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Day in the Life: Working Mom of 3

I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse in to an average day for me. I work full-time as a social strategist, raising a 7 year old and 4 year old twins, blogging part-time and trying to maintain some balance in my life. 

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6am:
Wake up, shower and try to get as ready as much as possible. I always reach for my zip up fleece mumu as I do my hair and put my make up on. I'm lucky to leave for work after my kids are off to school so I can change clothes once they are out the door. I've had many years of going to work with spit up or baby food on my clothes.

6:30am: 
Wake Walt & Whitney up and get them dressed for school however Walt is usually up by 6am in our room. This is one of the most mentally challenging parts of my day. What kid wants to be forced to wake up early from their sleep and get dressed quickly to rush off to school? I don't blame them for resisting, but it does make EVERY morning a constant battle and it is exhausting to say the least. Alex and I tag team every morning, but Walt and Whitney usually scream for "MOMMY!" to get them dressed. While I get their clothes on Alex will make a quick to-go breakfast or they will stop on the way if we need an incentive to motivate the kids. 

6:50 
By this time the twins are in Alex's truck and they are pulling out of the driveway. Alex takes them because their school is near his office. Bless his patience because I know the 45 minute to hour commute is not easy. He always has an iPad in the car for backup. You never know with Austin traffic. 

If Turner isn't up I wake him up and start making his lunch. I really wish he would eat the hot lunch in the cafeteria, but I don't blame him. Sometimes we'll do his math homework if we forgot to do the night before. I make sure everything is in his backpack and all his papers have been signed. The bus picks him up just down the street, so he's out the door by himself by 7:15am. 

7:15am: 
I pick up the kitchen and other spots in my house that might be driving me crazy. Then I'll get some blog work done like posting to Instagram, responding to emails or writing a blog post. I give myself 10 minutes to get dressed before I need to leave the house. 

8:00am:
I grab my to-go breakfast and head out the door. My commute is 16.7 miles and takes me anywhere from 30 minutes on a good day to an hour on a heavy traffic day. I will listen to a podcast (here's my top 10 from a year ago), call my mom to chat, or jam out to my favorite music. Currently I'm listening to the newest albums from Harry Styles, Jonas Brothers, Khalid and Post Malone.

9:00am - 12:00pm:
I set up my computer, check emails and fill up my 24 oz. cup with ice water. Then I get in to my meetings for the day. Depending on the day I could be on conference calls for two to five hours a day. On a good day I will only have 2-3 meetings that are 30 minutes to an hour each. Some days I barely have time to use the restroom because I have back to back calls. Some of my meetings are in person, but many of my teammates work in other states so we connect via Webex conference calls. We always turn our cameras on, unless we're working from home. 

12:00pm:
Some days I have meetings during my lunch hour so I'll eat lunch at my desk before or after the call, or even during and turn my camera off if it's not a call I need to be speaking on. 1-2 weekdays I'll run an errand and grab lunch while I'm out. It's dangerous I work so close to my favorite restaurant, Chilantro, and  if I'm lucky I'll squeeze in a lunch date with Alex there. Every other month I'll also try to meet up with a friend or fellow blogger over lunch to chat. 

1:00pm:
Back to work and usually wanting something sweet so I'll grab a dark chocolate from my desk. If the weather is nice I try to walk around my building when the afternoon slump hits. I love getting some fresh air and a little bit of exercise. I think it's also a great time to brainstorm ideas and walk through any problems I'm facing. No music, no talking, no scrolling, just me and my thoughts. 

4-5pm:
Depending on the day I'll leave the office anywhere between 4 and 5pm, but most days closer to 4. I head straight to Turner's school where he is at the YMCA after school care program. I'm allowed to leave him there until 6pm, but he is rarely there that late. 

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5:30pm:
Once I've picked up Turner we'll head home and I'll either start cooking dinner, pick up the house, or scroll the internet to decompress for a moment. My least favorite thing to do is cook, so depending on what we're eating that night I'll wait until Alex gets home to cook it. Turner just started playing spring baseball and has practice from 5:30-7pm, so on these nights I will either take him or Alex will get home early to pick him up. We eat out about 2 times during the work week. I use HEB curbside to order and pick up my groceries, but still need to be better about meal planning. 

5:45pm:
Alex usually gets home from work with the twins between 5:45 and 6pm. He'll start cooking dinner while I play with the kids. When it's warm outside we head straight to the park or the pool, which is why I really don't like winter. I try not to let them watch TV and if they do limit it to an hour or less. 

6:30-8pm: 
Dinner, baths, jammies, reading and bedtime. This is the second toughest part of the day. Alex and I are exhausted from work, but we have so many things to get done. The kids are needy and grumpy and we all just need to go to bed! Giving my kids a bath and getting them to stay in their rooms should be considered an Olympic sport. When I'm home Walt and Whitney really throw a fuss when Alex tries to put them to bed, so I do it every night. However, about twice a week I'll either go workout or attend a blogger event and on those nights Alex says the kids are usually great and go down easy. Why are they always so much harder when mom is around?! 

I enjoy working out at night, so I tend to go to the latest class and get home around 8/8:30pm. Alex works out during lunch at Apple so that works out well for our schedule. 

9pm:
Turner is asleep by 9 after he does his math homework and we read to him. Then it's my favorite time of the day. I'll wash my face, get a snack, turn on a show, grab my computer and decompress from my day in the family room. Alex watches his iPad in bed, and is usually passed out by 9:30pm. I on the other hand stay up much later. This is where my part-time blogging job kicks in, and I will respond to emails, edit photos, and write blog posts. I wouldn't spend so much time blogging if I didn't love it, and I'm coming up on my 9 year blog anniversary!

11pm:
I try to go to bed no later than 11, but some nights I get caught up in a show or working and stay up till midnight.  6 hours of sleep is necessary, but 7-8 feels amazing. I never get a full nights rest because at least once or twice a night a kid will barge in to my room wanting to get in our bed. Most nights I immediately get up and put them back in their beds, but if it's 30 minutes before I'm about to get up for the day I'll let them lay with me. Alex sleeps through it all and I'm jealous. Oh to be a man. 

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I know my schedule is only going to get busier once Walt and Whitney start extracurricular activities, which is why they are 4 and have yet to take anything. I will likely be putting them in swim lessons in preparation for the summer. I will say my life is never perfectly balanced. On any given day there are dirty dishes in the sink, toys strung all over the house, piles of laundry to fold or put away, and weeks I go without exercising. A few things have helped me along this working mom journey.

- I hired a house cleaner to come twice a month and it has been a complete game changer. Worth every single penny. I love that I don't have to worry about cleaning floors, bathrooms and she washes our sheets and makes all the beds!

- I get to work from home on Fridays, which allows me to clean up a ton before the weekend begins. I was very intentional about my choice to work at IBM, because I wanted a great work/life balance.

- I order groceries online, and I don't beat myself up if we eat out.

- Almost every Sunday evening I escape to a local coffee shop to work on my blog. I can get so much done in a few short hours when I'm focused and I don't have kids running around.

Ultimately Alex and I are really good teammates in our parenting journey. He doesn't bat an eye when I say I need some time to myself because he knows how much I put in to it. To all the single mothers and fathers out there, I applaud you! Give yourself grace mamas and focus on 2-3 things every day that you want to get done. Everything else can wait! And for all the hard work you do, treat yourself with a massage or something you love. You freaking deserve it!

6 comments:

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

Loved reading this post! I work in Tech as well and it's so key to have work/life balance. My WFH Fridays are such a game changer.

Amy said...

I love getting a glimpse into someone else’s crazy schedule! Way to give yourself grace!!

Anonymous said...

Fellow working mom of 3 here (mine are 8, 6 and 4) and I am glad to see I am not alone in my struggles. I am wondering if your job is considered full time? My day sounds very similar but with about 2 extra hours of work. I have been contemplating requesting part time status because I think life would be SO much more balanced if I had an extra 2 hours a day at home. Wondering what your thoughts are about this.

Anonymous said...

Agree that only working 9-4 would not fly in the offices I've worked in (and I don't see extra time working at home in the day shared here).

Anonymous said...

My workplace (a FAANG company) doesn’t track hours (within reason; need to be available during meetings/etc) as long as we get our work done - I have some weeks where my days are 10-4 and others where I work many more hours in the evening. Perhaps her work is similar? It is a blessing to work at a place that’s so flexible; the expectations at my last company (also FAANG) were very different.

GabGal said...

Do you have an updated podcast list since your post last year? (PS - if you ever think about doing a podcast, you have at least one listener here)