Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Weekday Schedule of a Full-Time Working Momma

I’ve had several requests to do a blog post on being a full-time working mommy.  How do I balance my time between work and home?  When do I clean my house?  Grocery shop?  Do laundry?  And how the heck do I have time for DIY projects and relaxing when there’s always something else that needs to be done?  I do always have a ton on my plate, as do stay at home mommas  all mommas for that matter – you have no idea how many times I’ve wished I could just twitch my nose to have the heaping mound of dirty dishes loaded into the dishwasher or the eight loads of dirty laundry washed, folded, and put away.  In reality, it’s hard being a full-time working momma, a stay at home momma, a momma.  Period.  There is no magical way to stay afloat in the deep, churning sea of work meetings, dirty diapers, and housework, but there are several keys to not drowning – staying on a schedule (as best you can), good time management, and being organized. 

The most important thing in my opinion, and what I’ll be focusing on in this post, is to stay on a schedule.  I used to laugh at parents who kept their kids on a ridiculously strict schedule and think, “Surely they could loosen up a little,” but once you have kids of your own, you understand exactly why it’s so important.  Their little bodies crave schedules.  They like to know what to expect.  And they act like little heathens if you don’t oblige.  Bottom line is, keeping your kids on a schedule = waaaay fewer meltdowns, and that’s reason enough for me.   

Vacation = off schedule = DISASTER

Here's what a typical weekday schedule looks like for us:

5:36 AM – my alarm goes off… I hit the snooze button five times (ridiculous, I know, but I can’t function without it) and then finally get out of bed at 6:21.  Not toooo terribly early compared to some people I know, but certainly a far cry from rolling out of bed at 8:15 to make it to class by 9 like I did back in college.  And why the alarms at 5:36 and 6:21?  No idea how those weird times got started, but I’ve been doing it for years and it works, so don’t ask questions.

6:21 AM – stumble into the bathroom, pry my sleepy eyes open, (refrain from turning around, diving back in the bed, and pulling the covers over my head), shower, brush teeth, makeup, dress, hair.  Hubs gets up sometime during the “hair phase” of my getting ready and then he’s ready to go by 7 like me… makes me sick. 

7:00 AM – I wake Olivia while Brian wakes Jacob.  We do a quick snuggle, get her dressed, shoes on, and do her hair.  Takes all of ten minutes.  For now, anyway.  I know eventually she’ll start lollygagging like her big brother does, but until that day comes, I’ll enjoy the few minutes of extra sleep. 

7:10 AM – interrupt Jacob’s getting ready so I can snuggle him for a couple of minutes before I go, followed by hugs and kisses for all three of them, and then let Maui out to potty on my way out the door (by 7:15 at the latest).  I work on the opposite end of town from the kids’ school, but Brian is only five minutes from them, so he is the primary munchie taxi.

She follows me over to the stairs and shouts bye over and over every
morning when I leave.  So, so sweet!
7:30 AM – barely make it to work on time… I usually walk in around 7:29, sometimes 7:30 on the dot.  (I’m very fortunate to have a fairly quick commute.  I don’t know how people deal with 30+ minute commutes.  I would go insane. And I’d have to wake up much earlier.)  I work 8 hours with an hour lunch (to which I use for running errands, cleaning the house, and getting other things done to avoid doing later when I could be spending time with the kids – more on that in my next post!) and then I get off at 4:30, and not a minute later… just ask my co-workers! ;o) 

4:30 PM – go straight home, pass out on the couch, tidy up the house or tackle a short chore like ironing, or putting away laundry. 

5:15 PM – start cooking dinner (on the nights that I do cook) and Brian and the kids usually get home around the same time I start.  B has tennis one weeknight per week, and we usually go out to eat on Fridays and Saturdays, then we eat at my parents’ house on Sundays, so I usually cook three times a week, or four if B doesn’t have tennis.  On the nights when he does, I usually feed the kids sandwiches or easy microwaveable veggies, and then Brian picks something up on the way home for the two of us, which we eat (in peace) after the kids go to bed.  When he doesn’t have tennis, he spends time with the kids while I cook.

6:00 PM – all gather around the table for dinner.  We are firm believers in family mealtime (except on nights when Brian plays tennis… it’s just not practical for the kids to eat dinner at 8:30 since they’re snoozing by then) and I know that one day we will have crazy schedules once the kids start after-school activities, so we try to get in as much family meal-time as possible while we can. 

6:30 PM – Brian usually cleans up after dinner since I cook, which gives me some time to spend with the kiddos.  Some evenings when the weather is nice, we ditch the dirty dishes altogether and all go on a family walk around our neighborhood or play with the kids in the back yard. 

7:15 PM – everybody heads upstairs to get the kids ready for bed.  We bathe Jacob and Olivia together, let them play in the tub for a bit, and then I take Olivia to her room to get in PJs while B takes Jacob in his room to get in PJs.  I give Olivia some milk, we read a couple of books, and then she’s usually down for the night by 7:45 or so.  After that, I head into Jacob’s room to finish reading books, brush teeth, and prepare for bed.  He likes to be patted to sleep, so most nights I do that to get some one-on-one time with him, but some nights he requests for Daddy to pat him.  The goal is to have him down by 8, but most nights it’s around 8:15 and then he sometimes doesn’t fall asleep until much later than that. 

8:00 PM – Brian and I head back downstairs, finish any cleaning that wasn’t done before, and prepare for the next day – check backpacks, make sure purses, wallets, keys, and anything else we need for the next day is ready to go so we’re not scrambling in the morning.   

8:05 PM – run back upstairs to give Jacob water, take his stuffed bear out of his bed because the bear “hit him,” kiss his eye that has randomly started “hurting” out of nowhere, and cater to whatever other crazy requests this kid comes up with while he’s stalling so he doesn’t have to go to sleep. 

8:30 PM – I work out and stretch while we catch up on the TiVo.  I stick to simple strengthening exercises – squats, lunges, bridges, crunches, etc. – anything that can be done without too much bulky equipment. 

9:00 PMpass out on the couch pull out the ol’ laptop and catch up on blogging and social media or work on any projects I feel like doing while still watching TV.   

9:30 PM – unfreeze a chunk of cookie cake that we keep on hand to satisfy my sweet tooth.  You know, to add back all of the calories that I just burned off during my workout (plus five hundred more).   

10:00 PM – Hubs and I both usually go up to bed at the same time unless he has work to do from home, which isn’t too often (right now).  We get ready for bed (which, of course, takes me three times longer than him… why?!), read a little, and we’re usually lights out and headed off to dreamy land before 10:30.   

I do not, I repeat, I do NOT function well without sleep, so it is always something that I make time for.  As long as I get 7.5 – 8 hours, I’m good.  Anything less than 7 or 7.5 and I struggle.  Majorly.  And I don't do caffeine.  So for the sake of everyone I have to come in contact with the next day, I try to get to sleep by 10:30 every night.   

Most nights this is the way things go in our house.  Times, of course, will vary depending on the situations that arise.  Last night, for example, Jacob went to bed on time and then awoke at 9:30 because he wasn’t feeling well, which led to me being up until close to midnight AKA waaaay past my bedtime.  Needless to say, I’ve been keeping to myself all day today. ;o) 

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll discuss the time management portion of being a full-time working momma.  I’ll be getting down to the nitty gritty – when I clean, grocery shop, etc. – and posting a few helpful tips that I’ve learned along the way. 

I hope all of your little ones are behaving this evening!  XO


  1. Great job, Mama! I'm a stay-at-home Mom and I have the upmost respect to fellow Mamas who work! This was fun to read! You go girl! Also, I'm the same way with "time"...I even warm food up in the microwave for weird times...17 seconds, that seems good. LOL! Why do I do that?! ;)

    1. Girl, I have the MOST respect for all you stay at home mommas... you guys have the toughest (and most important) job of all!

      I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!


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