How I Balance Work, Family and Life: A Day in a Life Project
From the moment that I became a mother in 2010, I have never looked back. I thought, since I decided to stay at home, rather than pursue my career as a teacher, I might as well go all out- right? So that's when I decided to own my own graphic design and photography business while raising a family!
(You can see them here: www.marshallartsstudiophotography.com and www.studiomarshallarts.com)
Yes, I know that I'm crazy- okay, insane. I mean, I never went to school to do those things and I literally woke up one morning and said to my husband, "I want to do this."
You should have seen the look on my parent faces when I told them what I was going to do. Let's just say that the fancy, expensive degree that they paid so much money for is still in my attic- probably never to be seen again. Oops.
Little did I know what lay in store for me. I had to learn so much from basically YouTube- and my very supportive friends and husband were always my first guinea pigs for every crazy idea that I wanted to practice!
Then in 2013, I decided since I am was home already, I might as well homeschool- because I was already doing so many great things at home anyways- I might as well tell the state board of Education about it and have it count toward my kid's education!
Thus, began the great circus of my life. Constantly running around, answering emails at the park, working until 2 AM, most nights, getting up, and doing it all over again.
So, what does a typical day look like for me?
Let's just say that I haven't had the chance to use my alarm clock since 2010. My children are my little alarm clocks- either through crying, wetting the bed or both.
After some cuddles, we go downstairs to the living room while I try to finish my cereal and usually check my email while the kids play. I try to answer email and check my social media at that time. It's amazing how much you can get done in 20 minutes while the kids are eating.
At about 10AM, my kids are ready to get some energy out. Usually the park or another field trip like the zoo, or the aquarium is on the list. Yes, for discounted homeschool membership passes!
Field trips are a great way to unplug, not be on my phone, unless I absolutely must, and just play with the children. It's so easy to be in the "work" mindset at home since my office is right in the kitchen! But when I step away and go somewhere, I can just concentrate on them!
When we get home, usually one child (or both) is sleeping, so this is a good time to just spend with my oldest (the 6-year-old) and do some reading and school time together!
For me, it's not about the amount of time that we spend during "sit down" time, it's about the quality of time. I am constantly talking with her throughout the day about things around us. In fact, reading books in the car has really opened some interesting conversations and questions.
During this time, they also can have 30 - 45 of screen time. I try to not use it unless we have done all our reading and school time. We also need to have done our chores for the day. The screen is my biggest playing card and I need to use it wisely!
The good thing about limiting screen time for me personally is that I know since it's so special to them, they will be so concentrated on it for a good 30 mins! BOOM! Work time for me. This is good time for me to work on my etsy store or my society 6 designs for clients!
Now it's that time of the day when my husband comes home from work. He is a youth director at a church so he gets home at around 4 every day.
I am selfish and I love when my husband comes home too, because that means I get "ME" time. This usually means taking a walk, doing misc. work stuff, or just NOT changing ANOTHER diaper!
By the way, early on in my marriage- my husband and I discussed who was going to cook. I told him that I don't like to do it and he said that he likes meals from scratch so we have worked out a compromise- he cooks and I EAT! That's what makes a good relationship right there people!
After dinner clean up, the kids take time with him, either by playing outside, taking a bike ride, helping with dinner, or doing science time. This is one of their favorite parts of the day- building or creating something.
By 7, it's getting near the end of the day for us. The only things left are book time and getting ready for bed! We love book time- sitting all together and having my husband or myself read a few stories that the kids have picked.
By 8, we are brushing teeth and doing baths. Think GOD for two upstairs bathrooms, or bath time would take ALL night! Plus, we can divide and conquer to get the kids into bed sooner!
Our goal is having them be ASLEEP by 9 every night! Even though it's a lot of work and almost a two-hour process, it's worth it! Because at 9, (when I don't have work), hubby and I can watch our favorite TV show on Netflix (We are binge-watching "The Flash" now, but we love anything Marvel) or just read and and hangout- maybe even getting into the Nutella and make something that we don't want the kids to have!
If I do have work, then I usually working till 12 or LONGER! Sometimes I'll put an all-nighter to get things done with only running on 4 hours a sleep a night- especially during fall photo season or wedding season!
So, there you have it- a typical day of craziness, insanity, memory making and hoping to GOD that I can make it fun, enjoyable, and just plain MAKE it!
But I couldn't do anything without my partner-in-crime, my beard-loving, essential oil toting, iron chef husband who supports me in every way!
Marshall Arts Studio is a Photography and Graphic Design Team in Chesapeake, VA.
We serve families, students and couples with amazing images that will be cherished forever. We would love to work with you! Contact us below to get in touch with us!
Also, 10% of our proceeds goes to building fresh water wells in South East Asia through our Water. Life. Love. Project. Check out the details here: www.waterlifelove.com.
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