Day in the Life: Working Mom
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Hello Spouse Serve Family!
We debuted our two part series in February with Julia’s post about being a work from home mom. Due to personal circumstances, I wasn’t able to prepare my blog post in time for March, so now you’re getting it in April!
For context, I am a dual military mom of two. Most of the time, I am working in my office while my boys attend daycare on post. However, it’s hasn’t quite been ‘most of times’ this year. After a late term miscarriage in February, three weeks of healing at home, two weeks of starting to work again, and now teleworking, my schedule hasn’t been consistent since 2019. Later this year, my husband and I will move and start Graduate School and our schedules will adjust yet again. So this blog post is what ‘normal’ generally looks like, even though we are not living it currently.
A typical day in my life:
4:30 am. This is when my husband, Mic, wakes up. I’m noting his movement as well because he and I share responsibilities in the house and it does not go unnoticed. He usually spends this time doing dishes and picking up the kitchen so we get to spend quality time with our boys in evening since we get very little time to do so.
5:30 am. This is when I wake up. I am not a morning person. I wake up in the literal last minute possible. This give me 15 minutes to change, put on deodorant, put on shoes, grab snacks for the boys, and start the trucks if it’s cold outside.
5:45 am. We wake up the boys. They get changed, grab blankets, grab their snack, put on shoes and we are out the door. Otto is mostly complicit, Oliver is hesitant but comes around.
6:00 am. Leave the house. Daycare is luckily down the street, so the commute is quick.
6:30 – 8:15 am. Physical Fitness. Varies from day to day. Both Mic and I do PT. I prefer a combination of weight training and running.
8:15 – 9:00 am. Come home to shower, change, make and prep lunch, walk the dog, maybe chat with hubs? This time is very sensitive and protected. I’m a hardcore egg person and usually scramble eggs and brew some coffee because I feel best and perform better when I have a good breakfast.
9:30 am – 5:30 pm. Bear with me, this is a big time gap. I do SO MUCH at work. And I work REALLY HARD to not stay late. In order to maximize time with the boys, I usually eat lunch at work. This allows me to get as much done during the standard ‘duty day’ and allows me to leave at a reasonable hour. What happens in those hours isn’t very consistent, but I generally attend 5 meetings a week varying between 30 min to 2 hours, which cuts into time to do other parts of my job (mostly admin). I also use my ‘lunch time’ as a time to handle any personal items that I need to get done for the Family. I make doctor appointments, vet appointments, sign the kids up for sports, coordinate carpet cleaning, etc. Since I’m at work during normal business hours, it can be tough to get everything done. I usually only do one task per day, as required.
5:45 pm. Pick up the boys, head home, start dinner.
6:15 pm. Dinner. I am adamant that we eat dinner together. Sometimes it’s not possible. But when it is, I’ll stay at the table the entire time to make sure we have that family dinner time. I hold this sacred and ensure that we get this as much as possible.
6:45 – 7:30 pm. This is it, folks. This is the only play time I get with my boys. This is when we color, we do imaginative play, we wrestle, play tag, go to parks, play soccer, read. This time is also precious. In fact, recently I set restrictions on my phone from 5-7 pm to ensure I’m not unconsciously opening up Facebook or other unnecessary distractions. I do keep some things open for work purposes, such as messages and phone, just in case.
7:30 pm. Bedtime routine. Baths, brush teeth, read books, and snuggles.
8:00 pm. Kisses and lights out.
8:00 – 9:00 pm. This is the time where our 4 YO goes pee, goes poop, needs water, goes pee again, is scared of the dark, turns on his light, remembers he wants his blanket from the truck, and needs to be tucked in… again.
9:00 pm. Mic and I go to sleep. There’s no ‘after the kids go to sleep we will do xyz…’ because we are EXHAUSTED. Because the next day, we will wake up and start it all over again.
Things that I’ve found that have helped us maintain sanity:
Set chores by person, understood by all
Easy dinners, usually a protein source with frozen veggies and a rice pack
Predictable schedules for the boys
Prepping lunch on Sundays for most of the week
Phone restrictions during family hours
Don’t let work consume life outside work hours
Find priorities for each day and focus on those, both in life and work
Being a working mom is exhausting and many, many times I’ve considered getting out of the Army. A big reason I’m currently still in is that I genuinely enjoy my job, and it provides many benefits for our family. Also, I was selected to attend graduate school for two years then go to West Point to teach math, which is a dream job for me. Those five years will also be a dream for our family. We are so excited to be able to slow down, spend more time with the boys, and focus on us as a family.
Let us know how you balance work and motherhood!