All of us working moms know that the after school hustle is real. Call it witching hour, or call it whatever you like but those precious hours starting when you get home from pick up or the bus pulls away from your house, until bedtime can be a little nutty. Especially if you are in a season of small or school aged kids. So, I’ve found a few things that have been pretty helpful in managing the potential stress and chaos.
WHAT IS TIME BLOCKING?
Ok, I’m sure you get the concept of what this is, though I’ll admit when I first heard about this concept, I binged watched every youtube video I could find. I was enamored by the idea.
THINK ABOUT BLOCKING OUT THE HOURS OF YOUR DAY LIKE WHEN YOU WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL.
Yes, really!! Remember when the bell would ring, and you would pack up your Geometry books and head off to Art? Then after the bell rang for art, you would pack up your supplies and head to English? You get the point…
Instead of doing ONE MILLION THINGS at a time, you were laser focused during that particular block of time.
(Having trouble with this video? Try watching it here instead)
So what would it look like to block out your time as a working mom? Well we could talk about a lot of different parts of the day right now, but…
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE AFTERNOON BLOCK
This is potentially the hardest and most freeing block of time for me personally, when I adhere to my time blocking schedule.
I pick up my daughter from school at 3pm, and then by 4pm my son is home off the bus. I also have a 2 year old who somewhere in there is waking up from her nap. So how does time blocking work? I have an alarm on my phone that is set every Monday-Friday at 4pm that says “kids home/evening block”.
That alarm serves as a reminder for me to put my phone AWAY for the next 3ish hours.
I know what you are thinking, “Wynne that is so hard! I do a lot of business during that block!” And I totally hear you, and I understand. I’m just here to say that there’s a lot more productivity that can happen when you aren’t screaming at your kids “just one more minute” and getting so frustrated with them because they are “interrupting you”. I know y’all get it, the struggle is real.
What if instead of multitasking and trying to help with homework, cook dinner, be present with your spouse, play with your kids AND work at the same time…
What if you shut down the temptation to work during that block, set up a healthy boundary, and gave yourself permission to be present?
I have found this to be extremely helpful both in my resting and my producing. I fill myself up on kitchen dance parties, cooking dinner, and looking my kids in the eyes so once bed time rolls around, everyones tanks are full. You know what happens next right, the next alarm goes off!
Be present wherever you are or with whatever you are working on, while still being the badass #momboss that you are.
Me/us time/work block rings and with our mind and bodies, we move onto the next block of time. I promise that little “rest” of your mind from your work tasks onto your family will only give you the mental capacity you need to move onto your next big task or project!
If you want to see what the rest of my day looks like (time-blocking wise anyway), check out the photo below.
This one (and the image used above) are the actual alarm reminders I use each and every day!
5:12am DO NOT CHECK SOCIAL MEDIA OR EMAIL
6:21am Get Camp up! You got this!!!
6:55am Bus is coming!!!!
fast forward to evening
4:00pm All Kids Home/Evening Block (i.e. PUT PHONE AWAY)
7:30pm Kids Bedtime/Me/Us Time Block
9:30pm Shut it down (phone), Read, and Sleep
I can’t wait to hear your stories and see how you make this your own.
WRITTEN BY WYNNE ELDER: PHOTOGRAPHER, WRITER, ENCOURAGER, & COMMUNITY BUILDER.