My Life as a Freelance Designer with 2-year-old twins

sylvie-theo-kiss-webI love knowing what people really do all day. Like, hour for hour. Everyone’s daily life has an air of mystery to me. One of my favorite questions in conversation is “what is a typical day like for you? The more details the better, please.” So here’s mine, at the moment. This is an update to my post last year about my life with 1-year-old twins. So many things have changed since then, but mostly just because their schedules have evolved. Let me tell you, the difference between two naps a day and one nap a day is a big deal for parents.

I’m surprised and happy to say that my business has actually grown this year. Through my partnerships with She Oms, adding some great clients like Ripley’s (yes, believe it or not!) and my long-term clients, I’ve had more work than I expected coming in. I do all of my work from my home office, which also houses a gigantic train table and a play kitchen.

This is what a typical day for me looks like:

8am Kids get up. One time-saver about having kids is no longer needing to set an alarm! I haven’t set one for exactly 2 years and 3 months. A few months ago, my kids stopped waking up before sunrise and started sleeping later. It’s a change that I’m very supportive of. I hang out with the kids while Kris makes breakfast, then we all eat together.
breakfast
9am-11:30am: My Mom comes over. Yep, she comes over for a few hours every weekday and it’s super nice and a life changer for me. Depending on the day of the week, she may bring them out with her for an hour or so, stay home and play or we go to Gymboree. So most of the time, I get about an hour of work done in the morning.

11:30am: Lunch time.

12:30-3:30pm: Nap time. Ahhh, nap time. My kids are good little nappers, thank the heavens. Depending on what’s on my plate and how I feel — I work, watch tv, workout, take a nap, read, scroll Facebook, or whatever else I’m in the mood for.

3:30-5:00pm: The kids wake up. We normally play at home or in the backyard or walk down to our neighborhood playground. We stay close to home.
sylvie-and-i-at-park park

5pm: I start making dinner. This is usually tv time for the kids because they haaaate it when I’m cooking dinner. Hate, with a passion.

5:15pm: Kris gets home from work, yay!

5:30pm: Dinner time. I’m still at the point where I find it a little funny that I eat dinner at 5:30. My pre-kid dinner time was usually 5 hours later than this.

6:30pm: Get the kids ready for bed.

7pm: Kids go to bed. Early bedtimes are a big plus in my book, it allows Kris and I to have time to unwind together. After the kids go to bed, we usually both find ourselves back on our computers for another hour or two. So a little more work time if I need some, or just reading articles and browsing around. After we’re done, we almost always watch a show or two and then we go to bed around 11pm.

So that’s my day. I can imagine you’re reading this and thinking “but she hardly works!”, “but she relaxes a lot!”, “but she has it so easy!”. I know, I know. It’s true. I honestly think my life is a good as it gets and I’d change nothing about it. I’m grateful every day. I don’t work a lot of hours. But when I do, I’m very efficient and get things done quickly. And I love my work, it’s seriously my dream job. I prioritize down time and relaxation. I don’t feel too busy, I feel just right. I have a feeling I’ll look back on these years as the best years of my life.

My Life as a Freelance Designer with 1-year-old Twins

life-with-twins
Photos by Serena Nicole Studios. Sylvie and I on the left, Theo and I on the right.

I guess you could call me a WAHM. If you’re not familiar with mom lingo these days, that’s “Work at Home Mom”. Curious what it’s like with two 1 year olds? Here’s a breakdown of a typical workday for me:

6:30am – One baby wakes up (usually Theo)

7am – Other baby wakes up (usually Sylvie)

7am – 8am Playtime, walk around the neighborhood, or a family jog

8am Breakfast

9am – 10:30am Morning nap. This is usually when I clean up the breakfast mess, eat breakfast myself (still haven’t figured out how to eat my entire breakfast with the babies), and brush my teeth. I remain in my pajamas unless I leave the house, so I don’t worry about the whole getting dressed bit. Then I go to my computer that is now on top of a standing desk. No sitting for this lady, unless I get lazy and use my stool (which I usually do). I usually have about an hour of work time before the kids get up. I check in on my emails (and yes, Facebook) and get an idea on what needs to be done that day. If I don’t have much work, then I may use the time to exercise. Right now I’m loving doing HIIT’s — high intensity interval training — since they’re such a time efficient workout. I’m ALL about efficiency these days. And of course, yoga. If I start soon after the nap begins then I usually get time to shower. I also sometimes need to cook for the kids lunch or dinner, I make them all of their meals, so it just depends on what I have prepared.

10:30am Babies get up. My Mom tries to come over right around when they wake up and stays until their afternoon nap. This is when I have a good amount of time to really focus on work, while my Mom plays with the kids. (thank you Mom!!!)

12:45pm Lunch for the kids

1:30 – 3:30pm Afternoon nap. I clean up the mess from lunch, eat my own lunch, and relax. If I have more work to do, I try to do it now, but sometimes I just need to watch Gilmore Girls.

3:30pm Babies get up. Playtime/keep them occupied till dinner. On Tuesdays and Thursday’s we usually go to Gymboree. Sometimes I might do try to do a little yoga, and sometimes they let me (see video).

 

5pm Dinner for the kids

6pm Pre bedtime routine/scramble (parents will understand what this means).

6:30pm Bedtime

After bedtime we clean up the dinner mess, do the cloth diaper routine (every other day, wah) and sometimes pick up clutter. We usually check in with work for 30 minutes – 1 hour and then start on dinner for ourselves. Then we watch a show together, preferably HBO.

10:30 or 11pm Our bedtime << I wish this was earlier, but that just never happens.

If you’re thinking this isn’t so bad, I agree! I’m so lucky to have a flexible job that I love doing and that I can do FROM HOME! It really doesn’t get any better in my eyes. And having such a wonderful Mom who comes over daily to play and help with the kids. Part of the reason I wanted to do freelance design was so my days could be like this, and I’m so grateful it’s worked out like I hoped. I really didn’t know how life would be when I found out I was having twins — that had never been part of the “master plan”. I envisioned never sleeping, never showering, not being able to exercise, just being a crazy mess. And yes, that’s how it was for the first couple of months. But wow, they are just the best thing in the world, and watching them grow up together is truly amazing. And if you’re wondering when I leave the house, it’s usually after the afternoon nap and before dinner. Ha. Life is good and I’ve truly never been happier.

A Day in Strasbourg, France

Even though we only spent 10 hours in Strasbourg, I managed to take over 300 photos. Our American companions, Justin and Lauren, were very forgiving of my constant stops to snap a few more.  It’s a really pretty city by the border of Germany, so it’s a little German, a little French. It’s in the Alsace region, known for its excellent wine, beer and cuisine. I thought it was like a relaxed, friendly, and small version of Paris.