My Weekly Schedule + How I Find Balance

September 19, 2018

Fun Fall Outfit

Hi friends! Today I am excited to share a fun outfit plus a little more. First, let’s talk the outfit. This is the second time I am wearing these adorable olive skinny jeans. If you caught my last post, then you may remember I mentioned a top that really made me want to buy them. Well this is it! If you scroll down to the closer up picture, you can tell there is some green detailing. I just loved how this color pairing came together with the black and brown. Such a fun deviation from normal jeans. I’m obsessed with this top. It has ruching detailing down the front and the side of the sleeves. Remember me mentioning it would be a big trend for fall in new ways? Read on for a more personal post about my schedule, priorities, and how I have learned to let go of some things as a mother.

My Weekly Work Schedule

Off and on I get questions about my schedule and how I work and blog, especially since having Ivy Jean. I tend to shy away from tackling posts like this because we are just all so different. Everyone is amazing all on their own and has incredible strengths. We are all doing our thing! The diversity of our work and lives is what makes us as women awesome. None of us walk the same walk or mother the same way or have the same struggles. By posting what I do, it doesn’t mean I have it all figured out. It’s so easy to see my Instagram feed or stories (or anyone else’s – I do it too), and think they have the perfect life. That being said, here is a general breakdown of my weekly schedule.

Breakdown

  • I work three days a week totaling 20 hours. I worked full-time before having Ivy Jean, and my office has been incredibly kind and flexible with me. I’m truly so thankful! I work one long, full day and two days that are more like 5-6 hours. My mom keeps Ivy Jean on my long day (Bless her!!) and she goes to “school” the other two days. I do sometimes take her in the morning for 2-3 hours to school a third day to get some of the things done below.
  • I blog at least 20 hours a week in little chunks here and there which means combined I work full-time. It’s just not normal 8-5 hours. This really varies each week. Here’s what those hours can look like:
    • Taking Photos – Russ and I have gotten so quick at this! I’m honestly so glad he is my photographer because I think it makes it easier. One set takes no more than 5-10 minutes. We try to do 1-2 sets at a time and take Ivy Jean with us. We do this at least twice a week. Ideally we go on the way to the place I am wearing the outfit on the weekend. We have a rotating set of locations we know how the lighting will be and that are not crowded. Let me know if you would like a full post with more info on this.
    • Editing Photos – This takes more time than taking photos honestly! I typically do this on the weekend after Ivy Jean is in bed or during her naps.
    • Writing Blog Posts – Again this takes more time than photos too. I post three times a week, and I try to have my photos edited and uploaded to the blog for all of them by Sunday with Monday’s post done and the rest started. Then as the week goes I can finish as needed. The content of the post varies by the time needed. For example, this one takes longer than a simple outfit post.
    • Instagram Posting/Engaging – I post each night around the same time and, ideally, engage right before and after, totaling about an hour. I try not to spend too much time on Instagram the rest of the day as it can easily suck so much time without even realizing it! This easily takes 7 hours of my week.
    • Emailing with Brands/Planning Content – I get emails from brands and/or reach out to brands to plan content and pick clothing. This is done off and on throughout the week.

My Priorities

When I had Ivy Jean, everything felt a little squeezed. We suddenly had this new, amazing baby to care for and love. Life changed dramatically in the best way possible which also meant it couldn’t stay the same. Being a mom is all consuming, and I mean that in a positive way. It’s my favorite role yet. But, it did mean I had to adjust. I could write thousands of words on this, but I’ll keep this post primarily related to schedule and priorities. The most obvious thing that changed was that I went from working full-time to part-time. This didn’t give me a ton of extra free time though. As those of you with kids know, they are pretty good at keeping you busy when home with them. And I am beyond grateful to be able to stay home with her! Here are my top priorities:

  1. Faith and family
  2. Friends
  3. Health – eating well and trying to take care of my body are important to me
  4. Job – office and blog

What’s Next?

So what gives? Something had to. If you had asked me before Ivy Jean, the things above would have been my same priorities. Things gave in little ways. Here are some examples:

  1. The house is pretty much always a little dirtier than it used to be. We are tidy people, i.e. we like things picked up, but being a neat freak has never been my strong suit. You won’t find me vacuuming baseboards or dusting blinds. Occasionally (as in maybe twice a year), I accept defeat and ask/pay for help via a cleaning service. This is usually before we host something and feel a little anxiety about all that baseboard dirt, ha!!
  2. Where I used to make fancier meals, the crockpot will do for now. Or Trader Joe’s fresh meals to-go. I haven’t sacrificed my priority of eating well, but I have given in some with the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. Maybe someday that will return because I genuinely love cooking, but today is not the day.
  3. Speaking of cooking, grocery pickup is our BFF. I rarely set foot in a store and do my own shopping. I’d rather be at the park with Ivy Jean.
  4. I gave up some things blog related. In the past, I spent a lot of time commenting on other blogs and replying to the comments left on mine. I still do it to the extent I am able, but I had to get okay with reading those sweet comments and sometimes hitting the delete button when my inbox was too full and responding meant sacrificing family time. Similarly, I used to be in some Instagram engagement groups and quit those. I also often wish I had more time to devote to new things that I think would help my blog grow, but I don’t care enough to give up other things. I’m doing the best I can to keep my existing blog related things functioning.
  5. Russ and I have also been having a lot of conversations lately about how we can cut back on the amount of time we spend on our phones. Without realizing it, picking up our phones sucks a lot of wasted time when we want to be more intentionally engaged as a family. We have both been trying to put them in another room from the time Russ gets home until Ivy Jean goes to bed and do the same on Sundays. With the new iPhone update, you can even set limits on apps used in certain timeframes, so we have limited our social apps from 5-7 when we have key family time. We’ll see how it goes, but it is amazing how much more time I have and how much better I am able to focus on my priorities listed above. I obviously love social media, but wow can it easily take a lot of time.
  6. There are other small, silly examples of things I think most of us do. Like I hardly ever go get a pedicure or manicure any more. There just isn’t kid-free time. I may not be able to work out as easily, but what I can do is take walks in the neighborhood with Ivy Jean. So far, we also haven’t signed Ivy Jean up for any extra activities like dance, soccer, etc or scheduled any regular weekly kid-related activities like play dates or mom and me groups. Maybe someday, but not yet. (I am not saying that is bad – it just hasn’t been a fit yet for our family.)

So, those are my gives. Mine my look different than yours, but I think we all have to figure out those things we are okay letting go a little bit in the early season of parenting. Those things that maybe before kids were no-brainers and easy to accomplish. Or for you it may not be kids that squeeze you. It might be a different addition or stressor in life.

Takeaway – How I Find Balance

The point it that we cannot always play every role perfectly. Christ-follower, wife, mother, friend, family member, employee, housekeeper, cook, etc. while also taking care of ourselves physically. And you know what, that is okay. Let’s do the important ones well and leave ourselves room for “okay” in the others. There is grace and beauty in that. There is a life that has more rest. There is a life full of more of the important stuff and less of the clutter.

Recently our pastor has given two sermons about “Learning to Be Well,” and I absolutely loved them. He talks a lot about this and how our culture almost glorifies busy. If this resonates with you, I highly recommend giving them a listen here.

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