For this week’s installment of our Week in the Life of a Working Mom series, I’m happy to introduce CorporetteMoms reader E, who lives in Florida with her husband and son and works as a registered dietitian and assistant manager. 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 in a medium-sized town in South Florida.
Job: Registered dietitian and assistant manager in an office setting
Home Situation: I live in a family-friendly neighborhood with my husband, K, and our 2.5-year-old son (almost 3!), P. We have a 1,500-square-foot house with a yard. No pets. I am holding out for cat. Everyone else wants a dog. (Note: E says her son has since turned 3.)
We both work full time, so my son goes to a home daycare during the week ($200/week). He has been going there since he was 6 months old. I took him to work with me for 3 months after my maternity leave. Although I loved having him with me, it was also very stressful, so we decided to switch to a home daycare since we wanted something a little more “homey” for him. He has now been there for over 2 years. He is happy, so we are too. Neither one of our parents live nearby, so aside from that he is always with us! That is with the exception of a date night here or there.
We were intrigued about how E brought her son to work for a few months, and we wanted to hear more about it:
It was my boss’s idea for me bring the baby to the office! We had an empty office a couple of doors down from mine, so we turned that into the baby room. … My coworkers were happy to hold him if I was in a meeting or had to take a phone call. Ultimately though, babies will be babies :) and the unpredictability of when he would sleep (and not sleep) became stressful. At that point he was also becoming more mobile, so we decided to switch to our home daycare. I am so grateful that I was able to bring him with me, even if just for that short amount of time. I heard a podcast episode recently from The Longest Shortest Time that dealt with this topic, and they featured a company who encourages their employees to bring their babies to work. I think what they have worked out is great, and I hope that more companies can offer this as an option.
A Week in My Life
It’s Mother’s Day! We go to my sister-in-law’s mother’s house for breakfast. My brothers and dad are there and we spend time with all of our boys (three between all of us). After breakfast we head to the pool. We are at the tail end of potty training (I say this optimistically), so P is wearing swim trunks with a reusable diaper thing attached. When we get out of the pool we realize that he has pooped … like a while ago? And didn’t tell us. It’s been a while since we had to take care of a major poop diaper. Ah, memories… K and I watch a movie/nap while P naps, and when everyone is up we eat a late lunch and I start getting dinner ready. My husband takes P out for one of their adventures (the car wash today), which gives me time to make dinner (nachos!) and do some meal prep for the week. Sunday evenings are usually a whirlwind of cleaning and getting ready for the week.
We asked E what it was like to coordinate potty training methods and progress with daycare:
P has officially become potty trained! Coordinating potty training with our home daycare went well. She was always encouraging and didn’t rush him at all. There was no pressure for him to be potty trained by 3 because it’s not like he was moving to another class or anything. He did end up being potty trained right around 3 anyway, though. When he got very close, what helped us get there was to do the 3-day potty training method at home. All that said, this past week he all of a sudden started peeing during his naps at daycare (it has happened like five times). Our daycare provider has been very understanding which I appreciate so much.
Our daycare is closed today and tomorrow because the main caregiver is pretty sick. This has never happened in the two years we’ve been there. I am going to stay with P in the morning and my husband will come home early so I can go to work in the afternoon. Same thing tomorrow. I head out for a morning run with the stroller and snacks on hand. Our run ends at Starbucks (yay) and we also have breakfast there. After breakfast, we go to the nearby bookstore and then a trip to Target. We come back home for lunch, my husband comes home, and I go to work. Mondays at work are always busy. On this day I am covering for a coworker, so in addition to my usual projects (currently creating educational materials, overseeing the other dietitians) I also take care of her tasks. K has a meeting at 7:00 p.m. so I make it home in time to eat dinner (random snack plate) with P and get him to bed by 8:00 p.m. I wait to eat dinner with K when he gets home at 9:00. We don’t last long after dinner and head to bed around 10:00 p.m.
Another day home with P. Around 7:30 I hear him calling me, so we start our day. I am feeling super low on energy so we aren’t doing much this morning. P watches his truck shows while I get breakfast ready and lounge around. We eat breakfast around 9:00 a.m. and then go outside to play in the yard. Our mango tree is looking kind of sad. Not sure what happened, but many of the mangoes are falling prematurely, so I gather them all up and rake leaves while P helps. Around 11:00 a.m. we come back inside and P helps me prep dinner. We whip together a marinade for chicken and make tomato salad. He loves to help in the kitchen and is getting pretty good at mixing and pouring! After lunch, I am still super tired (and still have to go to work!) so I let P go back outside to play with the hose until my husband arrives. At 1:00 p.m., K is home and I go to work. Another day of catching up at the office. I stay until around 6:30 p.m. K gets the rest of dinner ready and we eat when I get home. K usually takes care of the bedtime routine (bath, brush teeth, read all the books) while I clean up the kitchen. We meet up on the couch for some downtime before bed.
Woke up early (6:00 a.m.) to do yoga and then have about 10 minutes to drink coffee and browse through my phone before P wakes up. I get him ready and start working on breakfast. K comes home from the gym and gets P’s lunch ready. Our daycare is finally open again so K takes P to school while I finish getting ready and also head out for work. I get a call from daycare saying that they can’t find P’s lunch. Awesome. I track down the lunch. It is in K’s car at work with him. Our caregiver says that she would be happy to make P breakfast (sadly, this isn’t the first time that this has happened!), so I call K and ask him to at least bring his lunch before 12:00. Crisis averted. In the afternoon, I work on revising a marketing brochure (I definitely don’t have a traditional dietitian job) and continue catching up from earlier in the week. I leave a to get P around 5:00 p.m. Today is hair-wash day, so I set P up at the sink and give him my phone to minimize the complaints. I recently switched to washing P’s hair in the sink instead of the tub after watching several YouTube videos and seeing how other moms do it. P’s hair is different than mine so it has been a learning process! His wash is a success so I’m feeling pretty good about myself. K gets home around 6:30 p.m. while I am feeding P dinner. K goes outside to do some yard work and I get P ready for bed and we read a few books. K comes in to take over, and I hop on a call with a potential private client. We eat a super-late salad dinner and watch some TV before heading to bed.
P wakes up early today (6:30 a.m.), so I get him ready because K isn’t back from the gym yet. Then I start working on his breakfast/lunch. K gets home around 7:30 am and finishes the food packing while I get ready. P watches his favorite show and we are out the door by 8:00 a.m. I drop him off at daycare and go to work. I start the day off with a meeting and then get to work on distributing patients to our team. We are also working on a promotional video so I look over the revised script and pass it on to the next person who will be working on it. K is picking P up today so I go home at 5:30 p.m. and head straight to the gym. I crank out 30 minutes of cardio and head home to make a quick dinner. When K and P get home, we eat dinner together, which we try to do at least a couple of times per week. Usually it’s just me and P, so it’s nice to have K for tonight’s dinner. Afterwards, K vacuums while P chases him around begging to use the vacuum too. Bedtime routine as usual. We both sit in the living room with our laptops to do some work before bed.
K comes home from the gym at 6:30 a.m. and I head out at that time for a quick workout. This is our first time trying this morning routine and I think I like it. After I get back, I get everyone’s breakfast and lunches ready and K takes P to daycare while I head straight to work around 8:00 a.m. Fridays are mostly made up of meetings and preparing what we will post on social media the following week. I am starting to plan P’s birthday party (less than two months away!) so I make a couple of calls during lunch and browse online for some ideas. After work, P and I go to a food truck event that a friend invited us to. K meets us and we eat dinner there. We get home at 9:00 p.m. and do a quick bedtime routine for P. We fall asleep shortly after.
We asked if E had decided to continue that morning schedule:
Haha, this hasn’t become a regular part of our routine. I usually go to the gym in the mornings on Wednesdays and then “try” to work out at home at least two other times during the week (and then the weekends). I was trying to add another gym day with this new routine, buuuuuut I like the extra sleep more!
P wakes up like clockwork at 7:15 a.m., despite the late bedtime the night before. Sigh. We bring him in to bed with us to attempt to get a little more sleep, while he watches cartoons. P has swim class at 9:00 a.m. so we get ready for that and grab snacks for the road. A few minutes into the drive I notice my tire is flat. Yay. I stop at a gas station to confirm, P poops in his swim diaper while we’re there (again, dude?), etc., etc. Two hours later I have a new tire and we have rescheduled swim class to 11:00 a.m. P is making some progress with his lessons. We are so proud of him! We come back home for lunch and then we both nap. K returns from the gym and I head to the grocery store to shop by myself. Earlier that day I put together a menu and shopping list for the week which makes my life so much easier. K has taken P out on one of their weekend adventures to Home Depot, so I prep dinner and we eat when they get back. P goes to bed, and I spend the evening with a glass of wine and Netflix while K tinkers with his gadgets.
Thanks so much to reader E for sharing a bit of her life as a working mom! Readers, what’s your biggest takeaway from her week of work as a dietitian and assistant manager, as well as her general work/life balance?
Picture via Stencil.