Last week, Rachel Cook shared what her Mama CEO day is like. This week, I’m honored to be a part of Racheal’s Biz that Loves You Back Blog Tour, which gives 30 real looks at what goes into building a business while living a life you love. If you love my Day in the Life of a Mama CEO, you’ll want to check out all the posts on this tour.
I love Racheal’s message with having a business that loves you back. Its something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I LOVE being a mom, and I am a mom first and foremost. But I also really love being a business owner. And most of all, I love that I don’t have to choose to be one or the other. I can be both, unapologetically, and that to me is a business that loves me back.
Yesterday Francesca Cervero shared her experience. Today, I’m pulling the curtain back on my own Mama CEO life and on building a business and a life I love.
A Day In My Mama CEO Life
My local coffee shop opens at 5:30 am, and two days a week, I’m there. My husband does the morning routine and drop offs those days, so I have a solid chunk of time until school pick up at 2 pm.
If I’m not at the coffee shop, I still squeeze in an hour of work before my kids wake up. On those days husband goes on a run or takes the dog on a walk and comes home with coffee.
That man knows the way to my heart!
I start my day by reviewing my master to do list for the week and my calendar for the day. Then I write out my daily to do list so I know exactly what I am working on based on the time I have.
Once the kids are up, we snuggle in bed or on the couch with cartoons (and I check social media from my phone) before getting ready to get out the door.
9 am – 12 noon
My prime ‘grade A’ time—when my brain is best and I have the least distractions—is from 9 am to noon. I do my most important tasks during this time and save the things that require less brain power for the afternoon.
Once a week, I go to a local co-working space. I LOVE the change of scenery. I’ve shifted my schedule so I don’t have any calls during that day, which gives me a large chunk of time to really dive into a project, like writing, course creation, or business planning.
I am HORRIBLE about stopping for lunch. My work day ends at 2pm and I don’t want to waste time eating. I started buying prepared salads so I can grab one from the fridge and get back to work. Otherwise, I end up with a second (or third) cup of coffee and a Kind bar. I know—not good.
I love getting to pick my kids up from school and hear about their day. They forget a lot of details by the time my husband comes home, and I get a more complete scoop on the day’s activities, who played with who on the playground, and what amazing thing happened.
When we get home from school, my kids usually want a snack and a cartoon. That’s when I straighten up the house and do the breakfast dishes (love that my husband has taken over the laundry). I am fiercely protective of my work time, that means no house work during my work day.
After a little down time, my kids either have baseball or dance class, or we go on a bike ride, play in the back yard, or run errands together. (I don’t use work time for errands either, which means my kids come along for groceries and other must do things.)
Because my husband does school drop off a couple of mornings a week, he often works a little later. On those nights, I feed the kids earlier and get homework started. We go out to eat almost every Friday night as a family. I love having that to look forward too all week (ahem..and have a mojito or a margarita!)
Since I get up so early, I am pretty much useless in the evening. I made a conscious choice not to work in the evening unless I am in the middle of a launch or the kids have had extra days off from school. I aim to be in bed between 9:30 and 10:30, and one night a week I make sure to go to bed at 9 pm to get a little bonus sleep. I love sleep. I. love. it.
Making it work: Big brain dump + super scheduling
Every Sunday I do a big braindump of EVERYTHING that needs to get done—things in my brain, on last week’s list, in a note on my phone, or in an email. The list can be overwhelming, but once I know what needs to get done, I can delegate, eliminate, and plan the rest for a specific day to make sure it all gets done.
When things break down
My husband teased me recently because I often say “this week is crazy, but then things will calm down.” But the truth is, every week is crazy. Once I admitted this, the systems actually seem to break down less.
Every week there is a random day off from school or someone is sick or a client needs extra help. Its always something, right? That is why I love having a detailed, realistic plan of what I need to do each day. If something happens, I know exactly what needs to get done in a different spot of time.
One Take-Away Tip
You can be a business owner, a mother, a wife, a friend and all the other hats you wear, but you can’t be everything to everyone all at the same time—and that is OK. I love the analogy of the plate spinner at the circus—give each area of your life some attention and then leave it to spin on its own while you give your other “plates” attention.
I spin my family plate by being available to my kids, attending their school performances, and volunteering in their classrooms. Then I turn to my business “plate.” Right now, that plate needs a little more attention, and I know more childcare is on my horizon—maybe somebody who does some assistant work for a few hours in my business and then picks up the kids—so that I can keep my “business plate” spinning.
Finding the rhythm that works for your business and family takes time. I’m still figuring some things out (like how to get 30 hours in with only 15 set hours of childcare), and I love hearing what works for other people. Can’t wait to see what Maggie Patterson has to share tomorrow!
What about you? Share in comments the tricks you use to squeeze a little more work out of the day (no guilt, extra cartoons here)—or why you choose not to. How do you keep all your plates spinning?
Megan this is so great and helpful to see! Our kids a little younger so we’re not quite dealing with the activities and homework full out yet so it’s helpful to hear how you’re managing that while being a mama CEO. Thanks for being a part of the blog tour!
Thank you so much for having me! I love your message and helping you spread it!
Thanks so much for your honesty and telling us how you get it done. From someone who is a few years behind you….it can be overwhelming, but I so appreciate it!
I feel like every new stage for my kids is a new stage for my business too!
Love both Racheal AND Megan, so it’s great to see you teaming up for this series!
Megan, wonderful glimpse into your typical days. So THAT’s how you squeeze it all in! I can totally relate to the not wanting to waste time eating mentality and find lunch breaks such a pain when I’m in the flow!
But unlike you, my kids don’t finish school until between 4-5pm, so I’ve realised that I NEED to take a proper screen break and eat away from my desk, listening to a Podcast to give my poor eyes a rest.
I even manage to squeeze a little bit of extra work in after they’re home, while they’re doing homework. Now that they’re 15 & 12 they don’t need me supervising them anymore. Hurrah!
I agree that the break is so needed. To be honest….I used to feel this way about showering too! I didn’t want to “waste” time showering during my kid free time, but now I use it mid day as a break and a chance to just think about things 🙂
Me too – I give myself about an hour before picking up my twins from school. Most days I go to the gym or take a walk in the park nearby. I need transition time!
5 AM wake up does it for me. Gives me a solid hour of alone time to get my day started before the crazy starts. I used to jump right in to the day’s craziness, but that made me, well, crazy lol. That hour in the morning helps put my mind in Head Chick In Charge mode!
Oh…Head Chick In Charge….I like that! Yes, the early morning thing was advice I got from a friend pre-kid. She said its allows her meet the day on her terms, not her kids.
I love this. What it REALLY looks like! I also like the idea of getting work done early in the day and not stopping for lunch. I feel like every week is crazy, too. I need to start doing the brain dump! Thanks for sharing your day.
I NEED to stop for lunch! Im trying to get better at that!!
I resonated with your notes about not doing housework or errands during business hours. It took me awhile to figure that out- scope creep is a tricky one! I think the key is to make sure there are other times blocked out to take care of everyday life tasks.
I was also interested to hear that you go to a coffee shop/ co-working space. That’s something I haven’t tried, but keep hearing about… something to think about. Thanks!
I am LOVING the co-working space. I actually get dressed and get out of my house and the space is lovely and inspiring! Totally check one out in your area. I also love the library for a change of scenery too. As much as I love coffee, coffee shops sometimes have slow internet and loud people 🙂 But they open early!
Wow this makes me feel less crazy for being a mompreneur LOL I have 5 kiddos ranging from 7-2 years of age. So I always have 3 kiddos at home with me. The way I work around their schedule is to wake up early around 430am to work till they wake up around 645am maybe 7am if I am lucky. Then I work their nap times which is a solid 2 hours and then I work night time from 8-11pm. It works right now for us and I can get everything done and plus no child care. I can be on my phone too since I work from social media so that is convenient as well but I always un-plug from 5pm-8pm.
Glad to see other moms with crazy schedules and still making it work!
Wow! I have a hard time doing early morning and late nights, but I agree that you do what works! I love that you have dedicated un-plugged time too, I need to implement that!
Thanks for sharing! Not too dissimilar from my own schedule, but I think I could tighten things up and focus more. My kids are older, and they homeschool, but are very self sufficient at this stage, and can even help out around the house. Homeschooling has been amazing for my biz as I don’t have to interrupt the day to drop off and pick up. You can have that homework time as your homeschool time. It works for us. Love reading how other people do this!
I agree! I love behind the scenes. I am inspired by moms who homeschool and run businesses!
You do a great job spinning plats Megan! I have to say that I finally figured out how to motivate my hubby to do pretty much all the house cleaning 🙂 He gets the money amount that’s on the popsicle stick “chore” and he likes winning (aka beating me)! For about $12.00/week I gained about 6 hours 🙂
oh my gosh…I love this!!!! I love that your hubby is on the chore game! That is awesome! I have to try that!