Babies & Business : A Day in the Life of a Work at Home Mom

Recently a few people have contacted me inquiring about how I'm managing 'Babies & Business'.  Some have little ones of their own already, and some were thinking about the future.  While I (unfortunately) don't have any great answers or magic solutions, I shared what is working for me.  If you have a baby, you will know that as soon as I write this and hit publish, baby will inevitably change and my schedule will be completely thrown....but I digress.

[ETA - Life got in the way and I never ended up scheduling this post to run (shocker), then Jen approached me and some other WAHMs (work at home mom) about our daily routines and so not only do you get to read about my day, you can also read about all of theirs!  Links are all at the end of the post :) ]
In its most basic form, my days are broken down in the following way : (in an effort to 'keep it real' all pictures in the post were taken from my very real, everyday iPhone photos)

6:30 AM - Caroline wakes up.  My husband gets up with her, changes her diaper and brings her to me for 'breakfast' while he takes a shower.  After breakfast, she goes downstairs with my husband for 30 minutes or so while he gets ready for work, and I get ready for the day and glance at my email for an items that would require an immediate response.
WAHM-Cthis is Caroline, she has to wear big bows because she has little (and blond) hair and everyone thinks she is a boy otherwise

7:30 AM - My husband leaves for work and Caroline and I play or read for a bit until she is ready for her first nap of the day (almost exactly 2 hours from when she gets up, although it varies).  When Caroline is awake I try to devote my time solely to her, although she is honestly very good at entertaining herself and I will answer an email or two while she is in her jumper or otherwise occupied.

8:30 to 10:30ish - Caroline naps.  I start my 'work day', by responding to emails, checking site stats from the day before, and then starting on design work.  This is usually when I try to complete my daily chore as well, but now that 'Wedding Season' is here - that happens less and less as my workload increases.
a dedicated shipping & packing station keeps me organized and efficient

10:30 - 1:30ish - Caroline wakes up and we usually get ready to go to do our daily activity.  Monday & Friday we run errands and schedule appointments, Tuesday we go to Little Gym, Wednesday we go swimming at a local pool & grocery shopping, and Thursday we have a rotating play date with her friends.  She loves watching other babies and looking at the lights in the ceiling of the grocery store, so I think this is really the highlight of her day :)  While we are out we often stop off at my local printer's office to either pick up order or approve proofs.

1:30 - 3:30ish - Get back into Business Mode with emails and design work.  This is usually the time when I print and process small orders (I outsource printing for large orders, letterpress items, and some smaller non-paper items - like iPhone cases).

3:30ish - Caroline is up again and we usually walk the dog to the post office downtown to ship orders, weather permitting.  If the weather is unpleasant (because we do live in New England) we drive, and I secretly thank whoever invented drive-through post-office boxes.  As a somewhat crazy side-note mail is often delivered to our house 3 to 4 times a day.  USPS Priority comes in the morning, followed by Fed Ex, then regular USPS Mail and finally UPS.
WAHM_postofficeSUPER HELPFUL : drive-through post-office outside, 24/7 mailing inside (amazing) - and a stroller with a huge basket

4ish - When we get back, I start dinner and Caroline gets her jump on in this brilliant baby distraction for ~20 minutes.  After dinner is in the oven, we play together until her dad gets home.

5:15ish - Hubs gets home and plays with Caroline until dinner is ready.  If things are still cooking, I'll do another quick round of email.  Usually by 6:15 we have eaten (we eat together, at a real table, as a family - something that definitely didn't happen before Caroline was born!) and I clean up the kitchen while my husband gets her ready for bed.

By 7pm Caroline is in bed.  During the busy, 'Wedding Season' I head back to work for another few hours, usually until 8 or 9.  This time typically involves processing orders from the day, making a list of everything I need to do the next day and other business related tasks.  I try to only read and answer emails during my office hours (M-F, 8:30-5:00) and use the time at night and weekends to grow and promote my business.

10pm - My husband and I head to bed and I feed Caroline once more before going down for the night.

We have bad days.  We have days where the house is a mess, dinner does not get cooked and there is a minefield of toys and clothes scattered across the floor.  We have wine for days like this.

Caroline is a priority in my life, but my business is also a priority, my clients are a priority.  Sometimes when Caroline wakes up from her naps I wait 5 minutes to finish whatever I'm doing before I go up and get her (I promise this is not neglect, she wakes up very happy and talks to herself in her crib - if she happens to be crying it means she is still tired and will likely have fallen back asleep before 5 minutes are up).  Sometimes, I check emails while nursing and am the mom who checks her email at play dates, I'm not answering these emails or constantly on my phone, just occasionally take a mental inventory of what needs to be done when I get home.  I'm sure some people will judge me for not devoting 100% of my attention to my daughter 100% of the time, but working from home is what allows me to be here with her at all - if I have to take 2 minutes to check my email, I will - and that doesn't in any way make me a 'bad mom'.  Being a work-at-home-mom means my work/life boundaries are very blurred.  I know I am far from perfect, but we are making it work.

Check out how the other ladies handle their days below!

Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book

I was recently invited to join Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book!  I have been obsessed with Style Me Pretty since planning my own wedding back in 2009.  They consistently put out trend-setting inspiration full of gorgeous details for weddings and have also recently expanded to include equally delightful Home & Living Inspiration!  Their Little Black Book of vendors is an exclusive selection of 'the best of the best' and I am excited and honored to be included among them! You can check out my full profile HERE.


Improper Bostonian Feature

Back in October, Lindsey from the Improper Bostonian contacted me about my Finn invites.  She was sourcing items for a series of wedding inspiration shoots for their annual wedding issue and thought Finn would be a perfect fit for an Anothony Massullo inspired wedding (think bright and fun).  I changed up the color scheme and patterns a bit to complement the artist's paintings and sent them off! The feature can be seen online here and if you are local to Boston you can see the full spread on page 43.  Special thanks to Lindsay for including me in the feature!

Exciting News ....

Be forewarned, this is going to be a tease, I’m just too excited to keep my mouth zipped tight any longer.

I’m rebranding!

The website still needs a few tweaks here and there before we can officially unveil, but let’s just say there are lots of exciting new products and we have been working hard to incorporate a shopping cart directly into the site making ordering your favorite products a whole lot easier.

To tide you over here is a snippet from the intro post :

Two years ago, when I started this business I could not fathom the idea of how both myself and my life would change with the addition of this little venture.  Like many businesses starting out I quickly conceived the name ‘4th&Folded’ one weekend, eager to put myself out there and capture my first customer.

Regretfully, I have never been attached to it like I should be. I’m very passionate about my business, about creating and design, and feel that I should be equally passionate about the name that stands for it. I knew I wanted my new brand to be more of a reflection of myself, based on nothing more than everything I love and what I want to stand behind. After much deliberation, I have decided that 4th&Folded will be no more, and in its place will stand ………

Sorry for holding out on you, but I couldn't give away EVERYTHING ;)

photo by Meredith Perdue

Stay tuned for more details soon!