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Navigating the Sprouts and Stars: My Double Life as Working from Home Mom and Astrologer

woman in a witch hat
"Hi. I'm Cawnawyn Mor." *tips witch hat*

Welcome to my blog; let me actually introduce myself. 

I have many names, the most public being Cawnawyn Mor. I use this name for all of my work related to Astrology, Magic, and Pagan music. I also go by the labels “Smashing Ivory” and “C. A. Worden,” and some may even know me as “CarlySmashesIvory.” Most of the time, however, I am called “Mama!!!” or “Ma!!!!” by my two boys, currently ages 2 and 11 months.

It occurred to me during this Gemini New Moon (quite late because… let’s face it, we’re all pretty busy with Gemini Season-related things) that I really feel like I live a double life in many respects. 

a woman standing back to a mirror creating a double image
Now can you see my "Gemini" moon?
  • Mom/Work

  • Cawnawyn / Smashing Ivory

  • Astrologer / Composer

I have designed a life where I straddle two different worlds, either logistically or artistically, as a working from home mom. How typical of someone with a heavy presence of Gemini in their chart! 

I often get asked, “How do I make it all work?” 

Let’s be completely honest upfront and say that it feels like I’m trying to keep a sinking ship afloat most days. 

Raising kids isn’t easy, especially when I am solo parenting for 12+ hours four out of seven days a week. Add to that trying to run a (mostly) digital small business and find time to be creative and make music, and things get tricky.

I thought I could shed some light on my process and how I (attempt to) balance the two sides of my life in case that may be helpful to any parents out there.

I want to articulate up front that I am incredibly fortunate to be able to depend financially on my husband, who works a well-paying government job four days a week and has three full days off each weekend. Our teamwork makes our family function well, but we are far from perfect. That said, I am afforded incredible blessings that allow me to have more flexibility and grace within my life, so I am not entirely responsible for bringing in the income for our family. Thus, my process will reflect these privileges. You’ve been warned! And massive respect/props to those of you out there who are working full time AND raising littles. 

a woman sitting in a garage
Hitting the home gym at 4am

The Morning

Let’s start with the top of the day. For many years, I fought hard against the concept of waking up early like my husband. There was no convincing me that I didn’t need at least 8 hours of sleep and that working well into the nighttime's 2:00 - 3:00 am range wasn’t the perfect system for me to accomplish things. 

That changed the moment I had kids, and I realized I wanted to get something done for myself. 

I am blessed to finally have two kids who sleep through the night in their separate rooms. Email me if you’re curious about how I accomplished that by two years old. That’s a separate blog post. 

The time I get out of bed has progressively become earlier and earlier since there is more work to be done. Right now, it is sitting right around 4-4:30 a.m. I have had to really work up to this point! But kids, as many of you know, will force you out of bed by around 6:00 a.m., so that was my first adjustment. My husband and I used to work a graveyard schedule together, so most days, I wouldn’t get up until almost 1:00 or 2:00 pm at the earliest! 

It IS possible to make this switch! Is it hard? You bet it is. As my husband often says, “Get used to hard” and “embrace the suck.” You don’t have to love it! I certainly do NOT pop out of bed every morning like a daisy, bright and ready for the day! Most mornings, I’m a zombie while I use the bathroom, clean my face, make the bed, and head to my home gym or office. It takes at least 30 minutes sometimes for me to really “wake up,” but by then, I’m well into my routine.

a busy workstation with computer and piano keyboard
Working on tracks for Divine Warrior Witches

So, let’s talk priorities. From 4:30 to 7:30 a.m., I have these precious three hours to myself, during which I usually prioritize washing my face, making my bed, getting dressed in athletic wear or comfortable work clothes, and exercising and/or working in my office. Lately, exercise has become more of a priority (which I will elaborate on in a future blog post). 

I prefer to exercise in short bursts without being around my kids so I can focus more easily and knock out the workout. If I manage to make this happen and finish around 5:30 am, I will have much more bodily energy to engage in my workflow for the remainder of the time. Sometimes, however, I have to prioritize the work I need to accomplish to get right to my office computer.

Around 6:00 a.m., my kids wake up, and my husband takes the morning block with them. He makes us all breakfast (which I eat in my office) and spends some quality time with them before he has to leave for the day. I am still working until 7:30 a.m. My kids have learned that this is crunch time for Mama, so they’re pretty good about not barging in (but it definitely happens at least once a morning!) Once they’re awake, I always try to greet them and show them affection with a bright “Good morning!” It’s so nice to see you today!” to fill their “mom bucket” a little before shutting myself off from them. This goes a LONG way!

At 7:30 am, the “switch” happens. I turn off the computer, close my office, and fully engage in “mom mode.” 

Enter: “real life.”

Sometimes, it is a true whiplash effect: one minute, I am producing a track or writing an astrology script, and the next moment, I’m elbows deep in a dirty diaper, getting screamed at, and wondering how much time I have before we have to all leave the house. 

It’s wild. What a time to be alive.

At least, this is what I tell myself. 

A woman holding two young children
Loving every minute of "mom mode"

Right now, it feels like this version of reality will last forever. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from being a parent, it's that things change incredibly fast, and you don’t see it until you look behind you. 

Let me be clear: this was NOT my reality just a few months ago. My husband and I hadn’t figured out this allocation of labor, I wasn’t getting up as early, and my kids were both too dependent on us for me to thoroughly “check out” into work mode. Now, we’ve finally found (what feels like) a flow, but I anticipate it changing again as soon as my oldest becomes even more independent. I wanted to share this process because it is working for us and will hopefully serve as the foundation for structures going forward. 

The Daytime

How does most of the day work?

We’ve split the week in half. As stated earlier, my husband works four days a week. For those full days, I am in full “mom mode” during the day.

This means I put down my phone, get the kids outside whenever possible (which isn’t the easiest or most comfortable in the Pacific Northwest, but we try), focus on getting them active and moving, find some way to feed ourselves, and meal prep for my husband each day, and maybe (if I’m lucky) find a way to clean some part of the house. 

A woman walking upstairs with her two young children
Me and the boys reaching new heights

I have found that prioritizing feeding ourselves with homemade food, plenty of physical activity (for myself and the kids), and being present with them (aka putting down all devices) has been the most beneficial and peaceful way to spend our day together.

We sing, cook, read, listen to music, and play together. If it’s sunny or clear, we are outside, no excuses. I take advantage of the child care at my gym if I want to journal, hit the sauna, or take a barre class. We dance and rough house every day. I have both kids enrolled in a weekly gym class and sometimes a swim class on the weekends. We take advantage of our public library and go to a “baby band” class to play music together with other kids. We hit the parks, craft, run errands, visit family and friends, and get out at least once a day. 

On the weekends, we mostly stay home because I work. I only perform astrology readings for clients on Fridays and Sundays. (If you’d like to book a reading, you can do so here on my website!) 

We prioritize time as a family on Saturdays, and I try to give my husband a break to accomplish some of his desired tasks. 

Most of my solo appointments, engagements, and events are relegated to weekends when I can lean on my husband to take care of the kids while I’m out. Last month, this meant workshops and conferences where I was gone for multiple days for many hours. This month, we are trying to rebalance the scales, and I’m prioritizing time at home so we can all feel more in support of each other. 

I have learned (out of sheer necessity) how to accomplish what once took me hours into a matter of minutes. I schedule posts months in advance and am forced to be brisk and decisive about editing photos, music, videos, and posts. I have built structures to systematically tackle all aspects of my digital presence as an astrologer and musician while deliberately scheduling more flexible work periods dedicated to completing much larger projects without deadlines.

A woman standing in front of a computer wearing headphones
I keep evening recording sessions under 20 min

Specific language and strategy around goal setting, habit stacking, outlining and planning output, and constant assessment of productivity are the only ways I’ve been able to accomplish as much as I have. I am a classic example of someone with too many interests and too much ambition, so I’ve had to learn that “done is better than perfect.” 

Before anyone comes for me, trying to convince me that I’m some slave to a capitalist system, I want to also clearly state that I am doing this for the love of doing it. Working as an astrologer and a composer brings enormous meaning into my life. I spent months neglecting this part of my identity in pursuit of being wholly a mother to my kids, and it felt like a massive part of me was missing! This was my identity long before I was a mother, and I will not give it up for the sake of my kids. 

Because truthfully, I don’t believe that would even be for the sake of my kids. 

I want them to see that through hard work, perseverance, and strategy, one can have a life that includes being a parent and doing the things they love. 

I want them to see a real-life example of someone pursuing an ambitious career, accomplishing goals, and completing creative projects for the LOVE of creating them. 

I want them to know the benefits of fueling themselves with good food, exercise, and finding the self-love and discipline to accomplish their dreams. I also want them to understand that all components must feed into creating a well-working system. 

I realized that when I became a parent, I was the number one example of what an adult could be to my kids, so this is the life that I’ve chosen to aim for. 
A woman walking with two young children
Me and my boys, this was Mother's Day 2024

It brings me such pride and joy to work as hard as I do, to be as present as I am, and to be as busy as I am each day. I am grateful that THIS is the life I have the privilege to balance!

And when things feel imbalanced or lean in a wasteful, unhealthy, or unfocused direction, I am free to recenter and adjust accordingly. 

The Evening

Now, we finally reach the end of our long day. When my kids go to bed clean, fed, safe, and loved, I remind myself that I won the jackpot for life compared to many worldwide.

My evenings are usually a mix of wanting to accomplish more with the remaining hours and wanting to chill out and unwind. In a perfect world, I WOULD dedicate this time to yoga, journaling, calming tea, and reading the countless astrology books at my bedside. In practice, I usually have more work I’d like to do. 

Each day comes with a set of choices, and I always try to remind myself that “I have enough time for anything. What am I choosing to prioritize right now?”
a pile of books next to a bag
Astrology Books I picked up recently at NORWAC

This question often keeps me from mindless scrolling on social media, getting too wrapped up in a side project, or a research spiral through YouTube. I can confidently stand by my actions when I’ve been an active decision-maker in the process of making them. 

Most of my weekly planning happens on Sunday evenings before the week starts, so I don’t have to constantly assess my tasks for the following day. I also plan meals so the groceries are purchased, and I’m ready to go for another day of feeding my ravenous family of men. The evenings can be dedicated to wrapping up the work, the house, and the tasks, and can also be a time on weekends when my husband and I enjoy each other’s company together, often over a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Sometimes, if necessity arises, I find the fastest way to get into bed, and I’m asleep before 9:00 pm. 

Most nights, I’m asleep before 10:00 pm, guaranteeing me around 6-6.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I find that using healthy habits to promote good sleep goes a LONG way to prep for the next day, so the screen is off, the chamomile and magnesium are drunk, the lights are low, and the mouth tape is on after the final “I love you” when my husband finally gets home around 9:00 pm. 

Then, repeat. 

A woman speaking to a crowded room
Serving Astrology at the Divine Warrior Witches Beltane & Litha Ritual

Chasing the Balance

Please understand that this system is never operating perfectly. 

I fall prey to mindless scrolling, sleeping in, eating fast food, staying indoors in front of the TV, falling behind on deadlines (like this blog post), and missing a post like every other human in the world. I’m very far from a perfect role model. 

What matters to me isn’t the success rate of getting this system down perfectly; there is an optimal system to aim for, and I know I can achieve and fall back on every day. 

One of my favorite books I’ve read that has truly shaped how I operate my life is Atomic Habits by James Clear.

He says: 

“If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection.” 

“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision.” 

I genuinely feel that at this moment, I am focusing on planting seeds and caring for “sprouts”—both the “sprouts” that run around feral in diapers and adore every new thing about the world and the budding projects that are beginning to see the light of day in my professional world. The key to tending this little “garden” I’ve created is operating a system that is in pursuit of balancing the two sides of my life. 

For any of you struggling to find that balance, it gave me enormous relief to remember that achieving a perfect balance is NOT POSSIBLE.

The best we can do is to PURSUE that balance, but remember to still find joy each day despite what may change or go awry. 

For years, I was so hyper-focused on the intent to get “there,” to that perfect place of having everything work out and all my ducks in a row, that I missed the beauty of being messy and incomplete and the freedom to experiment and be flexible. I aimed for a system that was too hell-bent on achieving perfection and, thus, was unattainable and unsustainable. 

a woman smiling holding a laptop
TFW you're done recording at the end of a long day!

Now, I make it about prioritizing my time and attuning to my values. I value this precious time with my young children, so I prioritize its quality above all else (and I am fortunate to be able to do so!). I value my craft, music, and work as an astrologer, so I prioritize my time to dedicate to those pursuits. I value my relationships with my friends, family, and community, so sometimes, I sacrifice what work I might accomplish with time spent with real-life loved ones who are physically near and close to me and communicating with those who live far away. 

Anything is possible to accomplish when you take full responsibility for your actions in pursuit of achieving them and owning up to what you are choosing to prioritize, attuning your actions towards your values rather than your immediate cravings, and building a system for your life that allows you to make those choices effectively. This has been the key to all I’ve accomplished thus far, and I’m only in the infancy of what this may achieve.

Everybody starts at the beginning; holding a little sprout of hope and aiming for the stars.
A sprout growing under a starry sky

I wish you all the best in your pursuit of joy and love and that you manifest the fruition of your dreams as a result of this Gemini New Moon.

Blessed be. 


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