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Real Mom Talk: A Day in the Life of a Working Mom
April 29, 2014 8:26 am | by


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In many ways a “day in the life of a working mom” is always changing, never the same.  Throw a longer-than-usual work meeting, rush hour traffic, or a teething baby into the mix and it can change the course of the entire day, which can then impact everything else around you.  But one thing never changes, and that is the nonstop pace of holding down a career and a household.  Here is a sampling of a day in my life as a working mom of 3 kids:

5:00am: Alarm goes off (and by alarm I mean fussy hungry baby).  I stumble out of bed, get him out of the crib, and nurse/doze-off for another 20 minutes.  Two things are guaranteed: 1) I did not get enough sleep last night, and B) 20 extra minutes of half-sleep ain’t gonna fix that.

5:30am: Lay the baby down next to my husband and tiptoe out of the room (MUST NOT WAKE THE BABY) and start the coffeepot (MUST NOT WAKE THE KIDS).  My coffeepot might as well be a jet plane overhead.  The sound of coffee brewing literally echoes through our tiny house.

5:30-6:00am: Eat breakfast, put on makeup, do my hair.  Wonder if the sleep wrinkles on my cheek will fade before I get to work.  Hope that I’ve done enough prettying to NOT look like the ugliest person in the office.  Chug coffee.

6:00-6:35am: This is like the black hole of my morning routine.  35 minutes should be enough time to get myself dressed, the baby dressed, and get out the door.  Yet somehow it just doesn’t work out that way.  Maybe it’s because I spend 10 minutes digging through massive baskets of laundry to find 2 matching tiny baby socks.  Or maybe it’s because I get sidetracked and start sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor.  Or maybe it’s because my early-bird daughter is asking to watch cartoons, eat breakfast, and snuggle with her, all at the same time and in the same breath.

6:45am: Realize that it’s 6:45am and I still haven’t packed my laptop or put on my shoes and earrings.  Also, my daughter won’t let go of my leg and my baby (who is in my arms) just wiped snot on my shoulder.

6:48: By now I have peeled my daughter off my leg and in exchange she offers me 3 stuffed animals to take with me to the office.  I sneak into the kids’ room, climb onto the top bunk bed where my oldest child is still sleeping, and beg him to give me a kiss before I leave.  I make myself a second cup of coffee for the road. 

6:52am: I’m supposed to be at work in 8 minutes.  Wonder if I can squeeze a 19-minute commute into 8 minutes.  Realize I cannot solve this equation.  Then I discover that my gas tank is on E.  I shave a few minutes off of my commute by driving 14 miles over the speed limit. 

7:06am: I race into the parking garage at work, grab my files, laptop, lunch bag, coffee, and electronic badge and try to squeeze through the revolving door without getting stuck.

7:10am: Log in.  Clean out Inbox.  Check my To-Do List for the day.  Open mail.  IM my husband to make sure he dropped off all 3 kids without accidentally forgetting one of them in the backseat.  Marvel that he can get all the kids ready, out the door, and to their destinations (with diaper bag, backpack, his laptop, lunch bag, and gym bag, mind you) and still be seated at his desk before 8:00am. 

7:45(ish)-3:30pm: Negotiate real estate transactions for Fortune 500 client.  Eat a snack.  Chat with coworkers.  Eat lunch.  Keep working.  Call clients, push papers, close deals, cross things off the list.  Whew, it’s already 3:30. Time to log off and go home.

3:30-4:30pm – Pick up my son from school and the younger ones from the babysitter.   Get home, race to my room to change clothes because the baby is about to crawl up my leg and unhook my nursing bra.  Beg the older two kids to give me 20 minutes of quiet time so I can feed the baby in peace.  Realize this is an impossible request considering they’ve barely seen me all day and they want some Mommy Time too.

5:00pm – Start dinner.  Tell my kids 3,000 times that yes, they can have a snack, or no, they cannot have a snack.  (My answer depends on my mood and if I think they’ll eat dinner or just push it around with their fork.)  Haggle with them over whose turn it is to play on the iPod.  Wash a load of diapers.  Set out a grand display of plastic bowls and utensils on the kitchen floor to keep the baby occupied while I finish cooking dinner. 

5:30-6:30pm – Husband comes home.  We sit down for dinner and catch up on each other’s day.  Kids are too noisy so we only hear half of what the other person said.

6:30-9:00pm – Clean up after dinner.  Finish laundry. Give baths.  Nurse baby to sleep.  Tell the kids to turn off Netflix.  Help with homework.  Read books.  Pack lunches.  Attempt to brush daughter’s hair before bed.  Give up.  Help them brush their teeth.  Check my son’s loose tooth and realize that it’s not going to fall out tonight.  Give a sigh of relief because I do not even have time for that right now.  Make mental note to search the house for spare change because I’m pretty sure his tooth is going to fall out by the end of the week.

9:00pm-10:00pm – Wrestle kids into bed.  Get them drinks of water.  Pick out my clothes for the next day.  Take a shower.  Finish picking up the house because did I mention that it’s on the market and it must stay clean 24/7?

10:00pm(ish) – Sit on couch with Hubby, eat a snack, and watch an episode of our favorite show.

11:00pm – Crash into bed.  I’m asleep before I can even think about what tomorrow brings.

About the Author

Francesca Abernathy is a mother of three children and loves to cook, bake, and jog. She works outside of the home but dreams of the day she can sit on her couch, watch Dr. Oz, and eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from 8:00-5:00. She lives with her saint of a husband in St. Louis, Mo.


1 Comment

  • Tonya said...
    May 2, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. It is so similar to my daily slog although I have an infant and a kindergartener only. And I bike commute to the office and pump at work still. I’m exhausted most days. I wish I didn’t have to work right now but don’t have a choice. Kudos to all the working parents.