Hope you are all having a nice relaxing Sunday. I’ve had so much fun resting and playing that I almost forgot to get this up today! Alas, we’re 12 days in and going strong..
Today, we have the privilege of hearing from Lauren who is a new blog friend and fellow Liberating Working Moms blogger. She is from Seattle, Washington where she is an attorney and mom to two precious little ladies – Lila (3.5) and Lucy (21 months).
Here’s her interview:
My husband and I are chronic “snoozers.” Our alarm goes off at 6:10am, but we’re seldom up and moving before 6:30. He showers, I scan email and social media in bed. Once he’s done, I’m up and getting dressed. We all move upstairs to the main floor to feed the dog, pack our lunches and get as much organized for the day before we wake up the girls. Once we open their bedroom door, it’s pretty go go go until we walk out the door. I nurse Lucy, Andrew handles our three year old (which often requires prodding, bribery and threats to get her out of bed.) After everyone is dressed, I do their hair (the curse of the girl mom). Andrew brushes teeth, then shoes, jackets and we’re out the door, hopefully by 7:50. (Oh the snooze button – how I love AND hate you.)
We car pool together, which is nice to have the extra 15 or so minutes in the car as a family. Lila has a ton of questions about everything, and Lucy makes up her own songs. I drop everyone off at day care where Andrew handles drop off. (He works a few blocks away and walks to his office). I drive to my office and am usually at my desk by 8:30am. I’m an attorney and spend most of my day at my desk or in meetings. I try to remember to get up and move every so often to try to get in all my steps for the day.
I leave work by 5 and head to day care to pick up the girls. This is always a longer, more complicated process than I think it should be. Extracting two girls from two different day care rooms takes time, but if all goes well, we’re back in the car at 5:30 and pick up Andrew before heading home. The 15 minute ride home is a great time to catch up on what everyone did during the day and talk about our plans for the evening. It is a little out of my way to go back to day care from work, but I love that we all commute together. (I love that you guys get to ride together too. What a great use of otherwise “wasted” time for catching up and being together.)
Once home, Andrew and I split the duties for evening chores. One feeds the dogs and unpacks the girls’ stuff from the day. The other preps dinner. We meal plan so hopefully getting the meal ready doesn’t take too long. I usually handle “inside” cooking while Andrew handles grilling out side. Ideally we’re all sitting down to dinner by 6:15. We all eat together, which can be stressful at times but it is important to us to have that family meal time. The girls eat what we eat and they are pretty good eaters, so I’m glad that has been our strategy since they started eating solids.
After dinner, we may do a quick bath depending on the girls’ relative levels of dirtiness. I handle bath, Andrew cleans the kitchen. From there it’s pjs, clean up, and picking stories for the night. We read Lucy some books, and then I nurse her before bed. Lila gets 3 stories and 3 songs before bedtime. If all has gone well, both girls are in their beds with the lights off by 8. (I’m impressed by all that all you accomplish by 8PM – sometimes we are only eating dinner at that time! #confession)
If only it ended there! We do what prep we can for the next day, finish cleaning the kitchen and washing diapers (we use cloth). Then we head downstairs to our bedroom where we watch too much tv and try to catch up on emails (work, blog, social). I shower at night to reduce prep time in the am. In a perfect world, lights are out in our bedroom by 10pm but that has been the exception not the norm lately.
The best thing about being a working mom is drinking my coffee while it is still hot. Ok, that is kind of a joke, but it is that time away from my kids that I think is important. I do drink my coffee at my desk and it rarely gets cold before I finish it (unlike my coffee on the weekends which never gets finished). Being at work is not “time off” but the shift in responsibilities is nice variety. (Agreed. 100%)
The worst part is that I miss my kids so very much. No matter how much I love my job, I don’t love it more than my kids or my time with them. There are many times when I think about what I may be missing with them. I’m thrilled they are both so happy in their day care classes, but I’m sorry I don’t get to see their joy everyday.
– Find an awesome partner. Or at least let your spouse/family/nanny be a partner. Not taking things on all by yourself is important. I’m lucky my husband and I are able to split household and child duties so effectively. If you can’t do that, find something that someone can help you with.
– Don’t be afraid to outsource. Similar to above, I have to accept that there are things I do not have time to do. We have a dog walker. I get groceries delivered. (I second this. I have someone that cleans my house every two weeks, and we’ve recently started doing a meal planning/delivery service. These things help SO much.)
– Plan, plan, plan, plan. I keep a tight family calendar. We share access to an online google calendar and all events are expected to be up there. I need to know when one of us is out of the house or if there is a birthday party coming up. I need to know what the week ahead looks like so I can meal plan, so that I can plan the grocery list. I keep a separate calendar for myself with to dos and deadlines. If I have a blog post due on Monday, but our weekend looks too full for me to find time to do it, then I need to be sure to work on it during the week prior.
After the birth of my second child, probably in a moment of postpartum induced melancholy, I told a friend that I worried I was making the wrong choice for my kids going back to work. She told me that I was a role model for my kids. That working gave them the knowledge that women can do more than just be “mommies” and that it was an important role to fill for them. For whatever reason, those words stick with me. I’m not just a role model because I work, I hope I’m a role model because I work but I still try to put them first. I’m a role model because I love them even though they are at day care all day. (YES. You are a role model!)
Lauren, thanks so much for sharing today!! If you’d like to read more from Lauren check out her blog 2washingtons.com or follow her on Twitter (@washblog) or Instagram (@washingtonwoman).