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
First, Some Basics about this Working Mom…
Lives: In Capitol Hill, works in downtown D.C.
Job: Communications executive at a global corporation
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.
A Week in My Life
Baby wakes up at 7:00, we get up and have breakfast together. Go to the playroom from 7:30–9:00 or so, then get dressed and either run errands or go do something fun (playground). This latest Sunday we walked to the farmers market and CVS, then went to the playground. Home for lunch around 12:30, baby naps 1:30–4:00. We also nap during this time. I sleep longer and my husband works. Then in the afternoon we clean up the house, do laundry, give kid dinner at 6:30, she goes to bed at 7:30. We make dinner together for ourselves after she goes to bed, usually something we can have leftovers. Go to bed around 10:00 after watching TV.
I get up at 6:00, shower and get dressed before baby gets up at 7:00. I get her up and dressed while my husband makes breakfast. We eat breakfast all together, then I leave for work at 7:45. Husband stays with baby till nanny arrives between 8:00–8:15 and then he goes to work. He gives her a bath during this time. During the day they go to the park and play dates and then are home to nap from 1:00–3:00 or 4:00. From 4:00–5:30 they usually go to watch dogs at the dog park and run around. I had dinner with my girlfriends so my husband came home at 5:30 and gave the baby dinner (leftovers) around 6:00 and she went to bed at 7:00. He did laundry and picked up, did some work. I got home around 10:30 from dinner with friends and we went to bed.
We asked Emily if she makes it a priority to get together with friends:
Yes, I do make it a priority to see friends regularly. I am super social and still need that time to feel like myself! My husband has a smaller group of friends so it works easily, we can balance pretty well — we either have a couple or two over one night, or I go out with my friends.
Mornings are always the same. I get up at 6:00, shower and get dressed before baby gets up at 7:00. I get her up and dressed while my husband makes breakfast. We eat breakfast all together, then I leave for work at 7:45. Husband stays with baby till nanny arrives between 8:00–8:15 and then he goes to work. We do the nanny share at our house. The other baby is six weeks younger than ours and is great. She gets dropped off at 8:00 and picked up at 5:30. On Tuesday our nanny takes the kids to story time at the library at 10:00 a.m. with some friends. She usually sends us pictures of them “reading.” They nap from 1:00–3:00. Our air conditioning broke the other day so my husband came home to meet the repairman today. He got home around 1:00 and worked from home the rest of the day. Because my husband was home, I had time to stop at the dry cleaners, so I got home at 5:45 instead of 5:30. Because we were both home before bed, we played outside for half an hour, then we actually ate dinner with the baby, which we never do, around 6:30. She went to bed around 7:00 and both of us had to get back on the computer to do work for a few hours. This is also pretty rare. Went to bed around 10:30–11:00.
We asked Emily about her work/life balance:
I think the hardest part of balancing work and family is the perception (or pressure) that balance has to be achieved on a day-to-day basis. Some days it works perfectly, other weeks I’m across the world working 18-hour days for two weeks and miss my kid and my husband desperately and I feel totally out of whack. It’s hard to not beat yourself up for that. I think for me, being kind to myself and trying to take a long view has helped me feel like I’ve struck a good balance right now. Also, having a wonderful partner in life and parenting is an incredible gift.
Same morning as usual. The rest of the day was pretty typical. It was really hot in D.C. so our nanny took the kids to the splash park. She had told us the day before so we needed to get out bathing suits for them this morning. They walked down and she sent lots of pics and videos of them playing in the fountains. Very cute. Naps from 2:00–4:00. I got home right at 5:30, and my grocery delivery (Instacart from Whole Foods) was being delivered. It arrived two hours early — I usually get it around 7:30 after the baby’s in bed. Good thing I was home! We either do Instacart delivery or pick up a pre-order from Harris Teeter about once a week. We only do delivery if I don’t have time to stop at the grocery store on the way home. Even picking up stuff that’s already packed is really tight when you’re rushing home for the nanny! She watched some Sesame Street while I cooked and put away the groceries. Regular dinner and bedtime for kiddo. I squeezed a bath in because she was a little grimy from the sunscreen. Husband got home a little late, around 8:30, so we didn’t eat till 9:00. Then went to bed at 10:30.
Same morning as usual again. But, I left a little early today, 7:15, so I skipped breakfast but hung out while the kiddo ate (and my husband). Our nanny takes the kids to a little kids’ music concert on Thursdays in our neighborhood called Boogie Babes, where they jam to different kids’ bands. They napped from 1:00–3:00 today. I had to carve out time today to schedule some drs. appointments and home stuff, so got home right at 5:30. It was too hot to play outside, so we played in the playroom for about an hour and then I made dinner. We had cleaning ladies coming the next day so we had to pick up for them after the kid went to bed. Also, we were having friends over for dinner Friday night, so I put something in the crockpot before bed. I wanted to be able to clean up the crockpot before the cleaning ladies came. We have people over about once a week and I normally pre-cook something the night before, either in the slow cooker or regularly so it can just be reheated. We probably went to bed around 11:00.
When asked which is the bigger time-saver, grocery pre-ordering/delivery or a cleaning service, Emily said:
This is a toss up! If I had to pick one I guess I’d say the cleaner, and we’d probably just have to meal-plan a little better. I know they’re both luxuries. But, I love both services and have given a lot of my friends with new babies Instacart gift cards!
I got up early Friday to finish the crockpot dinner from the night before (Korean-inspired short ribs). Put all of that in the fridge and cleaned up the crockpot so the cleaning ladies would be able to get to everything. My husband got the baby up and dressed and I got breakfast ready. I decided to work “from home” on Friday but actually went to a local coffee shop to get out of the way of the cleaning ladies. The nanny came as usual and the kids went off — I drove my husband to work and then went to the coffee shop. I worked until about 3:00 and then went and got my nails done. I got home about 5:30 and then played with the baby while getting the food ready to reheat for dinner with friends. Made sides/salad, etc., while she was still awake. My husband got tied up at work and got home at 7:00 (usually swings 6:00 on Fridays), so I put the baby down for bed and then our friends didn’t arrive until 7:45, so I had time to throw together a cheese board. We had dinner with friends, who stayed until about 11:00, then we cleaned up and went to bed. We had several bottles of wine so were feeling tired!
Saturday is much like Sunday. We get up at 7:00, hang and lounge around the house until we’re inspired to do something. We usually go see someone in my family for lunch and try to get home by 1:00 for baby’s/our naps. We need to get babysitters more, I’m realizing for Saturday night, because if we’re home we usually just tackle errands and to-do lists in the afternoon and evening, watch Netflix and eat takeout for dinner with a bottle of wine.
Thanks so much to Emily for sharing a bit of her life as a working mom! Readers, what’s your biggest takeaway from her week as a communications executive and her general work/life balance?
Picture via Stencil.