A Week in the Life of a Working Mom: Land Services Agent in Kentucky

working mom in Kentucky with anxietyFor this week’s installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Autumn, a working mom in Kentucky. She works as a land services agent for a public utilities company and is 37 years old with one child. 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 about this Working Mom…

Name: Autumn
Lives: Kentucky
Job: Land services agent for a public utilities company
Age: 37
Home Situation: I live in a 2500-square-foot home with my husband, who works in IT, and our 3-year-old daughter. We have four bedrooms; one is used as a playroom for our daughter and one is for my husband’s office/man-cave. We’ve lived in this house for almost seven years and we are slowly trying to declutter and renovate.
Childcare Situation: My daughter goes to preschool 8:30-4:30 Monday through Friday ($180/week). Every now and then I keep her home with me just for fun.

Last Week in My Life

Sunday

6:00–8:00 a..m. Coffee, journal, quiet time
8:00–9:00 a.m. Breakfast with my daughter while my husband slept in
9:00–10:00 a.m. Daughter watched TV with my husband while I showered and got dressed
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Cleaned house while my daughter played in her playroom and my husband was on his computer
12:00–12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30–2:30 p.m. Cleaned house while my daughter played in her playroom and my husband was on his computer
2:00–5:00 p.m. Naptime for me and my daughter
5:00–6:00 p.m. Cooked dinner while my daughter played in her playroom
6:00–6:30 p.m. Family dinner
6:30–9:30 p.m. Went to the movies with my husband while my brother babysat my daughter and put her to bed
9:30–10:30 p.m. Cleaned up from dinner, put in laundry
10:30 p.m. In bed

Here’s what Autumn said about date nights with her husband: 

Date nights are really important to me but it’s really hard for us to schedule. I struggle with anxiety, and that makes it very difficult for me to leave my daughter with a babysitter, even if it’s someone I trust. Sometimes we can see a movie after she’s gone to bed (my brother lives nearby and will come to our house to watch her). Instead of trying (and failing) to make date night happen more often, we do date lunches instead. Every Wednesday we meet for lunch without fail, and that gives us time to connect without having to worry about a babysitter.

Monday

5:00–7:00 a.m. Worked from home, coffee, quiet time
7:00–7:30 a.m. Showered, got dressed
7:30–8:00 a.m. Got daughter up and ready for school
8:00–8:30 a.m. Preschool drop-off, drove to the office
8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Quarterly team meeting (lunch included)
3:00–4:00 p.m. Target run
4:00–4:30 p.m. Preschool pick-up, drove home
4:30–6:00 p.m. Watched a movie with my daughter (husband got home at 6:00)
6:00–6:30 p.m. Cooked dinner while daughter played in her playroom and husband was on his computer
6:30–7:00 p.m. Family dinner
7:00–7:30 p.m. Husband gave daughter a bath while I cleaned up from dinner
7:30–7:45 p.m. Got daughter ready for bed (potty, pajamas, hugs)
7:45–8:00 p.m. Husband did bedtime routine (brushing teeth, reading stories) while I checked my work email
8:00–9:00 p.m. Watched TV with my husband
9:00–10:00 p.m. Internet (email, Facebook)
10:00 p.m. In bed

Here’s what Autumn said about working from home: 

I’m very lucky to have a job that’s technically work-from-home. … My job is split between property research, meetings with engineers, and negotiations with property owners. Since it’s not really a desk job, I’m not expected to be in the office at all. However, I find working from home to be really unproductive for me; there are so many distractions and it’s hard for me to stay focused. I’ve started squatting in an empty cubicle in the office just to impose a little more structure on my day. I’m still free to come and go as I please, but it’s good for me to have a “work” place to go to when I need to get things done. My boss values quality over quantity, so he doesn’t worry as much about the hours I put in as the work I get done.

Tuesday

5:00–7:00 a.m. Worked from home, coffee, quiet time
7:00–7:30 a.m. Showered, got dressed
7:30–8:00 a.m. Got daughter up and ready for school
8:00–8:30 a.m. Preschool drop-off, drove to the gym
8:30–9:30 a.m. Personal training session
9:30–10:00 a.m. Got cleaned up and changed, drove to courthouse
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Property research
1:00–1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30–4:30 p.m. Property research
4:30–5:00 p.m. Preschool pick-up, drove home
5:00–5:30 p.m. Daughter had a snack while I checked work email (husband arrived at 5:30)
5:30–8:00 p.m. Dinner out with friends
8:00–8:15 p.m. Got daughter ready for bed (potty, pajamas, hugs)
8:15–8:30 p.m. Husband did bedtime routine (brushing teeth, reading stories) while I put laundry in
8:30–9:30 p.m. Watched TV with my husband
9:30–10:00 p.m. Internet (email, Facebook)
10:00 p.m. In bed

We noticed Autumn’s early mornings and asked if she’s a natural morning person. She said: 

I have always been a morning person, but after having my daughter, I was always so exhausted that getting up in the morning became a struggle. However, in the past month I have weaned off my anti-anxiety medication and now I wake up after six hours of sleep with my brain racing. Since I can’t fall back asleep, I use the early morning quiet time as time for myself. I read, journal, exercise, or sometimes just stare at the wall and enjoy not being needed by someone else for a little while.

Wednesday

5:00–7:00 a.m. Worked from home, coffee, quiet time
7:00–7:30 a.m. Showered, got dressed
7:30–8:00 a.m. Got daughter up and ready for school
8:00–8:30 a.m. Preschool drop-off, drove to courthouse
8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Property research
12:00–1:00 p.m. Lunch with my husband
1:00–4:30 p.m. Property research
4:30–5:00 p.m. Preschool pick-up, drove home
5:00–6:00 p.m. Daughter had a snack and watched TV while I checked work email (husband arrived at 5:30)
6:00–6:30 p.m. Cooked dinner while daughter played in her playroom and husband was on his computer
6:30–7:00 p.m. Family dinner
7:00–7:30 p.m. Husband gave daughter a bath while I cleaned up from dinner
7:30–7:45 p.m. Got daughter ready for bed (potty, pajamas, hugs)
7:45–8:00 p.m. Husband did bedtime routine (brushing teeth, reading stories) while I checked my work email
8:00–9:00 p.m. Watched TV with my husband
9:00–10:00 p.m. Internet (email, Facebook)
10:00 p.m. In bed

Thursday

5:00–7:00 a.m. Worked from home, coffee, quiet time
7:00–7:30 a.m. Showered, got dressed
7:30–8:00 a.m. Got daughter up and ready for school
8:00–8:30 a.m. Preschool drop-off, drove to courthouse
8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Property research
12:30–1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00–4:30 p.m. Property research
4:30–5:00 p.m. Preschool pick-up, drove home
5:00–6:00 p.m. Daughter had a snack and watched TV while I checked work email (husband arrived at 5:30)
6:00–6:30 p.m. Cooked dinner while daughter played in her playroom and husband was on his computer
6:30–7:00 p.m. Family dinner
7:00–7:30 p.m. Played with my daughter while my husband was on his computer
7:30–7:45 p.m. Got daughter ready for bed (potty, pajamas, hugs)
7:45–8:00 p.m. Husband did bedtime routine (brushing teeth, reading stories) while I cleaned up from dinner and checked my work email
8:00–9:00 p.m. Watched TV with my husband
9:00–10:00 p.m. Internet (email, Facebook)
10:00 p.m. In bed

Friday

5:00–7:00 a.m.Worked from home, coffee, quiet time
7:00–7:30 a.m. Showered, got dressed
7:30–8:00 a.m. Got daughter up and ready for school
8:00–8:30 a.m. Preschool drop-off, drove to the gym
8:30–9:30 a.m. Personal training session
9:30–10:00 a.m. Got cleaned up and changed, drove to courthouse
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Property research
1:00–1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30–4:30 p.m. Property research
4:30–5:00 p.m. Preschool pick-up, drove home
5:00–6:00 p.m. Daughter had a snack and watched TV while I checked work email (husband arrived at 5:30)
6:00–6:30 p.m. Cooked dinner while daughter played in her playroom and husband was on his computer
6:30–7:00 p.m. Family dinner
7:00–7:30 p.m. Husband gave daughter a bath while I cleaned up from dinner
7:30–7:45 p.m. Got daughter ready for bed (potty, pajamas, hugs)
7:45–8:00 p.m. Husband did bedtime routine (brushing teeth, reading stories) while I checked my work email
8:00–9:00 p.m. Watched TV with my husband
9:00–10:00 p.m. Internet (email, Facebook)
10:00 p.m. In bed

Saturday

6:00–8:00 a.m. Coffee, journal, quiet time
8:00–9:00 a.m. Breakfast with my daughter while my husband slept in
9:00–10:00 a.m. Daughter watched TV with my husband while I showered and got dressed
10:00–10:30 a.m. Got daughter dressed while my husband showered
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Shopping (Target, grocery store)
12:30–2:00 p.m. Lunch, drove home
2:00–5:00 p.m. Naptime for me and my daughter
5:00–7:30 p.m. Family dinner
7:30–7:45 p.m. Got daughter ready for bed (potty, pajamas, hugs)
7:45–8:00 p.m. Husband did bedtime routine (brushing teeth, reading stories) while I did some work
8:00–10:00 p.m. Worked
10:00 p.m. In bed

Here’s a final note from Autumn about her week: 

It’s been a while since I filled out that survey … but I do remember that my days seemed repetitive. That’s on purpose. I’ve found my anxiety to be much more manageable when my days have a rhythm to them, and I’ve found that a consistent routine works best for my daughter. She likes knowing what’s going to happen next so we try to keep our weekday routines as constant as possible. Weekends are tougher, and we’re still struggling with routine there.

Thanks so much to Autumn for sharing a bit of her life as a working mom! Readers, what’s your biggest takeaway from her week as a land services agent and her work/life balance?

Picture via Stencil.working mom in kentucky with anxiety - week in the life

A working mom in Kentucky -- with anxiety -- shared a week in her life with us, including having a "sort of work from home" job, why she prefers having office space, how she occupies her toddler daughter, and how she structures her day to help manage her anxiety.

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Comments

  1. I really like that Autumn acknowledges how anxiety plays a role in her daily routine and how she manages it. I’ve also found that consistency is really important for my mental well-being, as well as having time to myself in the early morning.

  2. On your Sunday, it seems like you do all of the cleaning and your husband is on his computer for large chunks of that day. And you’re always making dinner.

    Are you cool with that distribution of labor?

  3. Always enjoy these. Mr. AIMS and I also struggle with the whole babysitter issue (less anxiety but more haven’t gotten around to finding someone) and do a near weekly lunch date to make up for it. It’s nice to have that time to be together without having to worry about baby and what she’s doing/needing.

    • Another vote here in favor of daytime dates during the week. We’ve been doing breakfast dates recently, and it makes a noticeable difference in how connected I’ve felt with Mr. CCLA. Way more rejuvenating for us to spend an hour talking over a meal without distractions than just catching up during the evening time after baby goes to sleep (though I still love that time, too).

      Also, I love this whole series. Thanks to to all the women who have shared!

    • My reason for lunch dates is that I’m so much better about discussing all the logistics that amount to running a small business with your partner (finances, planning, home repairs, big purchases, insurance, etc) during weekday hours when my brain is “on”. DH is fine to go over our investments at 10 pm on a Thursday and I’m …. not. Conversely, I’m great about multi-tasking and dealing with personal stuff during the workday, and he isn’t.

      But when we meet mid-week for coffee or lunch I feel like we’re so productive because it’s the best of both worlds! Not exactly romantic, but it’s really necessary.

  4. I really relate to the lack of routine on the weekend being a trigger for anxiety and general difficulty. My anxiety is less severe right now so harder for me to recognize, but it causes me to obsess over stupid things that I often only realize in hindsight.

    Autumn, how do you get your daughter to play by herself happily for so long? I am in awe! My 5 year old son is more willing to play by himself if I am not sitting down relaxing, but I don’t think I could get in 4 hours of cleaning without constant guilt trips to play with him.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Same Q! I read “daughter plays in playroom” for a two-hour slot, and it blew my mind. I also have a three year-old, and she is totally unwilling to play by herself if one of us is in the house.

  5. Excited to see you’re from KY! Thought I was the only one on this site!

  6. Autumn says:

    It doesn’t always happen, and it’s definitely not uninterrupted time for me. My daughter will often ask me to come in her playroom for this or that reason (to help her with a puzzle, to find a particular toy, etc.). So it’s two hours of cleaning time for me broken up into 15-20 minute chunks.

    The older my daughter gets, the more I realize that she’s an introvert like me. She loves playing with the kids at daycare and with me and her dad, but she also likes to play on her own sometimes. We’ll spend an hour or two of solid quality time together, and then she wants to go off on her own for a bit.

  7. Love this series!!!

    I am absolutely blown away by all day preschool at $180/week. Blown away. I guess we’d still need a sitter for a bit every day, but WOW! MCOL to HCOL area where I am and I can’t even imagine.

  8. 18 Weeks says:

    A few days late, but thank you for sharing. As another poster mentioned,you and your husband appear to have a fairly uneven balance of labor. I’ve not written down my chores workload at home, but often feel the same – I do a lot more house work than he does (and it’s also an ongoing ‘problem’). I wanted to comment to commiserate and say thank you for acknowledging that it’s not always fair and balanced and it’s not always easy to fix.

  9. I appreciate that you shared your anxiety plays a role in how you manage things. My husband suffers from anxiety. Do you or does anyone have any tips on living with a spouse who has any type of mental health issues particular when the issues start to get in the way of making plans with other people, enjoying fun things, helping with the household, etc.? And on encouraging them to continuously seek treatment?

  10. DSLCC says:

    Thank you for sharing – love this series. I know this is a few days late, but alas, seems like I can never get to “me things” as quickly as I”d like.

    This ‘week in the life’ seems so calm – I wish my life felt like that. I had a couple questions… How do you do what you do in such a short amount of time? i.e. get cleaned up and dressed from gym and drive somewhere in 30 minutes? Prep and cook dinner in 30 minutes every day? or clean up and check work email in same amount of time? It always seems like me trying to do anything (especially get dressed) always takes longer than I’d like because of so many other reasons and distractions. I’d love to hear more about any ‘tips’ you have to condense things.

    Also, I have a constant guilt about not being outside more with my kids, or not going to the park, or taking walks, or visiting the library more often or other things that are good for kids or “family fun activities”. I noticed that besides a dinner out with friends, there wasn’t much family fun or activities. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. I’m constantly struggling with the guilt of not being able to do that more (I work more hours and have a much longer commute, so time is usually strained).

    A few more details on how you manage all of that along with the anxiety… I know it’s a constant struggle for me too and always like to hear how people handle these things as well as if I’m just making up things in my head to feel guilty/anxiety about…

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