The Perfectly Balanced Day

by Melanie Edwards on January 25, 2012 · 7 comments

in life, Wahm, Working Mothers

Piedras de primavera, spring stones.

Yesterday was one of those days I wish I could repeat – everything flowed, things got done, balance was had. It’s amazing how one day going smoothly can lift your spirits and motivate you to make it happen again.

Because I had such a great day, I feel like I need to record it. Sometimes you have to sit back and remind yourself of all that went good – little or big. Though this is simple in the grand scheme of things, having a day where work, family, and personal time were in-line is definitely something to celebrate.

We are often striving to create work-life balance, and I talk about it quite often, so I absolutely want to share with you the specifics of how my day went. I hope that by doing so, you will see a glimpse of your own day or find some ideas for small changes you can make in your routine. With that, I share my perfectly balanced day and what I hope will become a regular daily routine for achieving work-life balance in my life.

Calendar

Personal Daily Routine for Work-Life Balance

6 am: Woke up with hugs from baby boy and baby girl. After a bit of snuggling, dragged myself out of bed and began the morning routine of getting dressed and making sure baby girl got ready for school.

7:30 am: Breakfast time for both kids before heading out the door.

8-8:30 am: Dropped baby girl off at school.

8:30-9 am: Baby boy fell asleep on the ride back home, so waited in driveway for him to take a short nap while reading emails and checking in on Twitter and Facebook on my phone. I also found photo to use in blog post.

9:15-9:45 am: Took out some frozen already-cooked turkey to thaw for dinner. Then, while baby boy sat in his high chair with a snack, did my morning workout to Just Dance 3.

9:45-10:30 am: Ate breakfast, hung out with baby boy, and worked on blog post draft.

10:30-10:45 am: Phone call with client.

10:45-11:30 am: Finished and published blog post. Proceeded to work on marketing it via Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. Also, posted updates to various social media platforms and groups.

11:30 am – 12 pm: Played with baby boy and continued miscellaneous work on email and social media monitoring.

Insalata Caprese 12 noon: Lunch for baby boy and myself.

12:30-2:30 pm: Continued work in-between playing with baby boy. When he played quietly on the floor, I’d check email or read articles, blog posts, etc. We went back and forth during this time quite a bit.

2:30-3 pm: Picked up baby girl from school

3-4:30 pm: Baby boy fell asleep on the ride home, so baby girl and I took this opportunity to have a tea party and afternoon snack. While she set up the tea party and changed into a princess outfit, I began cooking a turkey soup for dinner. I had enough time to shred the turkey, add all other ingredients and set the pot to simmer, plus sit down with baby girl for a princess tea party and snack before baby boy woke up.

4:30-5 pm: After a quick snack for baby boy, he and his big sister played together and watched TV alone. I ran upstairs to back up some files on our main computer and freshen myself up for the evening.

5-6 pm: Hung out with the kids, fed baby boy dinner, and picked up clutter in the living room. Baby boy got a little fussy during this time too.

6-7:30 pm: After my husband came home, we sat down for dinner, along with baby girl. Afterwards, the kids hung out with daddy and I cleaned up the kitchen.

7:30-8 pm: Bath/shower time for all.

Reading before bedtime 8-8:40 pm: The husband read baby girl her bedtime story and tucked her in while I helped baby boy relax and fall asleep. Some nights baby boy falls asleep quickly, but with the afternoon nap he had, it took a while for him to calm down.

8:45-11 pm: With the kids in bed, the husband and I were finally able to hang out, talk about our days, and watch a little TV before heading to bed ourselves.

The reason this day worked out so great for me is that I felt accomplished. I was able to work on various areas of my life – not just work or just family. I was productive, got work done, spent time with the family, and even took time for myself.

Of course, not every day will work out so great. I know there will be days where baby boy won’t take two naps or will need more attention due to fussiness. There will be days when I’ll need to run errands and I won’t be able to get as much work done. That’s fine. We have to be flexible, right? The important thing is to remember days like these where all did go well and try to replicate them by following a routine as much as possible.

Why don’t you take some time to write out your daily schedule and reflect on what works and what you can improve? Where can you make some changes to your routine to ease the fluidity of the day?

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Photos by Vicente Villamón, Andreanna Moya, Robin, and Erica Firment

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy January 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Fantastic and exhausting all at the same time! :) My little ones aren’t so little anymore but I definitely remember those days.

I think one of the keys to your schedule going well was that time you took in the morning to exercise. I can’t totally explain why, but when I exercise in the morning, my day usually goes much more smoothly, I’m happier, more focused, more productive and don’t slump over the computer distracted by every little thing that comes my way so that after hours of “working” online, I have nothing to show for it. If I exercise in the morning I’m also more likely to choose healthier things to eat throughout the day and that also makes a big difference for me in mood, etc.

Thanks for showing us your day so we can better think about planning our own. I hate schedules but I’m the first to admit that when I put myself on one, it’s always worth it. You may have inspired me to get back on track :)

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perudelights January 25, 2012 at 6:39 pm

This is the perfect day, when you are able to do so many things, and you end up feeling tired but happy. Love your post.

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Roxana January 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

So happy I read this! It’s awesome, Mel Qué bueno and you’re totally right, flexibility is the key, but there’s nothing like feeling accomplished!

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Silvia January 26, 2012 at 2:45 am

Melanie, I’m sooooo glad you have a perfect balanced day! you totally deserved.  Today I got up earlier than usual, as I went to be earlier than usual and that made all the difference to me, I’m not a morning person but I can see myself doing this more often.  Abrazos!

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Anonymous January 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

I love those perfectly balanced days where you get so much done and you don’t have any guilt at the end of the day!  Around here, those days are very rare, but when it happens, I’m on cloud 9.  This post is a reminder for me that it can be done. :)  Thank you! :)

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Cristina-ColombianaenCA January 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Great idea! I will start writing my schedule and find how to improve it. I’m always complaining because 24 hours aren’t enough!!

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Bryce Christiansen February 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Hi Melanie,

Thanks for commenting on our blog a few days ago and leaving a link to this article.

I really like how you outlined your day.  Time is the most valuable asset we have so understanding how you spend each of these precious moments is wise.

Well done Melanie,

See you again soon.

Bryce

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