A Week in the Life of a Working Mom

Photo: Kelly / The Bump Photo: Kelly / The Bump

This is a guest blog by Kelly, an SVP of E-Commerce at a large nonprofit and mom to a 6-year-old, 3-year-old and 5-month-old. Here’s an inside look at what goes on in a typical week for this busy mom of three.

MONDAY:  Wake up, get breakfast for everyone, pack lunches, backpacks, daycare bag. Collaborate with husband to get everyone dressed, brush everyone’s hair and brush and floss all the teeth in the house (except my husband’s – I leave that to him!). Today is a work-from-home day, so I don’t take the time to shower or put on real clothes. Put the first grader on the school bus, send the other two kids with dad to be dropped off on his way to work. Pump, then make a quick run to grocery store (speed grocery shopping should be an Olympic sport). Back at home in time to start the work day. Emails, meetings, pumping. Repeat. At the end of the work day, quickly assemble a dinner that can bake in the oven while I go pick up all the kids. Dinner, homework, bedtime (usually I put the baby down and my husband puts the two older kids down). Once kids are in bed, reset the house and bags for tomorrow. My husband compares this process to the scene in the movie “50 First Dates,” where they return the house to the same state each night after Drew Barrymore is in bed. Tomorrow is a work-at-work day, so all lunches, etc. must be packed tonight, including breast pump and supplies. Make a dinner for tomorrow night. Start dishwasher. Check and answer work email. Go to bed.

TUESDAY:  Wake up, get breakfast for everyone, jump in shower. Primp (basic makeup and thickening spray on hair is about all I can handle). I pump in the car while my husband drives. Drop off younger kids at daycare and preschool, park at subway, commute into city. Stop at cafeteria to get oatmeal (hoping it boosts milk supply) and hot water for tea. Emails, meetings, pumping. Repeat. On a good day, I’ll have a work lunch that allows me to slow down and enjoy myself at a restaurant. Sitter picks up kids and puts my pre-made dinner in the oven. Commute home, dinner, homework, bedtime. Reset house, pack lunches, breast pump, supplies. Start dishwasher. Check & answer work email. Go to bed. Sensing a pattern here?

WEDNESDAY:  Same as Tuesday, but I alternate leaving early with my husband to pick up the kids at the end of the day. Forget (for the third week in a row!) that oldest child’s library books are due on Wednesdays. Accidentally leave nursing pads out on my desk after pumping and hope no one noticed.  Tonight is bath night, which thankfully my husband almost always handles (yes, we only bathe our kids twice a week). Realize that Friday is “Dress as Your Favorite Character Day” at school and frantically figure out how to make or order a costume in time (thank you Amazon Prime). Reset house, pack lunches, breast pump, supplies. Start dishwasher. Check & answer work email. Collapse into bed.

THURSDAY:  Wake up to one of my kids crying, calling for me or standing next to my bed. Exhausted, tell them to go watch TV. Wonder out loud why I’m the only person I know with 3 kids who works full-time and doesn’t have a nanny. Question many of my prior decisions. Same commute and day as Tuesday and Wednesday, but my parents pick up the kids and bring dinner every other week. Have a multi-generational dinner, happy that my kids are getting quality time with their grandparents. My mother usually unloads the dishwasher for which I am eternally grateful. Fold laundry. I LOVE laundry because it’s a reason to sit still and watch Modern Family. Start dishwasher. Check & answer work email. Collapse into bed.

FRIDAY:  Work-from-home day, so repeat Monday morning routine, but replace trip to the grocery store with quiet (no interruptions!) shower for me after everyone has left the house. At lunchtime, I either volunteer at my daughter’s school, have lunch with a friend or run errands. Knock off work a little early and pick up the kids while it’s still daylight. Make dinner and enjoy a slightly more relaxed evening routine. Maybe even take a walk as a family after dinner in the nice weather. Once kids are in bed we watch half of a movie (while I check and answer work email on my phone from the couch) before I am exhausted and go to bed, thankful to have survived the week.

Can you relate? What’s your working week like?

Plus, more from The Bump:

A Week in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Mom

A Day in the Life of a Work-at-Home Mom

What Being a Working Mom is (Really) Like