For this week’s installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Emily S., who lives in a medium-sized town in the South with her husband and daughter and works as a state government attorney. 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
First, Some Basics About This Working Mom…
Name: Emily S.
Location: Live in the suburbs and work in the city in a medium-sized town in the South.
Job: State government attorney
Home Situation: I live in a 3-bedroom house with my husband (34-year-old self-employed consultant/writer), our 2-year-old daughter, and our dog. We have a nice backyard and plenty of play space. (Since submitting her Week in the Life, Emily has given birth to her second daughter, who is now four weeks old! Congratulations, Emily!)
Childcare Situation: Church daycare full day, 3 days a week ($150/week); stay at home with Dad or Grandma 2 days a week.
A Week in My Life
Up at 7:00; breakfast for everyone, and playtime until 10:00 a.m. or so. I try to start a load of laundry or sneak in some cleaning while playing with my toddler. 10:00 a.m. is snack time, and then toddler and I leave for the grocery store or Target to do the weekly shopping. Around 12:00, Husband, daughter, and I go out to lunch and a bookstore. When we get home, it’s nap time from 1:30–3:30. I do some weekly cleaning and workweek prep and try to read a book or spend time with Husband. When my toddler wakes up, we play outside or inside until 6:30 dinnertime. Husband usually makes dinner, and we eat as a family. Then, bath and bedtime around 7:30. After dinner, Husband and I have some dessert and read, and then I fall asleep on the couch around 9:30 p.m.
Up at 6:30, feed the dog and get coffee started. Wake the toddler up around 7:00 and give her breakfast and make my lunch. Then I get her dressed and myself dressed, and all of a sudden my 7:45 a.m. “need to leave now” alarm is going off. We rush out the door in a mess around 8:10 a.m. I drop her off at daycare and am at work by 9:00. I try to go to the gym for half an hour around 12:00 or 12:30, then eat lunch at my desk before leaving at 5:15. I get home around 6:00. Husband picks up our daughter from daycare around 5:15. If the weather is nice, we take a family walk with the dog; otherwise, playtime until 6:30, when I feed the toddler. After her dinner, read some stories and get ready for bed at 7:30. Meanwhile, Husband is fixing dinner for us. Husband and I eat around 8:00, then talk about our day, watch an hour of Netflix, and I collapse into bed while he stays up to do work.
This is what Emily said about fitting workouts into her schedule as a working mom:
Getting exercise during my lunch break is the only way I’ve found to make time for exercise. It helps me get 4–5 workouts in per week (instead of 2 on the weekends during my daughter’s nap time). I just don’t have it in me to go to the gym before work or after her bedtime.
Get up at 6:30 and start coffee and feed the dog. Husband gets up to sneak some work in. Let my toddler sleep until 7:15 because it’s not a daycare day. Give her breakfast when she gets up and make my own lunch. After she finishes breakfast (45 long minutes later), get her dressed and get myself dressed while Husband works. Leave for work around 8:00 a.m. and arrive around 8:45 a.m. Work is either at my desk or court appearances. I go to the gym or take a walk on my lunch break and eat lunch at my desk around 1:00 p.m. I leave work around 5:15 and get home around 6:00. Go out to dinner as a family, then some family playtime, and the toddler goes to bed around 7:30. Husband and I have some alone time, then have dessert and watch an hour or so of TV before I beg off to check personal email, pick out an outfit for tomorrow, etc. In bed at 10:00, and falling asleep on my book at 10:20 p.m.
We asked Emily how her life would be different if her husband weren’t self-employed:
He probably wouldn’t be as happy with work, which would put stress on our relationship. Our daughter likely would be in full-time daycare, which would give me extra guilt, and depending on income, I might try to quit the job I enjoy for part-time work, to be a part-time, stay-at-home mom. It would also take a lot more juggling for her doctors appointments, who stays home when she’s sick or daycare is closed, etc. This is to say, it would be different, and I don’t think it would be for the better!
Get up between 6:30 and 6:45 and feed the dog and start coffee. Get my toddler up before 7:00, because it’s a daycare day. Eat breakfast with my toddler while Husband sleeps in. Decide to buy lunch out today to spend a few more minutes of quality time with my daughter. Get us both dressed and we’re out the door around 8:15 a.m. Drop her off at daycare and get to work around 9:00 a.m. Work until I take a full hour lunch at 1:00 and relish reading a book without interruption. Back to work until 5:15, and then drive home in traffic to arrive around 6:00 p.m. We take a family walk around the neighborhood and then I feed our toddler around 6:30. Family playtime until 7:30, then bath and bedtime for her. Husband fixes dinner for us while I give her a bath, and we eat around 8:00 p.m. Dinner conversation stretches until 9:00 p.m. or so, when we settle onto the couch and read until I fall asleep on my book at 9:30 p.m. I head up to bed while Husband continues to read until 11:00 p.m. or so.