A Day in the Life…of a Working Mom

Being a mother is one of the most challenging {and rewarding}  privileges I’ve ever been entrusted with. The thing that is most difficult for me as a working mother is finding the time to be the parent that I feel my child deserves, and also finding time to take care of myself. There always seems to be a sense of urgency, an eye on the clock, and a need to hurry — there aren’t mornings spent eating breakfast together, cuddling on the couch watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood {unless they’re sick days}, or going on play dates to the zoo — “our time” is our conversations in the car and in the grocery cart, playing with bath toys, and reading books at bedtime. Though there always seems to be a shortage of time, there is never a shortage of love, and that’s one thing I know for sure.

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:: 5:05am ::

It doesn’t matter what time I go to bed — waking up at this time never gets easier.

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:: 5 – 5:30am ::

Mornings are the craziest time for me {us} — between 5 and 5:30 there is a mad dash to fix my hair, brush my teeth, lay out clothes, finish packing Caroline’s lunch, and get her school bag packed. Because waking up any earlier would make me certifiably insane, generally, I take my showers at night, so all I have to do is straighten my hair in the morning {let me tell ya — definitely not winning any hair contests over here!}.

 

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:: 5:35am ::

It’s time to wake the sleeping crazy! She wakes up asking for a “boooook”, so I oblige. And though the clock is telling me that we don’t have time, my heart can’t tell her no. {Admittedly though, we did skip a page or two.} Next up, it’s time for medicine — she’s had a nasty cough, so she’s currently on heavy antibiotics that need to be taken with food,  generally a “na-na-na”, so it doesn’t seem to really faze her.

 

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:: 6:12am ::

Miraculously, we are out the door 3 minutes prior to my goal time. *Insert sigh of relief here.* This translates into a guaranteed Starbucks trip regardless of the length of the drive thru line. Amy – 1, Monday Morning – 0 !

 

school

:: 6:31am ::

For once, the chaos inside my car lends itself to something positive — Teacher Appreciation gifts on the fly? Don’t mind if I do. On another note :: doesn’t everyone keep tissue paper and Sharpie markers in their console?! My big girl and I have drop-off down to a science…I set out her breakfast, give hugs and kisses, and then we are both ready for our day.

 

drivework

:: 6:45 – 6:55am ::

I get back on the road for the quick trip to my school, and I am parked by 6:55am. This is not normal. I am seriously dominating this Monday because most days I am praying for green lights so that I can arrive by 7:10. Amy -2, Monday Morning – 0 !!!

 

schoolday1

:: 7:25am – 2:35pm ::

My day is a non-stop mix of writing teacher appreciation letters, taking attendance, reading The Outsiders, grading, and filing. Not to mention writing nurses passes, solving drama, encouraging, helping, and setting expectations. Never-ending.

 

afterschool

:: 3:10pm ::

It’s definitely not easy to wake my daughter so early in the morning; however, being able to leave in the afternoons by 3:10pm makes it a little more bearable. After leaving my campus, I head straight for Caroline’s school for pick-up. We then went to Michael’s to purchase materials for Teacher Appreciation crafts. As I sat in my car making my list {on an old Starbucks gift card holder, of course! Ha!} so as not to forget anything, I realize I have left my wallet in my desk drawer at school. Oh, and I have 5 miles to empty. Fan. Tastic. We race to my school, and I bound up the stairs of the portable classroom — suddenly with the terrible thought that maybe my wallet won’t be there when I open the drawer. Thankfully, I am able to put my mind at ease, and it is right there waiting for me. Well, it’s back to Michael’s we go. Congratulations, Monday…you finally got me.

 

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:: 4:30pm ::

We get back to Michael’s and shop for all of the crafting materials we need. As much as I’m agonizing over time just ticking away, I take the opportunity to talk to Caroline about the different things that we see in the store :: the different colors of items, textures, what we call certain things. This does end with her wanting a cartful of different items to bring home, but that is easily solved upon checkout when I encourage the checker to quietly remove the undesired items. {Sorry, Caroline!} Because it is now approaching 6 o’clock by the time we leave, I decide there is absolutely no way that the craft project I had planned is getting done, so instead, I head straight for Ooh La La and move to plan B for the next day’s Teacher Appreciation gift.

 

bedtime

:: 6:50pm ::

I quickly feed Caroline and then get her ready for bed. As we’re leaving the bathroom after brushing her teeth, she insists I let her sit on the potty. Thinking we’ve made some grand potty-training breakthrough, I give in to her request and give her time to sit peacefully on her “potty”. Well, it’s official, she knows exactly how to manipulate me…20 minutes later, she’s still reading books and hanging out. Nice stall tactics, Caroline. It’s bedtime for you, Little One — and after a  kiss, a hug, and being surrounded with 12 stuffed animals, she is off to dreamland.

 

nighttime

:: 7:45pm ::

With Caroline in bed, I take time to pick up the toys that have littered the floor since the weekend, empty the dishwasher, clean out the sink, fold the growing mound of laundry on the couch, and start grading a stack of papers. At 8:30pm, a few minutes before Tate gets home, I finish up Tuesday’s Teacher Appreciation Week gifts and tidy up the table, so that my husband who has been gone since 4:15am can eat dinner at a table sans crafting junk.  Then, I start cleaning out Caroline’s lunch and breakfast containers. Tate finally arrives at 8:45pm, Mexican food in hand, so that we can eat and “celebrate” Cinco de Mayo.

 

:: 9:15pm ::

Tate and I finish preparing Caroline’s lunch and breakfast for the next day {save for a few things that I will do the next morning} and talk about our day. We sit on the couch to watch television, and I can barely keep my eyes open to watch, never-mind even trying to comprehend what I am watching — so around 10:30pm, I decided it was time to call it a night and get ready to do it all over again the next day.

 

Other working moms — what does your day look like? How do you create time for yourselves?

Read about more long days and neverending smiles in our ‘A Day in the Life’ series.

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Amy was born and raised in Northern California before moving to the Houston area in 2003. Amy has a degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from the University of Houston - where she met her husband Tate, a former football player for the Cougars and current CrossFit gym owner. Amy and Tate enjoyed their first year of marriage as Inner-Loopers before moving out to the suburbs to start a family. Caroline joined their family in September 2012, and life has never been the same since! Aside from her job as mom, Amy works full-time as an English teacher at the junior high level. She loves fresh air, online shopping, baking, and finding new things to do in and around Houston. Amy writes at New Mom Problems where she chronicles her life as a California girl living in Texas, motherhood, being a wife, and teaching middle school.

1 COMMENT

  1. Wow. This sounds EXACTLY like my day. Even down to my daughter stalling with the potty trick and going to bed with 12 stuffed animals. I feel ya!!

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