Are you a working mother just trying to figure out how to stay above water?
Possibly interested in making extra money with a side hustle and just don’t know how.
How is it possible to work full time, have kids, and still be productive or make time for extra income?
As a working mom, there is already so much to do. And the complexity of maintaining order and balance just seems impossible.
For grade school kids, you have after-school activities, homework, chores, parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, quality time, discipline, and sports physical.
For the little ones, there is constant night-time wake-ups, immunization, bedtime routines, nursing, picky eater, and dreadful daycare drop-offs.
The problem is, time is limited, but the lifestyle for financial freedom needs to change.
Regardless of your situation if you want to make a change, then you have to make time.
Here are brave moms willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. They are also packed with helpful strategies that make things work for them.
Once you finish, you should be able to understand you are not alone, feel motivated, and figure out a schedule that works for you to make your life easier.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Interview questions (moms answered some of the following questions)
- What is one thing you can’t live without because it makes life so much simpler?
- How many kids you have?
- What time do you wake up?
- What is a typical day?
- What Tips and Tricks do you have for Mom Life?
The Working Mom with A Side Hustle
1- Julie fromThe Fab Working Mom Life
I set everything out the night before because I’m useless in the morning.
We wake at 7 am usually and try to get H to preschool by 8:30 so I can get to work by 9. But often that turns into 9/930, and it’s not a big deal as long as I don’t have meetings at a set time. I work in consulting, so I have to make my hours and charge my hours appropriately.
I leave typically by 5:30/5:45 to get to daycare pickup right before close. And I try not to run errands in the evening because the 3yo doesn’t cooperate.
We’re usually home by 6:45/7pm. Hubby is usually home much later, so that’s when my kid runs around crazy and plays his songs and eats, and I work on my blog.
I often get a few small blog-related tasks done between projects at work during the day, too, and when I eat lunch.
I like to crockpot cook in bulk, so I only have to cook a couple of times a week and the rest as leftovers.
Bedtime is around 9, but usually, my son is still jumping on his bed way past 10 pm. If it’s a shower night, I might be in bed by 11 pm.
2- Alyssa fromPlan Like A Mom
I’ve got a job and two businesses 🤦🏼♀️
Coaching + then I take tech/web development clients per referral. Don’t need to market that side of things as I’m fully booked, and long-term will be slowing it down.
This is my newly tweaked as my oldest son just wrapped up his soccer season, so we’re in the in-between before basketball starts.
I’ll also have you know this has been a HUGE work in progress over the last several years, and I did NOT get here overnight.
I got here by focusing on being a little bit better every day. This isn’t every day to a T, but it is most days.
My days where I don’t sleep because kiddos ( 9, 4, 2) are up, the 5-8a looks very different, and I just do what I can, but I know I’m going to have 1-2 mornings a week like that, so I plan projects and deadlines accordingly.
5-8/ Personal + Business time. Quick workout, bible reading, journaling & plan day. Then into whatever business projects for the day.
8-9:30/ Get younger two ready (oldest walks out to the bus right at 8), and commute in (50 minutes and I’ve grown to love it). I use this time to get in the best headspace for the workday. Either listening to Christian music, NF, or catching up with business buddies on Voxer / Marco Polo or touching base with my coach.
9:30-11:30/ AM focus at the 9-5.
11:30-12:30 or 1/ Break for lunch and on the best days I take a 20 min nap. This pause in my day keeps me as productive as possible at the 9-5, so I don’t feel the need to bring anything home in the evening.
1-5:30 / 9-5 work
5:30-6:20 – Evening commute. This is often always chatting with business buddies through Voxer/Marco Polo.
6:30-9: Family dinner and whatever activity for evening depending on the day. One day a week, we always have a date night. Soccer season we had two nights that were practices which have just now been freed up.
Also getting kiddos to bed. I’m really craving some better/absolute routines for the kiddos as they aren’t sleeping as consistently anymore. Tooootally annoying but I think this can help.
Saturday is often a day of sports and more “relaxed” work on the business. We go to service in the evening as we serve on Sundays.
Monday/Wednesday night: We’re gonna start going to our Y so my husband can work out again. He leaves for work at 6 am and can’t get to the gym early enough. My oldest and I are going to either swim or do some basketball practice. The toddlers will go to the play area.
Tuesday/Friday: Chill! My favorite and I often read while kiddos are playing.
Thursday: Date night!
Saturdays we often are hanging out with extended family every other weekend. Sundays right now are chill + football after service.
TIP: Rest is critical to ensure I get 90 minutes of focused work a day on my business. I’m learning rest doesn’t always mean quality sleep either.
Check out her What’s your productivity personality?
I’m up at 530, kids up at 630, oldest dresses and feeds himself, youngest I change his diaper and get him dressed and let him run around while I get him milk and a snack. Then while he eats I get my bag together, grab the shoes, jackets and out the door by 650.
Then I drop him off at daycare. My hubby makes sure the oldest catches the bus at 730.
I get off work at 430 and then pick up the baby. Then pick up my oldest from his after-school program.
I take care of any errands (like today to Wal-Mart to pick up my groceries ordered online last night) come home cook dinner, then we do homework with the oldest.
While kids have free time, I clean up dinner, do dishes, and some other small chores.
Then I work on my side biz in luxury skincare its New company about to hit 12 weeks.
By 7 pm, it bath time for the youngest every two days. Finally, its bedtime at 8 pm and I use the time to relax and get my stuff ready for the next day.
Work on my biz if I didn’t have time earlier. And head to bed between 9 and 10.
I always focus on the goal, the why I am doing it. I also remind myself not to beat myself up with the fact that there are times I may not be able to work my biz as I want and that’s okay because it’s my side hustle.
4- Julie from The Bossy House
I’m a school principal during the day and a new blogger after bedtime. I’m also a single mom which means I have hardly any time where I’m not with either my job or my child. I have a part-time babysitter that takes my daughter to school and picks up since our schedules don’t align.
The sleep situation is less than ideal. I go to bed around midnight because I’m a night owl and my daughter is an early riser– like at 5. We still co-sleep so… usually I can get her to go back to sleep until 6:30 when I WANT to get up. 🙂
I leave the house at 7 am when the babysitter arrives. She helps my daughter get lunch packed, dressed, and teeth brushed, then drives her to school by 8:30. Then she picks her up at 4:00 and does park time. We meet at home at 5.
Can’t live without THE BABYSITTER :).
HACK: We do a lot of communicating on a physical wipe-off schedule right in the entry of my house. (That’s where I indicate if her dad is in town and what days he might pick up, which nights I’ve already arranged her to babysit, or what time I’ll be home).
ORGANIZE: On Sundays, I write in the schedule for the week. I’m able to keep most weeks very similar, so I like to dedicate certain days for certain types of things. (On Tuesday, I go from work to the gym. On Wednesdays, I work late, and the babysitter takes my daughter to gymnastics, etc.).
I also was able to get my job to allow me to take off 5 hours a week (in exchange for WAY more than that of work at home) so I could have two chunks of time during the week where I was off work early or went in late. This has been a lifesaver! I can do the errands that I don’t want to have my daughter along, I can get a chore done at home that is impossible to do with a toddler in the house, or I can just actually have some alone time before she gets home from school.
My tip would be to schedule babysitter time (or switch with the other parent), so you can have a few hours of alone time on the weekends. WITHOUT GUILT. I’m a much better fun mom on Saturday afternoon if I’ve had three hours to weed the yard without interruption or read my book or write a blog post. Whatever restores you.
5- Britnee from Desert Mermaid Services
I am still working on getting a schedule in place because my kids are 3 & 4 so I still have to work around them. But I try to do things in roughly the same time of day.
So typically school/personal development first half of the day. Business work/client work in the second half of the day.
Kids wake up about 7 (I’m still trying to get up before them, but it doesn’t work that way) and eat breakfast and watch Paw Patrol. I’m spending the time trying to wake up fully myself.
Hubs is home at 8, and we all spend some time with him before he lays down for the day (he works 3rd shift).
While the kids are playing with each other/educational apps on their tablets, I am setting up my “office” for the day.
If it is a school workday, then I’m reading assignments and working on notes. If it is personal development more of the same honestly except something geared towards my business, so marketing or copywriting.
Around 12ish, kids transition to taking a nap and depending on how I’m feeling I either nap myself or move to focus more on my business. So I am sketching ideas for graphic design clients or drafting posts for social media management clients.
Most of the afternoon into the evening is spent working on either client work or things on my business side, such as my website or posts on social media for my business.
The kids are in bed at 7 (though sometimes not asleep until about nine but it gives them a chance to decompress and ask me questions ) Mind you while doing school, business, etc. I am still interacting with my children, answering questions helping them if they need it, preparing food and feeding them.
My kids do a lot of free play and coloring. I have my husband’s bag packed with food and anything he might need by the time he leaves at 8 pm.
From 8p to 11p, I try to wrap anything up that I didn’t finish during the day and have some unwind time myself.
My days don’t always work out this way. Some days I’m so sick that I’m lying on the couch while my kids play around me, and I try to accomplish something once they are in bed. I am working on improving it’s just setting schedules and keeping with them along with battling chronic illness.
6- Sasha from Life Carousel
My kids are 8, 10, and 12, so easier than babies, but I still have activities, sports, homework, etc. I start work at 6.30am, so we are up at 5 am. We’re all home by 4 pm.
So I do homework etc. until about 5. Cook dinner and then from about 7 pm to 9 pm is my blogging time while the kids play.
We’re all in bed around 9 pm.
Weekends are crazy. Sometimes I can get 5+ hours of blogging a day, other times I get none.
ORGANIZE: I just make sure I have a plan of what I’m going to work on, so I don’t waste time. I have a 3-day rotating schedule. Day 1 is research and drafting a post. Day 2 is writing the post. Day 3 is edit, images, and promote the post. If I have free time after that, then I work on other things (like making new pins, editing old posts, etc.).
Wake up at 6:15 to do a little yoga and get a jump start on my own stuff.
My toddler (3) wakes up at 7 to Snuggle, which makes us late. She has a “breakfast snack” and watches PBS kids while I finish getting ready as single mom TV helps.
I rush to get out of the house that usually includes me getting frustrated with her in order to get her to daycare by 8:15 or 8:30 depending on if I have a meeting at work. My commute to work is for 2 minutes.
After work I pick her up between 4:30 and 5. Then we run one errand or do something fun. When I get home around 6, I quickly whip up dinner. Followed by TV/snuggle time or play. Bedtime is at seven which usually takes 45 min. I take my shower and work until 10 pm.
I teach yoga as my side hustle on Tuesday afternoons, and she goes to dancing class with family friends, and I pick her up there. Yoga helps me to stay sane.
Make a big meal on Sundays and live off of leftovers and easy meals all week.
8- Emily Lawrence
I’m an engineer for my day job, worked full time for ten years until the LO was born, who is two years old. So no longer A baby, just MY baby.
And I wake up at or before the baby. The hubs gets up earlier and makes coffee and breakfast. He’s a keeper (also full time, also an engineer).
I work Monday, Wednesday, Friday at my 9-5.
Tuesday/Thursday I’m with my LO doing activities with other littles and their moms and cranking on my business in the morning at my AWESOME co-working space that has onsite childcare.
Check out her co-working space in the image below!!
The Working Mother without the Side Hustle Creating Balance
Starts her day at 5 with Bible study and Crossfit at 6.
She gets ready for work from 7 to 7:30. Then wakes up kids and follow their routines.
I make lunches while they eat breakfast. And leave the house at around 8:20 after my son gets on the bus. Then its time to drop my daughter off at daycare.
Then I am in the office by 9. I leave work at 5 to pick up kids, and we are all home at 6.
They eat leftovers from the night before while I do some cleaning, check backpacks, do school paperwork, and cook dinner.
By seven they are playing on their own, and my husband is home by 8.
That’s the time I eat dinner and then either chill or get some work done or do house stuff.
HACK: I usually plan out each week what I will do each evening (like I pick a night each week to do my volunteer work as an example).
My evening routine starts at 8:30. I clean and reset the house (kitchen, etc.), wash face, etc. I then read for about 20 min, and then my husband tucks me in after we have a chat about our days.
Lights out for me are by 9:30 at the latest, and my husband does the bedtime routine.
Also, I usually have one day that I work from home or work a half a day and make up the hours. I am happy with having flexibility between work and life.
My whole life is run on Trello so that is probably the one thing that I would be lost without.
10- Carrie Blair
I wake up early between 5-5:30 and workout. My workouts! Can’t live without them. After that, everything seems doable. It sets my day on the right foot! My son is at the bus stop at 7:40. Drop the other child at daycare around 8:45.
Then, I have a long commute 45mins – 1 hr, so I don’t get to work until 9:30/10 so I’m not home until 7:30. That part is killing me. I eat a few bites of dinner while I put the kids to bed and then go to bed myself around 9/9:30.
I work for a bank, closing loans for HUD-insured care facilities. This industry is very remote.
I go to the office once a week from 7:30-4. The other four days I work from home 8:30-4:30, no lunch break. Those for days, I also work out in the basement. Not having to get to work until 8:30, 4 days a week has been amazing.
For the days I report to the office, I try to get a walk-in during the day.
I drop my 2-year old off at daycare at 7 am the one day I work from the office. The other four days, my husband does drops offs at the same time. I do all the pickups.
12- Michelle Hiser
I am up by 6:00 to hopefully get a little ME time in (stretch, floor exercises). The kids are up between 6:30/7:00.
We are out the door by 8:15 and I drop off one at kinder at 8:30. Then I go across town to drop the other off at preschool by 8:45 before I head to work.
My husband does pick up and afternoon routine.
I get home about 4:30 and then cook dinner, the evening routine with kids and set up for the next day. The kids are in bed by 8:00. I will then work a little, watch a show with hubby or whatever else needs to be done and am in bed by 9:00.
I could not live without my housekeeper!
13- Dianne King
I make dinner a big meal on Sunday for Monday and Tuesday. I will use the crockpot to make a meal or soup during the week. We will have spaghetti, tacos for Weds and Thurs., and anything on Friday.
I buy prechopped onion, celery, shredded lettuce, and cheese so I can make dinner fast. I also meal prep to save time during the school week. I need more time to focus on homework and kids activities.
The kids get their things together the night before for morning. Otherwise, there are meltdowns from lost socks, underwear, bus cards, or house keys. Everything ends up magically missing.
Now that the kids are teens, I wake up at 7 am.
TIP: When they were little, I actually bought a cookbook called the working stiff cookbook. I would cook meals for the week and froze some meals. The book came with meal plans and shopping lists. A few meals I made with beef was meatloaf in muffin tins, burgers, tacos, sloppy joe. Then for chicken, it was soup, salad, enchiladas, chicken Alfredo, sandwiches.
We are up by 615-630am.
The 11 and 12 yr old are on the bus by 7 am. They are old enough to get themselves ready, but I usually help with breakfast or feeding the dog.
I check emails while waiting for the bus. Then once they are on the bus, I take a shower, get myself ready, and wake the preschooler. I help him get ready (he usually just jumps in the shower with me).
I drop my preschooler off around 815, then have a 45min commute to the office. During that time, I make phone calls to schedule Dr appts, etc. Or listen to conference calls during the drive.
My usually shift is 9-530. On days I have to run kids places, I leave earlier around 430. And on the other nights without plans, I make up my time working later. I can also WFH on days I don’t need to be in the office for an in-person meeting, so that helps too.
My evenings routine varies from week to week.
Example: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, we are now starting my son in occupational therapy near my office. This means my husband may have to do daycare pickup. Thursdays are basketball and soccer practice.
Tuesdays are a wildcard… Sometimes I schedule networking dinners or events. I might schedule Dr. appts like I have this week, or I might get my nails done after work. If I find myself driving home alone, this is when I make phone calls over Bluetooth to catch up with family or one of my best friends during the drive.
We are usually home from all this at 730, start dinner, homework, baths (hubby and I divide and conquer usually). Try to get the kids in bed by 9-930, but let’s be honest, it’s usually 10 pm. Clean up the kitchen, fold laundry, do paperwork, or plan next days madness with hubby until 11 pm.
Go to bed. Don’t sleep because I’ve been on the go all day, and, haven’t had a chance to relax or wind down. Play on my phone or watch TV while hubby snores. Start to maybe fall, asleep around 1 am, but get woken up by 4 yr old crawling into bed with me. Finally fall asleep, maybe by 2 am. Wake up at 615am, repeat.
Automate and outsource whenever affordably possible.
Amazon Subscribe and Save for paper goods and dry goods (laundry soap, Dishwashing pods, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, etc.). All my bills are automated, so I don’t even have to think about them. I finally succumbed to hiring a cleaning lady. I still have to clean daily, but at least now I’m not spending my weekends mopping floors, dusting, and scrubbing bathrooms.
6 am, wake up, snuggle with my preschooler, get him dressed for the day, make and eat breakfast, play
7 am wake my husband, shower, get ready for work
8 am leave for work
9 am arrive at work; 5 pm leave work;
6 pm arrive home, play with the kiddo, feed him;
7 pm start getting kiddo ready for bed (books, snacks, brush teeth, pajamas, bed)
my husband usually cooks dinner while I do bedtime routine or right afterward;
8 pm, eat dinner with husband in front of the T.V. and/or catch up on our day
10 pm is bedtime.
I make a meal plan once a month and do grocery shopping online once a week, my husband is a SAHD so sometimes he runs out to get things we’re out of. I use our local grocery chain because they have their own app.
I oversee corporate/foundation/government fundraising for a major theater company in Chicago. My job actually requires a lot of hours outside of 9-5 as well (working events, board meetings), which is why grocery shopping online and having a mostly non-working spouse is critical to my sanity!
My schedule is different in the summer than in the winter.
My hubby works days in the summer, so I am up at 6:30 to get ready for work. Get my twins up and ready at seven and out the door by 7:20. Daycare is literally two blocks from my house, so I go back home after drop off and eat breakfast.
I leave home at 7:50 to get to work by 8. I also work less than a mile from home. I get off at five and go home to start supper while my husband picks the kids up.
During the winter, he gets the boys ready in the mornings and does drop off so I can sleep for an extra 20 min or so lol then I pick them up when I get off at 5.
I can’t live without my instant pot. I use it probably 3-4 nights a week or more.
I am usually up between 5:30 and 6. I start getting ready and then wake my three kids up by 6:45.
They eat breakfast while I make lunches. Then they get dressed, and I do my hair.
We all leave by 7:45, and I drop the oldest off at the bus stop for middle school and then take the two younger ones to elementary school.
I get to work by 8:30. My husband works super early and is gone before we get up, but that means he gets off early and he does pick up and gets homework done with the kids.
Then I get home by 5:30, do dinner, showers, family time, and bed.
TIP: We do grocery shopping on the weekends, but sometimes I will use instacart if we have a busy weekend coming up.
I try to do laundry daily and do the major housecleaning on the weekends, but the kids have chores too, so that helps. Every night after bedtime, I do a quick pick up of the house, make sure dishes are done, and everything is ready to go for the next day.
Mothers Who Work From Home
I am up at 5:30 to run, read my Bible, and get ready. If needed, I can squeeze in super urgent client tasks before he wakes for breakfast.
I work every nap time (2-3 hours in the afternoon) and then from the baby’s bedtime at 8 till 12 or 1.
My goal is never to be “working” when my baby is awake to notice. I want to be a full-time mom in his eyes, and this schedule helps me “be all there” for him when he’s around and for my business when he’s not. Constantly multitasking the two roles seemed too chaotic and less productive for me.
19- Beth from The DGAF Mom
Works from home doing freelance writing and blogging full time.
Which has made it challenging in new ways…I have more physical time with my kids, but I still end up having about the same amount of time to do work for the blog when it all comes down to it.
Even if all I could do in a day is research a topic for 15 minutes, or write just 500 words.
I also am a big believer in block scheduling my work. It’s basically doing all the tasks for your work at the same time, so for example, Researching four blog topics (which is typically what I like to do in a month). Although the past two months has been a lot of learning/catch up with Dare To Conquer /Billionaire Blogging Club (amazing recommended course for Bloggers ).
Then the next time I can fit in work, I outline all four blogs based on the research.
Then the next time I write the blog (or as much as I can) and because I have four to choose from I have some leeway in which one I “feel” like working with.
Then once it’s done, the editing process, then finding photos, designing pins, etc…it makes it FEEL more manageable.
And then all the sudden I have four blogs done. My goal is to do this for the future month, so right now, I have four blogs to publish in November, and then I’ll be working on December blogs.
Managing Life as a Working Mother Tips
20- Jenny Stemmerman
I have a podcast for working Christian moms called Your Life Rocks for Christian Working Moms.
Systems are everything but only if they serve the intentional life you want to create.
First and foremost, get clear on what you want in your life. Not what someone else wants, or you think you should want.
Focus on what matters most to you and make room for only those things in your day, week, and month.
Meal prepping lunches every Sunday night has saved me. We’re a very busy family for just one child, and it’s all about sticking to the schedule. After you do it 2-3 times, then it becomes routine and hard to break.
Helping busy, overwhelmed moms find themselves again, so they are empowered to change the world one day at a time. #momoverwhelm #momgoals #momlife #momblogger #goalsetting #worklifebalance #morningroutine #eveningroutine… Click To Tweet
Extra- Darla Lee ( Me)
Around 6:00am wake up
Get the girls up and ready at 6:45 . The toddlers gives me hard time, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, my six year old gets ready on her own with constant prompts.
7:00 my son gets up to get himself ready, he also leaves last to walk to the bus stop
By 7:15 my husband and girls are out the house. Usually he take dest ( 6 ) to daycare, while I take the two year old. I know you are probably wondering why they don’t go to the same daycare. One daycare is for school aged kids, where the bus comes, while the other is all day daycare ages 6 weeks- 5.
I hit the road for my 40 min commute into work. I either listen to my favorite podcasts, talk to my friends on Marco Polo or listen to an audiobook. Right know I’m listening to Atomic Habits by Steve Clear, aaaamaazziing! You must at least check it out and listen to the preview.
I am at work from 8:00 t0 4:30.
From there I head to pick up the toddler and home for the evening shuffle. 😉
Thats dinner, cuddling, and watching TV with the girls. These are the things that speaks to their love language!
We utilize a family command center to keep track of practices, appointment and meals. Its also where my son puts important papers that came home from school. And the homework that needs to be completed.
Then the bed routine starts at 7pm and I try to blog anywhere I can fit it in. While they are sitting in the tub, eating dinner, playing with dad or watching the same Disney Plus movies for the millionth time.
By 9 they are in bed and my husband and I watch our favorite TV shows. Its pretty much date night every night. Even though we may have to pause the movie a hundred times because the 2 year old is scared of everthing at night. If you have tips please share.
This is my unperfect but lovely working mom of 3 schedule.
Final Thoughts on Working Mother Schedules
Mom Life can be hard, overwhelming, and BUSY. But with a few tricks and a routine, you can create a life with a little less chaos.
Many Working Moms use some of the same strategies to reduce the overwhelm. Just to name a few
- wake up early possibly before the kids
- workout physically and mentally
- put the kids on a routine
- use an organization tool ( physical or digital)
- be kind to yourself ” I am enough.”
- meal prep or at least meal planning in advance
- automate things
- get HELP nanny, family, other moms
- make time for your goals just a little every day
- use block schedule
Need to create a schedule? The MomPlanner