For this installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, we’re happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader Trisha, who lives in the Midwest with her husband and three kids and works as a vice president of marketing.
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…
Location: Live and work in the Midwest
Job: VP of marketing at a marketing consulting firm
Home Situation: I live in a (thankfully) quiet neighborhood with my husband, 5-year old girl, 3-year old boy, and 1-year old boy. My husband is a teacher and coaches anything under the sun (football, track, basketball, youth soccer). We live next door to my in-laws.
Childcare Situation: I am blessed to have an amazing support system. The older kiddos are in preschool (one full time, the other part time) and they go to an in-home daycare outside of the school year/school days.
How is the work-life balance in your industry in general? What are common ways of juggling responsibilities that you see your colleagues and coworkers doing?
I totally get where people are coming from when they assume that because I work from home, my kiddos are hanging out with me all day. As much as I adore the idea, that’s not the reality. They go to daycare while I work pretty much the same hours I used to when I was working in an office. Don’t get me wrong — working remotely in marketing, particularly in the consulting field, is fast-paced, always moving, and can be pretty demanding.
Honestly, the work-life balance thing has been more of a mental shift for me than anything else. I’ve had to teach myself to let go of the guilt. I’m always learning and always adjusting. I mean, sure, there are tons of productivity hacks and tips that you can apply, but at the end of the day, it’s all about creating a mindset that allows you to separate your work and home life, even when they are happening under the same roof.
One of the biggest wins for me in working from home is the ability to do little things throughout the day that, in the grand scheme of things, make a massive difference. We’re talking throwing a load of laundry in the washing machine, loading and unloading the dishwasher, tidying up the toys, and sometimes even getting a head start on dinner. It may not seem like much, but these little things mean that when my kids come home, my focus is 100% on them — making the most out of every moment we spend together.
Working in marketing consulting from home is definitely a balancing act, but with a little bit of planning and a whole lot of self-compassion, it’s absolutely doable. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How do you handle household chores, such as laundry, grocery shopping, housecleaning, etc.? Who does what, and when — and how often?
It’s a balancing act and some days are messier than others, but at the end of the day, it’s about teamwork and understanding that it’s OK if everything doesn’t get done perfectly all the time. After all, we’re a family first, and sometimes that means choosing an impromptu picnic in the living room over vacuuming.
We asked Trisha a follow-up question about her path to her vice president role, and whether having kids affected that journey. She had this to say:
Balancing my professional aspirations with motherhood has been challenging yet rewarding. While having kids introduced a new dimension of time management and prioritization, it also brought invaluable life lessons that enriched my perspective as a marketing leader. The experiences and insights I gained as a mother have often paralleled the challenges and solutions in the corporate world, making me a more empathetic and effective leader. More than the physical demands, the journey has been a mental challenge. There are days when the weight of responsibilities feels overwhelming, but I’ve learned the importance of giving myself grace. It’s essential to acknowledge that perfection is not the goal; it’s about doing the best I can, learning from experiences, and continuously growing both as a professional and a mother.
We also asked Trisha about what it’s like living next to her in-laws:
Living next to my in-laws has been a blessing in disguise. It was by pure happenstance — the previous owner passed away and their son asked if we wanted to purchase the home before it went on the market. I was super hesitant and fought it at first by house-hunting quickly. It’s been great though! It provides an extended support system, especially with three young children. Their proximity means that we can share memorable moments, celebrate milestones, and lean on each other during challenging times. It’s a unique dynamic that has strengthened our family bonds and provided a sense of community for my children.
A Week in My Life
6:00 a.m. Wake up with my 1-year old who has finally started sleeping through the night (yay!). Try to keep him quiet and entertained while everyone else in the house is asleep
Between 7:00–8:00 a.m. 3-year-old and 5-year-old wake up, instantly telling me they’re hungry. Meanwhile, 1-year old is getting cranky and ready for his morning nap.
8:00–9:00 a.m. Racing to put 1-year old to nap so he can be on the same afternoon schedule as the other two. Simultaneously making breakfast and getting the older two ready for church. Husband is busy with homework while he’s getting his specialist degree.
9:00–10:00 a.m. Volunteer at children’s church, bringing the 3- and 5-year-old with me!
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Referee the children, try to stay present and happy and engaged while also minimizing the toy and snack disasters that are unfolding
12:00–2:00 p.m. Ah, quiet time. Try to rest while the babes try to nap. Hit or miss!
2:00–5:00 p.m. Play, snacks, fun, and chaos
5:00–7:00 p.m. Dinner, baths, lay out clothes for the week to try to make mornings easier
7:00–9:00 p.m. Negotiations ensue with the 3- and 5-year-old to go to sleep.
5:30 a.m. Husband is out the door to supervise weightlifting at the school.
6:00 a.m. Race to take our two large fur babies out (German shorthair pointers) and feed them before any of the kiddos wake up.
6:00–7:00 a.m. Bribing, negotiating, willing the kiddos to get dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast going so we can get in the car.
7:00–7:30 a.m. Drop babes off at daycare
7:30–8:00 a.m. Throw bedding in the wash, hurry to finish getting ready for the day, open laptop.
8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Zoom calls, reporting, work
12:15 p.m. Slight panic attack as I get a text from the daycare. False alarm, just a cute pic!
5:00 p.m. Race out the door to pick the babes up and make it to 5-year-old’s dance class on time. Race back home to drop the boys off with husband. Race back to pick dancer up from class.
5:00–7:00 p.m. Play, dinner, baths, bedtime for 1-year-old
7:00–9:00 p.m. Husband takes over the bedtime negotiations with the 3- and 5-year-old to go to sleep while I log back on for team meeting with one of my global clients.
We wondered whether Trisha’s able to find time for getting together with friends or pursuing hobbies at this stage of parenthood, and she shared the following:
Time management is a constant juggle, especially with a demanding job and three young children. Currently, my priorities are centered around my family and work. However, I do make an effort to carve out moments for self-care and connecting with friends. As my kids grow and become more independent, I anticipate having more personal time. But for now, I cherish the chaos and joy that comes with raising young children and leading in the corporate world.
Tuesday through Friday
Most weekdays follow the same rhythm as Monday.
Thanks so much to Trisha for sharing a bit of her life as a working mom! Readers, what’s your biggest takeaway from her week of work as a VP of marketing as well as her general work-life balance?
Stock photo via Stencil.