A Day in my Life as a Working Mom
I’ve always loved day in the life posts – I love seeing how other people plan and schedule their days, and sometimes I can even pick up a tip or trick to make my life easier.
I thought I’d share a typical day in my life as a working mom. If you’re new here, I’m a mom to three kids – ages 6, 4, and 2. I work as an in-house lawyer for a large company, and my husband also has a demanding career (more so than mine if I’m being honest – more on that below!). The day captured below was during the brief reprieve between winter kids’ activities and spring kids’ activities so we didn’t have sports or activities to contend with. We limit activities to two weekdays max (plus one weekend day) – for the sake of everyone’s sanity!
A Day in the Life of a Working Mom
6:00 a.m. – Alarm goes off. I hit snooze once, but don’t fall back to sleep. I catch up on blog-related social media.
I usually try to squeeze in a blog-related social media post before leaving for work, but I spend the entire time this morning debating whether a meme that implies that parents are the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus is going to destroy kids’ illusions if they were to accidentally see it. Decide against posting it.
6:10 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. – Get ready, make my bed, and pack my lunch. Today’s a hair wash and blow dry day, so it takes longer than normal. I wash my hair three times a week, but blow drying is an increasingly rare occurence.
My boys wake up, and I help move them along their morning routine. They’re fairly independent in the morning, but often need help fixing their breakfast, and need to be sunscreened daily. My husband is on daycare drop-off duty today, so he’s responsible for getting them ready and out of the house, but I help out where I can.
My daughter wakes up right as I’m leaving the house, but she’s grumpy and doesn’t want to say goodbye. Awesome. I hate leaving them for the day without a positive goodbye. I give my boys plenty of goodbye kisses while they barely look up from their iPads (they’re allowed screen time on weekday mornings once they’re completely ready to go).
Related: 3 Ways to Fight Working Mom Guilt
7:12 a.m. – Leave the house. I’m “supposed” to leave at 7:00 a.m., so I’m behind schedule. On the drive to work I try to dictate part of this blog post – it doesn’t go so well! (the text was barely decipherable when I tried to read it later)
7:35 a.m. – Arrive at work. I’m very fortunate to have a fantastic work schedule. I switched to a part-time, hourly role after having my second child, and it’s perfect for my current stage of life. I work 30 hours per week over 4 days, and have a good degree of flexibility in how I schedule my day. I work 7:30 – 3:30 (ish), and either work through my lunch or take a short lunch. My schedule allows me to maximize my time with the kids, and my husband and I stagger our workdays to minimize the length of their day at daycare.
7:40 a.m. – Drink coffee I brought from home and eat breakfast (instant oatmeal, every day), while catching up on emails. The ability to drink my coffee and eat breakfast in peace is a hugely underrated benefit of being a working parent!
Related: Finding Balance as a Mom
7:40 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. – Work. I’m in-house counsel for a large company, and my days are largely spent drafting, negotiating and reviewing contracts, and in conference calls. Today is no different. Lunch is leftovers, which I eat at my desk.
Working mom hack: My planner (& favourite pens!) are with me at all times, as is the calendar/list-making app that keeps our family running smoothly. At work I’m actually able to get through a full thought uninterrupted, and I’m always writing down reminders and to-do’s as they pop into my head.
12:35 p.m. – Pop out to the dollar store to pick up some last-minute Easter goodies. If I take a lunch break, there’s a good chance I’m running errands!
1:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. – More work. I won’t bore you with the details of my day, but if you’re a lawyer or law student wondering what a day in the life of in-house counsel is really like, please reach out to me!
3:50 p.m. – Leave work. Walk to a nearby bakery to pick up buns for dinner, then back to my car for the drive home. This is the extent of my “exercise” for the day, which sadly is fairly typical.
4:25 p.m. – Arrive at the kids’ daycare. My daughter squeals and runs over when she sees me – this is the highlight of my day. Occasionally, I get a similar greeting from my older boys, but more often they’re busy playing with their friends, and only interested in finding out what’s for dinner.
4:46 p.m. – Arrive home. Unpack approximately 5,000 containers from my kids’ lunches (these are the perfect size for the veggies and cut up fruit in their lunch). Dinner is hamburgers, cooked by my husband because I’m terrified of the BBQ. That means dinner won’t be until later, so I prepare a snack for my very hungry kids. This time of day is sheer chaos at our house – everybody seems to need something immediately as soon as we walk in the door.
5:10 p.m. – Kids abandon their snacks and for a brief moment all three are occupied by their Pokémon cards and toys. Husband texts to let me know he’s about to leave the office.
5:15 p.m. – Boys decide to go play outside. We’ve finally reached the wonderful stage where they’re allowed to play out back by themselves and it’s amazing.
5:17 p.m. – Not to be left out, my daughter decides she wants to go outside too. She’s only two, which means I need to go with her. Since I don’t have to cook dinner tonight, we head outside to play. She wants to ride bikes with “her boys”, so I push her around on her trike.
5:45 p.m. – Husband arrives home and starts the BBQ. I head inside with the youngest two, who promptly go upstairs to play in their rooms. I take advantage of a momentary reprieve to talk to my husband uninterrupted and prepare the hamburger toppings and veggies.
5:58 p.m. – Big mistake! Daughter has pulled all of her clothes out of her dresser. We clean up the mess “together”.
6:15 p.m. – Dinner time. This is late for us – usually I aim to have dinner on the table right when my husband gets home, but things are thrown off schedule on nights he BBQs (or nights we have a kids’ activity).
6:45 p.m. – We do a quick tidy up as a family, then I take the kids upstairs for baths, while my husband stays downstairs to clean the rest of the kitchen. Our kids will happily splash around in the tub for as long as we let them. This is the bath toy of choice right now.
7:15 p.m. – Book and bedtime for my daughter. She’s a fantastic sleeper, and goes down without a fuss.
7:30 p.m. – Book and bedtime for the boys. Our oldest has to do nightly home reading, so we always try to squeeze in a home reading book, as well as a story we read to them. If I can, I try to get him to read to me right after getting home, as we’re all exhausted at the end of the night.
7:42 p.m. – Kids are all in bed! My husband and I have lofty goals of trying to watch a movie together tonight, but first I have to place an Amazon order for a few things we need for our upcoming Disnelyland trip (kids’ headphones // a card holder for my younger son – brilliant idea! // this toy – which I’m hoping will entertain my daughter on the plane // this backpack). I’m fading fast, but try to keep my eyes open.
Sometime after 8:00 p.m. – didn’t work! I wake up at 11:00 p.m. realizing that I fell fast asleep. Truth be told, this happens about once a week. Fortunately I didn’t have much I had to get done tonight (tomorrow’s a holiday). Usually the time after the kids are in bed is spent preparing for tomorrow, blogging, and trying to squeeze in some time with my husband. I aim to be in bed by 10:00 (I need my sleep!), but that’s been creeping closer and closer to 11:00 p.m.