for about a half hour each day. Although I always imagined we’d read more than that, it’s hard for me to fit in much more in a regular day, but the girls listen to lots of audio stories as well.

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{11:50am} My hubby and I are both doing the 7-Minute Workout. He’s been doing it for about 10 days and LOVES it (he does it twice in a row every day). I started yesterday and I’m SO sore, but I’m getting my 7 minutes in before my shower anyway!

I know they say that anyone can make time for exercise if they want to, but it’s just not a high enough priority for me to set aside another 30-60 minutes during the day. That said, I need to do something now that I’m in my 30s and my metabolism has given up, and Sean and I are both really excited about this 7-minute workout trend. I downloaded an iPhone app, and it literally takes me just 7 minutes to complete the workout before my shower. And I am so sore, so I’m feeling pretty good about this being a good exercise routine for me right now!

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{12:30pm} Sippin’ an almond-banana smoothie and rocking this guy to sleep while my hubby makes lunch.

One thing I’m being really cautious about is not just passing off Jackson to willing hands when he’s not nursing because I know I will miss these snuggles, and I want to soak them up as much as I can. To be honest, this was the part of the day where my interrupted sleep over the past few nights caught up with me, and I was beyond grumpy and irritable, so the snuggle time was good for me too!

After they ate lunch, the girls headed to their rooms for afternoon quiet time. We’ve actually gotten pretty loose about the quiet time requirements, so they’ll often play in pairs as long as they’re getting along and playing quietly. And the 4yo plays best when she’s in the kitchen or family room with me (but without her sisters), so that’s where she ends up most days.

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{4:45pm} Man…fussy baby, tired mama means we’ve just been cuddling. I did drink my afternoon tea, and Jackson’s now sleeping in his swing after nursing again, so let’s hope I can tackle some of this to-do list!

I hate getting back to work at the time of day when the workday should be ending, but it is what it is right now! I managed to get a few more things checked off my list, including some progress on the new Life Your Way site, so that felt good.

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{6:15pm} Life is rough when you’re 3 months old.

Jackson ended up back in the sling again during dinner. Afterward, the girls watched a half hour of TV, while I got in some after-dinner work time.

Baby boy usually naps in his swing for one nap and in the sling twice. I’ll worry about transitioning him to naps in the crib at some point, but right now he needs to be upright because of his reflux anyway, and I enjoy having him close.

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{7:00pm} We finally finished our Christmas thank you cards! Addressing them right now just so I can get *something* checked off my list!

After TV time, I had the girls finish signing their Christmas thank you cards while I addressed the envelopes so that we could finally get these sent.

They then headed off to brush their teeth, change into pajamas and then read or craft quietly in their beds until they fell asleep. Sean heads up to tuck the big girls while I snuggle with our 4yo in our bed. {He’ll carry her up to her bed once she’s asleep, but we find that this works better so that she gets the extra hour or so of sleep that she needs.}

Day in the Life of a Working, Homeschooling Mom

{8:45pm} Okay, who taught my baby to make duck lips?!

Our evenings pretty much consist of nursing, playing and cuddling until about 11pm. Sean and I really enjoy this time with Jackson because he’s happy and alert and we don’t have to share him!

So there you have it…a pretty typical day in the Ehman household. I think I probably only got a fraction of my to-do list checked off (and I was fairly conservative with what I even put on the list!), and my only “chore” for the day was to fold a load of laundry.

I can’t remember how I got any work done when the other girls were babies, but I wasn’t homeschooling then, so I imagine that’s a big part of it!

What’s your best tip for getting things done with an infant in the house?

Mandi Ehman is the blogger behind Life Your Way. She and her husband have four beautiful girls plus one baby boy, and together they live, work and homeschool on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Mandi loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.