Using a Block Schedule to be an Intentional Mother
This year I have chosen to focus on being more intentional with my time, especially when it comes to interacting with my daughter. To help me with this I have created a block schedule to follow throughout my day. This means that I have clear times with my phone and times where I put the phone away.
While I’m home with her all day, I get sucked into the same struggles of being pulled away from her. My phone goes off during our play time and without hesitation, I jump to check my phone. Or I fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling Facebook for far too long.
You could feel so overwhelmed with balancing your cleaning schedule with caring for your kids. Finding balance in your day is hard. It’s hard and when things are off balance you can feel guilty for the lack of balance.
It’s all things we can relate to.
Taming the chaos
This part will work best if you pull out a sheet of paper and if you’re like me, color code or sort into columns.
Write down everything that you want to get done in a day, in a week, and in a month. Also, you can categorize them further into categories like cleaning, working, monthly chores, play time, learning activities, school. Whatever fits your schedule.
Then go through your day. Write out in general order, when everything happens. When do you wake up? When is nap time? When do you prefer to clean, morning or night? When are you at your best? Are you a morning person, or a night owl?
So, what does my schedule look like?
First of all, it will look different than yours, and that’s perfectly fine. The beauty of making a time block schedule is that you can fit it into your own lifestyle. This represents our life with me being a work from home mom.
To keep myself on track I also set alarms on my phone to keep me accountable. So each week day I have it set up to go off 10 minutes before the next block to tell me to wrap it up, and then again when the next block starts.
Block 1: Wake up & Breakfast
So, I know that usually, our house is up and awake by 6:30, but I am not functional until about 8. So, my first block is geared towards getting our day started and waking up.
In this block we get up, take care of the dog, snuggle together and watch the news for a bit. We eat breakfast & get dressed. I also try to get my workout in at this time.
This block is one where I allow my phone for social media browsing. Most of the time I try not to let myself just mindlessly browse social media, so this is one of the times I allow myself the time to just scroll Facebook and Instagram.
Block 2: Get to work
From 8 to noon is my work block. This is when I sit down at my laptop and do my VA work, write blog posts, schedule my content & do all the other behind the scenes stuff for Mommy Takes 5.
During this time my phone is set aside and I am only on it to schedule things. This isn’t time to play, it’s time to work. Unless I’m actively scheduling, I’m off Facebook. I only have 4 hours to get as much done as possible, so I need to do so without as many distractions as possible.
This block is my busiest. My mind is fresh and i’m ready to take on the day. When I sit down to work, I make sure that I have everything that I need right with me, so I’m not wandering around looking for things. I also make sure Little Miss has everything she needs; milk, snack, an activity or movie, and plenty of toys.
Doing all of this ensures that I have a very productive few hours to get as much work done as possible, before my 10-minute warning goes off and I wrap everything up.
Block 3: Lunch & Fun
This block is from noon to 2 and is where Little Miss and I eat lunch, play games together, working on learning activities, and clean up before nap/ quiet time.
I will check my phone for the messages that came in during my work block, but I try not to stay on it long. This time is basically just to clear out the alerts on my phone and move along.
I usually try to get Little Miss involved in making lunch, depending on what we are going to eat. Doing so has helped her be more adventurous and try more foods without complaining. We then sit together and eat lunch.
After lunch we will clean up the toys she played with while I worked & I will vacuum or do some little cleaning. I don’t usually do any major cleaning here, but I will tidy up or do a quick 5 minute clean. It’s also a perfect time to get Little Miss helping & learning to clean. She has to help put toys away, dusts end tables, holds the
Block 4: Quiet time
Ahhhhh….. my favorite block. The nap time/ quiet time block. This block goes from 2 to 5:30.
Little Miss is starting to drop her afternoon nap (*insert sobbing here*) which means we have switched some days from nap time to just having quiet time. This momma needs her afternoon break for her sanity.
So, my quiet time block consists of cleaning, self-care, and work- but shifting focus from my morning work block. This is time for me to do some quiet cleaning, so not vacuuming or shampooing the carpet, but all the other stuff that needs to be done.
This is sometimes also the time when I just sit down. I know it doesn’t sound like much, especially since I’m usually sitting at my computer for a few hours a day, but this is the time I will just sit and scroll Facebook for a while or read a book. This is usually counted as part of my
After I’ve taken time for myself & cleaned up, I will also take this time to work on extra work projects. These projects are like creating freebies or writing guest posts. This is also the time I have set aside to create things to sell, like my book.
Block 5: Dinner & Family Time
This block is from 5:30 to 8, and is pretty self explanatory. This is the time after my husband is home from his day. We eat dinner as a family, enjoy some time together, and then it’s off to bed for Little Miss.
If I have extra time in the last block, or if I am feeling generous, I will start dinner during that time. Usually I’m working on something until the last second though.
I allow myself to have phone time during this time, I figure I deserve it by then if I’ve been busy. It is also a great time to get things cleaned that I can’t do when I have Little Miss right next to me, like cleaning the bathroom. She can go have daddy time and I can get some good cleaning done.
Once she is in bed, I will start the next block… regardless of what time it is.
Block 6: Couple Time
This is the time we have set aside to be husband and wife. We watch our favorite shows, talk about our days, goals, dreams, etc. We really make time for each other each day.
There are times though… and by times, I mean like 3 or 4 days a week, where my husband falls asleep before 9. Which means I’m the only one awake in the house.
This time also becomes me time once my husband is in bed. I read, work on self care, mindlessly scroll social media, watch tv. Anything I want to do, I really make sure to do it here. This is my time.
If I have loose ends from working earlier in the day I will also wrap them up here. That way when I start fresh in the morning, I’m really starting fresh.
Block 7: Bedtime
I guess this doesn’t need much explanation either, but by 11pm I try to be in bed with my phone down.
It was important for me to block in my sleeping time. Of course, with a young child the bedtime block isn’t always just sleeping, but I have it blocked off as time to sleep. That means I’m not working, I’m not cleaning, I’m not even doing self-care.
The next morning between 6 and 7 my whole day starts over again.
How has the block schedule helped?
These blocks keep me accountable to certain tasks each day. I have set times for each of the most important parts of my day. This keeps me from getting distracted by work or cleaning and getting nothing else done for the whole day.
At this point, Little Miss also is getting used to our blocks. She knows when mommy is working that she can play, use her tablet, read books, or watch a movie. She is also learning that there are boundaries in these blocks. If she finishes all of her drink or snacks 5 minutes into my work block she will have to wait to get more.
There are some struggles that this schedule brings though. On any day my husband is home during the week this schedule is thrown completely off. I make it work, but I also know that I won’t be on schedule for the day. I get the things done that must be done, and that’s about all.