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Day in the Life (of a Working Mom)

A couple of notes:

Talk of this post actually started as kind of a joke with a friend, after seeing a bunch of day in the life post from other bloggers with children. I always love reading them, and now that I have a vested interest I’m super nosy curious about other baby’s schedules, how parents fit in physical activity, etc. However, most of the posts that I’ve seen are written by parents who stay home. So I figured it might be fun to add my perspective. Because obviously my life is super interesting now that I have a child, and I am sure you all want to see a chronicle of my daily adventures down to the minute. Or something like that…

This is actually from last Thursday (August 7th) but I just wasn’t able to get it on the blog until now. As I was recording the day, I almost scrapped the whole project. Nothing about the schedule seemed “normal” and about halfway through I contemplated forgetting it and trying again on a normal day. And then I realized I was only kidding myself. What day is “normal” when you have a 7-month old?

I work full time, but probably have a relatively easy schedule compared to many other working moms/dads. Since I direct a community health initiative, there are occasions when I need to go in early/stay late or work weekends, but most of the time it’s pretty standard. And Amelia goes to an onsite daycare — it does not escape me how lucky I am to have her here.

Other things – prior to this, Amelia was generally nursing 6 times a day, plus eating a small meal at lunch and another meal at dinner. Since last Thursday, actually, we seem to have dropped down to 5. Always keeping me on my toes, that one! Oh, and I think I accounted for every meal/snack that I ate, besides maybe a few handfuls of tortilla chips when I got home from work. If you read this and get the sense that I am always eating (and not always well), you would be correct.

So without further ado, a peek into my super exciting life. I promise I captured everything exactly as it occurred:

5:05AM: Alarm goes off. Roll over, shut it off and immediately check the weather to keep myself from falling back to sleep. Drag myself out of bed and realize that I have no idea what the temperature actually is. Reading comprehension at 5am = 0.

Stumble downstairs, pour a glass of water and take out a Nuun tablet…and then pop it into my mouth instead. I would not recommend doing this. At least I’m awake now.

Get dressed, guzzle down as much Nuun as possible, and head out the door. My goal is to be running 15-20 minutes after I wake up. I don’t quite make it today.

5:26: Start running. Curse the fact that it’s still dark out…didn’t summer just start? Legs are asleep but the air is cooler and less humid, so I’ll take it! Decide to run to NH and back…a run that sounds much longer than it really is.

The sun starts to rise as my legs wake up. We live in a valley, which normally means lots of fog and clouds in the morning. But today’s lower humidity has brought clear(er) skies. I can see a sliver of sky between the clouds up ahead, and the most beautiful sunrise is peeking through. I marvel at the beauty of it the entire way out. As I cross over the CT river and see the sun reflecting on the water, I’m high as a kite on endorphins. So this is why people love running in the morning! The way back is less exciting — clouds, hills, wheezing from the stubborn cold that won’t let go of my lungs. But I finish 7 miles at a 7:42 pace, which is huge for me these days.

*Completely unsponsored, related plug: the Saucony Pinnacle Short is my new favorite! So light and comfortable, I want a pair in every color. As a chronic waistband-roller, I don’t always love wide waistband shorts but these are perfection. Probably ordered a size too big (I was nervous about tightness) but even so, they stay put on the run.

IMAGE 536Why do people take photos like this? It makes my legs look smaller, I suppose, but my hips look huge!

6:23: Back home and everyone is still sleeping!! Usually Evan is up changing Amelia by now…which means a sweaty breakfast for her (sorry baby). I take advantage of the quiet house by actually stretching for once.

6:35: Amelia is STILL sleeping, so I hop in the shower and get ready. A little bit of a late start + a longer run means this morning will be rushed. I get ready as fast as possible, look down at my outfit and realize it really needs to be ironed – but ain’t nobody got time for that. Head downstairs to get breakfast and our lunches ready.

7:05: Amelia must’ve partied too hard last night because she’s still asleep. Reluctantly Evan goes in to wake her up. I throw a piece of bread in the toaster and pack my + Amelia’s lunch (today she gets a mixture of mashed bananas, blueberries, plus a tiny bit of yogurt). Pour coffee, fill up my water bottle, slap some almond butter and banana on the toast and wrap it up to take to work. Marvel at the fact that yesterday morning I somehow had time to run, make myself eggs, and still get to work early.

7:15: Feed Amelia. Someone is in an awesome mood this morning!

7:25: Evan puts Amelia in her car seat while I sprint upstairs to brush my teeth (yes, Evan helps out a lot in the mornings when he doesn’t have to leave early). Technically, I should’ve been out the door 5 minutes ago. Brush, run back down only to realize my shoes are upstairs in my closet. Run back up to get them and finally get out the door. Evan helps me load everything into the car and as I’m turning back around after giving A her “see you at work!” kiss, I end up poking him in the eye. Hard. One of the hazards of being married to me — my complete lack of awareness of where my body parts are at all times means lots of unintentional injuries. Hurricane Lauren.

7:30: Finally on the road. Amelia usually naps in the car but her late wake up means she’s up and happy. So I sip on my coffee and we “chat” the entire way.

8:05: Roll into work. Sometimes we go right to daycare, but today I take Amelia to the office first. She charms everyone and shows off her “walking” skills before we head down to school.

8:15: Catch up on work emails, figure out schedule for the day.

8:30: Finally pull out my breakfast. My coworker’s husband made homemade doughnuts this morning and they are calling to me from the break room. I’m not normally a doughnut person, but homemade, old fashioned ones are hard to pass up. I barely resist the urge to dig in before I eat my toast.


10:15: Go down to check on Amelia and she’s napping. Everything is thrown off today.

10:16: Realize something I’ve been working on for several days has somehow disappeared from my computer. Frantically start a search in every single file to find it.

10:25: Still no sign of the file. Break into the rest of that doughnut. Once the panic subsides, I remember that at least a partial version is saved in my Google docs, from Tuesday when I was home sick. Thank the doughnut for jogging my memory…and thank myself for having at least a little foresight to save a version in a different location.

10:45: Amelia is up, so I go down to feed her. I am VERY lucky to have daycare in the same building – or rather, right down the hall. It means I typically get to nurse Amelia at least 1 or 2 times during day. I will not lie to you — it’s an amazing, amazing perk.

IMAGE 542Very busy inspecting the waterbottle

11: Work

12:30PM: Lunch. Today it’s a leftover bean burger with a side of watermelon Nuun, a repeat from last night’s dinner…and yesterday’s lunch…and dinner two nights before that. Kind of standard these days.

ditl lunchMy amazing food photog skills makes that look so appetizing, right? Especially on that fancy “plate.”

Eat at my desk while doing a little research for my 1:00 meeting. Decide to push off pumping until after since everything is so thrown off anyway.

1:00: Meeting. Relatively uneventful and ends early…double win. Except as I’m walking back to my office, I notice that my name badge has pulled down my top just enough so that my super sexy nursing tank is peeping through for the benefit of the two (male, middle-aged) executives I was just meeting with. Awesome. I lead a very glamorous life.

1:50: Pump. Loads of fun, as always. And you’re welcome for not showing you a picture.

2:00: Back to work. Realize I’m still super hungry, so eat the second half of my lunch – plain Greek yogurt with honey and blueberries. My healthy snack this week is solely due to the fact that I bought some organic yogurt for Amelia to try and know she’s never going to finish the container on her own.

3:15: Walk upstairs to refill my water bottle and remember why this particular pair of shoes had been stuffed into a corner of my closet. They may look cute but they’re too big which a.) causes me to walk like I have something in my pants, and b.) seems to be giving me blisters from gripping my toes so tightly. Like I said, I lead a very glamorous life.

3:17: More work. Finally go back to that file and re-do everything I had finished yesterday afternoon. Briefly contemplate eating the apple I’ve packed…decide I’d rather have a piece of chocolate.

4:30: Get Amelia from daycare and nurse. Notice that she’s wet, so I change her on my office floor.

4:50: Commute home.

5:30: Home. Throw my stuff inside and quickly change so we can go for a walk with the pup. Evan mentions that we’re supposed to get more rain, but we look up and the skies look clear above us so we decide to risk it with a short one.

5:50: Suddenly the skies open up and within seconds Evan and I are drenched. Would have been hilarious…except Amelia doesn’t quite share our sense of humor. She’s sort of protected by the shade, but water is coming in and she is quick to voice her displeasure. So I start sprinting with the BOB as fast as a person possibly can in wet, slippery flip flops. Get home, unbuckle her and have to laugh at her shocked face. Parent of the year award right here.

DITL_drenchedAmelia was clearly thrilled

6:00: Plop Amelia in the tub…usually on bath nights we have dinner first and then a bath, but the poor kid is cold and already wet. As she happily slips and slides around I remind myself for about the 20th time that we need to get some sort of nonslip mat for the bottom.

6:30: Out of the bath, dressed and time for Amelia’s dinner. Tonight’s gourmet treat is a mixture of peas, carrots, and multigrain cereal. Evan feeds her while I start dinner for us. After she’s done eating, we chat and “play” together while I finish cooking.

DITL_A dinner

7:10: Sit in the living room with Amelia and start picking at our dinner. She plays on the floor with her toys, showing off her new trick of sitting up on her own (from her belly) and trying desperately to crawl. So far she’s only managed a psuedo-army crawl using mostly her legs.

 DITL_dinnerTonight’s dinner = tortellini with homemade pesto, spinach, tomatoes, and a little “chicken” (side note: first time we tried these, and we gave them two thumbs up!

7:20: Pause dinner for “night dipes” – or, in normal person speak, the beginning of A’s bedtime routine. Change her, read a book, nurse and then put her in the crib. Evan and I sing her the same song we’ve been singing to her at bedtime since she was a newborn, rub her back for a moment, give her a kiss and leave. I can tell she’s super tired tonight and fusses a bit with her eyes closed. Fortunately she falls asleep within a few minutes.

7:45: Dinner resumes, accompanied by So You Think You Can Dance. Quality television only here in the Conkey household!

8:30: Decide I need another treat, despite the fact that I had a doughnut earlier. Plus, Evan bought new ice cream at the store today and there’s nothing better than breaking into a fresh container. So we make brownies in a mug…and I top mine with some cookie dough ice cream. Obviously I am really watching my calories here. And no, there’s no picture because I ate it way too fast.

9:15: Pump. I don’t always pump before bed, but am more motivated on days when I’m planning to run the next morning. And especially since we only had 5 feedings today vs. our normal 6, I feel like I probably should. Pump out 3oz, wash parts, store milk and get ready for bed.

10:00: In bed, wishing I was already asleep…like basically every other night. Set my alarm for 5:05AM (I swear that 5 minutes makes all the difference) to repeat the whole thing tomorrow.

26 Responses to Day in the Life (of a Working Mom)

  1. Thank you for posting this! I too am a newish working mom to a 5-month old who struggles to find time to run. It’s great to see how you manage to make it work.

    • Some days/weeks are better than others, I will admit! But always good to know others are struggling to find the balance as well…makes me feel better, anyway. :)

  2. It’s been a long time since I’ve read your blog (or any blog), but now that my baby is 4 months old and finally getting easier, it’s time to catch up! I can’t believe your baby is 7 months old already!!
    Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily´s last post ..Getting Back

    • This has been the fastest year of my life! I still can’t believe show big she’s getting…I’m sure you probably feel the same about your 4 month old.

  3. I’m curious what the night time song is! Also curious about Amelia’s food intake! I know you said this won’t become a baby blog, but it’s interesting to me!

    That’s so great that you can nurse Amelia during the day at work! Win!

    • Haha well the song is REALLY silly…something Evan has been singing to her since she was teeny tiny. He would sing while I was getting ready for bed and it helped calm her down during that crazy 10pm witching hour. Basically it’s a Christmas song with her name inserted in place of every noun. :) She’s probably going to be embarrassed by us some day, but she loves it now!

      For food intake: right now she nurses/gets a bottle 5x a day and eats 2 meals – one at lunch and one at dinner. We will probably slowly start adding in a little meal around breakfast time too. We do mostly purees but some of her favorite finger foods are: “fries” (roasted sweet or white potato sticks), avocado, cut up blueberries or grapes (a recent addition!), and banana.

      …and that might’ve been more information than you were looking for!

  4. I’m at home with our boys and haven’t gone back to work yet…I am constantly curious about how working moms (especially those that run too!) do it! And I love seeing what other babies’ schedules look like :) That’s so awesome that you have Amelia right down the hall from you

    And thanks for the reminder….I’ve been forgetting to get a bath mat too.
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen´s last post ..Life lately: July recap

    • I finally picked up a relatively cheap one at TJ Maxx but haven’t tried it out yet. Something tells me she’ll miss her ability to easily slide around.

  5. I like reading these type of posts too, especially from a working mom. Maybe I’ll write one too. My day is somewhat similar to yours. Minus the 7 mile run.
    Lee´s last post ..What I thought about breastfeeding week

    • Well the 7 mile run is certainly not a daily thing…there are also days (like today) when I set my alarm early to run, wake up to hear rain and decide it’s not worth it so I go back to sleep…and then lounge in bed for as long as possible before I have to rush to get ready for work. But, you know, obviously sounds better to blog about the running days. 😉

  6. Lol, my little one (8 months) also slips and slides around in the bath like crazy… And I’ve also reminded myself to get a non-slip bath mat about a gazillion times… And yip, we still don’t have one.
    Karien @ Running the Race´s last post ..Rombie Apocalypse

    • Last time I just used a washcloth…not sure if that was better or worse, since she spent most of her bath time trying to pull it up and eat it.

  7. This morning, I was running my standard 5 minutes late. I got the baby, her lunch, my lunch, and myself in the car and realized I had no shoes on. And, this isn’t the first time happened this summer. Sometimes, getting to work is harder than work itself.

    • Haha yes!! I’ve gotten in the car with my slippers on a couple of times. It’s only a matter of time before I get all the way to work without noticing.

  8. My.

    That sounds….really busy.

    How do you cope?

    I’ve a little one on the way (my wife is now at week 15) and we’re expecting the baby in February 2015…and I can’t imagine the change!

    I’m pretty excited though, and you look and sound as you’re crushing it =D
    Nigel Chua´s last post ..Aug 7, Children Musculoskeletal Sports Injuries and Physiotherapy

  9. Thanks for posting this. Thanks for keeping it real. As a working mom, I enjoy reading how other moms do it. I get annoyed as I read other blogs and they seem to be living in a fantasy world or claim to be all #supermom, #fitmom, #running mom and their priority seems to be running, losing baby weight more than facing reality of the new life with baby. It makes me feel guilty for not running or exercising more or doing it all like they seem to do. On the other hand, it makes me kind of sad for them. I know, I need not compare and I only know the life they present on blog forum. It seems to me that over the past few months you have found a healthy balance. Running has its place, even if it is at 5:30am for you. You seem genuinely happy.

    • I am! Obviously I still have days when I question everything and wish I didn’t work, etc etc, but for the most part I feel like I’m finally finding some sort of balance. But I totally agree – it’s so hard not to compare. I took it really slowly when I got back into running and feel like I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be pre-pregnancy at this point (or where so many other bloggers were)…it’s easy to feel like I’m not doing enough. Or to get discouraged about my progress/accomplishments, etc. But then I just have to take a step back for perspective. I feel good about where I am right now, and really my priorities are so different than before.

      Everyone’s situation is different, and I know even with this blog – you only see what I choose to publish (like writing about a day in the life when I get up early to run vs. one when I hit snooze for as long as possible). But all that said, it’s nice to know someone can relate!

  10. Thank you so much for this post. I just went back to work (my son is 3 1/2 months old), and am struggling to fit exercise in (I’ve always been very dedicated, so it’s not a matter of motivation but of simply feeling like I have NO time). My question for you is — how do you run with full breasts? I usually pump before every workout but that adds an extra step…one that I’m not really willing to do in the morning. Are you in a lot of pain when you run? Or do you just triple up on the sports bras? Thanks for keeping it real in this space — you are a joy to read!

    • I struggled so much with fitting it in when I first went back to work too. I mean, it still can be a struggle these days, but I feel like I’m only just getting to the point where I have more of a balance. So don’t get discouraged – it will come eventually!! Just figuring out how to balance motherhood with working is enough some days…

      Running without pumping – so there is no way I could have done it in the earlier days of breastfeeding. It was way too painful in the mornings and I had issues with oversupply. But I’d say around 6 months everything started to regulate. I’m still full in the morning, but it’s no where near the level of engorgement I had even just a few months ago. Pumping at night before bed helps, as do tight/compressive sports bras. I used to double up when I ran (even if I fed/pumped before) but don’t anymore. Probably a combination of making less milk (since she’s eating solids now) and just getting used to it over time.

  11. Just found your blog…very nice. And nice post about work. My son is 4 and it gets a little less crazy, but then activities/ sports start taking over. It’s all about the 5 am run until they are teenagers I suppose. And nice Vermont pics. I did a race there once and thought it was gorgeous. I’d love to go back.

    • Haha yes – I can imagine that adds a whole new level of craziness to the routine! I don’t know how my parents managed to do it with 4…

  12. So late on commenting – oops. Even as a non-mom (and not anywhere close to being one!), I really like these posts. When I do have kids, I don’t know whether I’ll continue to work or do the SAHM thing (way too early to tell), and it seems like most (mom) bloggers I follow are SAHMs…I feel like it gives a skewed view of what it is like out there, so I like seeing the other side. I would imagine it would be a huge shift from the child-free days, and it must be a huge change – but certainly a worthwhile one. I’m certainly impressed that you can get up early to run! (From one evening runner to another…)
    Susan – Nurse on the Run´s last post ..the last long ride

  13. So sorry so late – but I just found your blog. This was the second post I read and you have a devoted fan in me now. As a full time working mom to a 4 month old, i LOVE knowing how other moms do it, that I Am not alone…and that no one is perfect. It gives me hope and i can’t wait to pick up my munchkin at 5pm, fit in a walk, some QT, and start it over at 5am the next day :)

  14. also, please do more of these!

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