Guest Post: Shannon/Sweet Stella |Building Our Story Yum

Friday, September 9, 2011

Guest Post: Shannon/Sweet Stella


When the lovely Censie was looking for guest bloggers while she and Jeremy will be gallivanting in Spain (colour me jealous!), I jumped at the chance to write for Building Our Story. We brainstormed a few topics, and since I’m a Mama who started my own business, it seemed fitting to write about time management and how to work at home while raising a rambunctious 1 year old boy.
So, what is a typical day like for me? Well, Owen wakes up anywhere from 9am to 11am (we’re going through a growth spurt right now, so he’s literally sleeping 8pm-10:30/11am) at which point I get my arse out of bed and start my day. Seriously. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. I literally get my bones out of bed when I hear Owen on the monitor.
Now, that isn’t to say that my day hasn’t already started. I have a blackberry, and for any WAHM being able to connect while on the go (or in my case, in bed) is a must. I actually wake up somewhere around 8am, check emails, say good morning to my husband who’s already at work, and check in with my peeps on Twitter and Facebook. Within about 10 minutes, I’ve usually responded to 5 or so emails, chatted with some of my favourite moms, caught up on a few blogs and planned out my day with Owen.
Once we’re up, it’s breakfast (more like brunch these days) and then playtime. I try really really hard not to work while Owen’s awake – I sort of figure that while he’s awake, he gets my 100% undivided attention, and while that might include an trip or two to see Patty and Murray at the post office for my business, my time is his time when he’s awake.
Now…it used to be 11am-12:30pm nap, but since Saturday, he’s been waking up super late at 11am and has forewent the morning nap. And since he’s been having brunch more so than breakfast lately, lunch turns into a snack and then it’s right back to playing until 3:00pm.
3:00pm is a time that I positively love. Naptime. Glorious, glorious naptime. He sleeps for a solid hour and a half, sometimes longer (on the weekend was 2.5hrs!) and at that point, I morph into WAHM-MOMpreneur Sweet Stella’s. I use that time as a chance to blog, update facebook, whip on Tweetdeck, photograph new products, work on orders and leaf through pages and pages and pages of amazing artists on Etsy for inspiration.
Then comes the waking of the Monster at around 4:30-5:00pm, at which point he sits down for some water and a snack, or dinner if Daddy’s going to be really late from work. Once he’s home, he plays nad plays and plays with Owen and they just have a ball.
7:30pm bath, and then in bed all snuggled up by 8:00pm.
Then…it’s straight to work for Mama. 8:00pm-Midnight are my key production hours, typically with my iPod on sitting in my studio, or in front of the television so Daddy and I can at least spend a few minutes chattering here and there with a baseball game on in the background.
I’m the kind of Mama who needs structure. I had a bad bought of PPD and keeping things scheduled literally saved my sanity, and it allowed me to set dedicated time aside for me and my business, something that also saved my sanity. I have posted ‘office hours’ on my website, though I rarely ever stick to them since Owen typically dictates my schedule for the day.
If he’s napping, I’m working in some capacity and networking with other Mama’s, crafters and artisans. When he’s down for the night, I’m working on orders…or sometimes taking a night-off to spend some time with my husband.
My number one piece of advice for time management for any SAHM or WAHM is scheduling. Set aside time for dedicated tasks, be they laundry, cleaning, working, blogging, whatever the case may be. Have a time in mind of “I’d like to get this activity taken care of by 3pm today”, and try to schedule those activities during naptime so you can work uninterrupted and focus your energy on the task at hand.
Also, while I say that scheduling is key, keep in mind that so is staying flexible. My house is currently a disaster zone, having faced a tornado in the shape of a 1year old who likes to empty the Tupperware cupboard, carry his books around the great room, and dump his Duplo all over the floor. His morning nap may be non-existent, and his afternoon nap might be pushed back a half hour, but when he finally goes down for one, I switch hats and become MOMpreneur.
Whatever your day shapes up to be, know that you are awesome and you can do anything that you set your mind to, even if it means that you are up until the wee hours of the morning trying to add a button to your blog, working on a media kit or trying to pump out all of your blog posts for the week so you can spend some of the last sweet rays of summer at the park instead of at the laptop. Know that, come what may, your schedule is exactly that; yours. Set the time that you want to set, the way you want to set it, and forget about what the other Mama’s are doing, because only you know what your day will be, and how to make it awesome with you kiddo!

To keep in touch with Shannon visit her blogs, shoppe, facebook and twitter. 
Time to do a little networking y'all.

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