A Week in the Life of a Working Mom: Communications Exec in D.C.

For this week’s installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Emily, who lives in Washington, D.C., and is a communications executive with a one-year-old daughter. Our usual caveat applies: Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, coldhearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat

If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise), please fill out this form! You can see all posts in this series here.

First, Some Basics…

Name: Emily
Lives: In Capitol Hill, works in downtown D.C.
Job: Communications executive at a global corporation
Age: 35
Home Situation: I live in a 2,000-square-foot, 3-bedroom rowhouse with my husband (41-year-old public affairs professional) and our one-year-old daughter.  
Childcare Situation: Nanny share, 45 hours per week. Our nanny makes $23 an hour for 40 hours per week, and $34.50 per hour for anything over 40 hours. Her guaranteed weekly gross is $1,092.50. We split this with the other family in our share evenly, so we pay a little more than $500 a week.

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The Easiest Family Vacation Resorts for Working Moms

The Easiest Family Vacation Resorts for Working MomsWhich family vacation resorts have you tried and enjoyed? Are there any you’ve tried that you wouldn’t? Which is your kids’ favorite? When you want to have a fun family vacation but don’t want to do a lot of planning, where do you go? Which do you think are the easiest family vacation resorts for working moms?

Before my husband and I became parents, I wouldn’t have considered an all-inclusive and/or resort-type of vacation. We valued flexibility and spontaneity: the opportunity to have our full pick of hotels and B&Bs, the ability to choose any restaurants we wanted and also to discover some by wandering around a new city, etc. Why would we want to limit ourselves by taking a cruise or staying in a resort, and why would we want to stay in one place?

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Sun Protection Strategies for Kids

Ladies, let’s talk about sun protection strategies for kids — do you sunscreen them up before daycare or school? Only if told to, either by policy or special direction?

I was just thinking about this a week or so ago: does anyone else feel guilty if your kid gets a farmer’s tan, i.e. bronzed forearms and lily white upper arms? I have my own anti-sun agenda, but I feel particularly, perhaps excessively, protective of my fair-haired, pale-skinned boys. We all wear rash guards and sun hats whenever we’re outside, and no one’s gotten burned yet (which is good because multiple childhood sunburns greatly increase your risk for melanoma). Still, their forearms are all deeply tan right now, and I feel guilty, like I’m not doing enough to protect them. So let’s hear it, ladies: Do you slather your kids with sunscreen every day? Do you get their ears and neck and forearms, or just, say, their nose and cheeks? What do you use yourself, and what do you use on your kids?

For my $.02, I’m kind of odd for myself: I just bought some tank tops so that if I go out on a 20-minute walk I can get some vitamin D and avoid a farmer’s tan, but I’m also that weirdo on the beach with the long-sleeved rash guard, huge hat, and probably a too-white face because I haven’t blended my serious mineral sunscreen. With my kids, if I know they’ll be out in the sun for 30 minutes or more, I sunscreen the heck out of them — but on the flip side, if I’m not expecting a lot of sun exposure, I just send them out with hats.

How about you guys? Are you serious about sunscreen for your kids and/or yourself? Which products are your favorites? Are you a fan of any particular brand of rash guards or hats?

Image source: Stencilsun protection strategies for kids - image of sun and blue skies

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A Week in the Life of a Working Mom: Part-Time, Work-at-Home Attorney

work-at-home attorney momFor this week’s installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Mindy B., who lives in a suburb of Detroit and is a work-at-home attorney mom with a teenage daughter. Our usual caveat applies: Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! – Kat

If you’d like to be featured (anonymously or otherwise), please fill out this form! You can see all posts in this series here.

First, Some Basics…

Name: Mindy B.
Lives: A Detroit suburb
Job: Work at home (part time) for a boutique law firm
Age: 49
Home Situation: I live in a Tudor home in a community-oriented small town with my husband who travels frequently for work, our 14-year-old daughter who’s in all honors classes (plus band) in 8th grade and swims competitively 20+ hours per week, and two 2-year-old CRAZY pups.
Childcare Situation: Because I work from home, I only need babysitters when we will be out past the time our daughter goes to sleep (i.e., theater, etc.) but I do need “chauffeurs” to drive our daughter to/from activities when I have afternoon or evening commitments and my husband is traveling/working late.

Mindy pointed out how her schedule may be different from other Week in the Life moms we feature:  

(1) we only have one child (I have NO idea how parents juggle more than one child!), (2) she’s more responsible than most adults I know, and (3) my husband’s office is an hour away from home and he also travels out of town 1–2 nights a week, 2–3 weeks per month.

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How to Find Time to Work Out As a Mom

Ladies, what are your best tips for how to find time to work out as a mom? In our survey I noticed that a lot of women, like me, were struggling to find time to work out. For my $.02, I know that I tend to have an all-or-nothing approach to exercise, and it isn’t doing me any favors! In addition to it being a bad idea from a calorie/consistency/crazy perspective (I like to do cardio to “keep the crazies away”), it turns out my mom body really does not like to do nothing for weeks and then try to do a kickboxing workout or a dead lift. I have a few ideas on how to find time to work out as a mom (below), but I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

In just the past few weeks, I’ve made a huge shift in my thinking. I’ve always thought of exercise as something to do to help my mood and to look better in clothes — I liked high intensity things like running, kickboxing, spinning, swinging kettlebells, lifting heavy weights, and more. Since getting pregnant with my second son I’ve been in and out of PT for years — first to mitigate my SPD pain while pregnant with H, then postpartum PT for my hip flexors, then PT again after my ACL surgery for general knee rehabilitation. I’ve now found myself back in PT because of lower back pain, which turned out to be because of weak transverse abs. (I also kept making my hip flexors angry after I tried to go running, possibly because one knee is still weaker than the other.)

how to find time to work out as a mom - the shortest workouts!I’m now realizing my core, trunk, and back are huge priorities for me just for general health and happiness — not something to think about as a “last 10 pounds bikini body push” — and I’m making sure I do exercises every day to support those. (I’m also hoping it will help improve my posture.) I know that as I get older, weight-bearing exercises like walking are more important (and, dare to dream, maybe one day I can get back to running), and I also know that strong muscles are very important, so I’m going to be trying to work in bodyweight exercises like squats and pushups since I don’t trust myself with weights right now. In theory, I have time for all this, but forming the habits (like planking after I brush my teeth, or doing wall squats while I’m waiting for water to boil) is tricky.

If you’re already feeling great postpartum (or you have older kids) and are just struggling with a timing issue, know that there are a ton of short but GREAT workouts you can do in under 20 minutes. I know readers have noted that even Peloton has classes that are 5–20 minutes! (Just be careful not to overdo it as a newbie.)

Some of the short workouts that I’ve looked into include:

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When Working Moms Should Hire A Cleaning Service

Hire a Cleaning Service: When Working Moms Should Hire A Maid, Housekeeper, or Other Cleaning ProfessionalLadies, let’s just discuss: have you hired a cleaning service or cleaning professional to help clean your home? Did you hire a cleaning service BEFORE kids, or was it only something you investigated once you became a parent? (Or, did you ramp up from, say, a quarterly cleaning to a biweekly cleaning?) When would you advise other working moms to hire a cleaning service? On the flip side, is the cost of daycare (or nanny or other childcare) so great that you can’t get behind the idea of hiring a cleaning service — and then have you gotten into the Flylady system or some other cleaning schedule for yourself (even if it’s just a last-minute cleaning system when company’s coming)? 

I still remember when I realized it was time for my family to use a cleaning service — it happened when my older son had just upgraded from the baby tub to the regular tub. For some reason, when I took my own showers I never noticed all the mold and soap scum on the tub, but sitting on the floor next to my son who was happily licking the walls and toys and drinking the dirty bathwater (WHY?), I was horrified. Up until then, my routine for keeping a “clean house” involved 15 minutes every day when I wiped down counters, scrubbed toilets, dusted something, or organized something — but I realized that with a small, crawling, growing little man (who was licking weird stuff) that I needed to raise my game. I had no particular interest in spending more than 15 minutes a day cleaning — or even to scrub the tub on a regular basis! — so this kind of depressed me. 

Around the same time, as luck would have it, we went out for a date night with another married couple, and they started talking about how AMAZING their cleaning professional was. “She’s like the housekeeper I had when I was in London,” the husband, A,  gushed. The wife, my friend N, piped up: “Yes! She asked if she could organize A’s closet and then did a great job!” 

We expressed interest, and so they asked, and soon their cleaning professional, O, was cleaning our home once every two weeks. My home quickly became WAY cleaner than with my own cleaning method — not just cleaner, but more organized. There was at least ONE DAY every two weeks where I felt a sense of peace and calm coming from a 100% clean home. There is no way I could go back to the way things were before!

Some tips from someone who’s had a cleaning professional for a while:

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