This Working Mother’s Typical Day

Song Lyric of the Day:

No one’s gone in vain / Here is where you’ll stay / ‘Cause life has been insane but / Today has been OK / Today has been OK

Emiliana Torrini / “Today Has Been OK

In a perfect world, one where I had better hair, bigger boobs, no mortgage, and was a published novelist, I wouldn’t have to work a day job. However, since I live in a world where humidity turns me into Roseanne Roseannadanna, padded bras are my friends, I have to pay for the roof over my head, and I haven’t managed to finish the fifth chapter of one of my books for I don’t know how long, I do have to work a day job. Thankfully, it’s a job I love working with a team of coworkers I love for a boss I love. I’m also incredibly fortunate that my boss allows me to work from home one day a week, which affords me some extra time with Coraline (although it’s great that she’s so good at entertaining herself since I am in fact working even though I’m home with her.)

So what is a typical work day like for me?


Wake up. Send the dogs out. Start Coraline’s morning bottle warming up. Prep the dogs’ bowls. Let the dogs in to eat. Pack Coraline’s diaper bag and bottle/food cooler for the day. Catch approximately four minutes of Morning Express with Robin Meade on Headline News while I drink my OJ and Coraline’s bottle finishes steaming. Grab Coraline’s bottle and go wake her up (usually with Rich).


Feed Coraline her bottle (some mornings it’s Rich). Discuss what our respective days look like. Hers: Hanging out with Abuela, playing/wrestling with cousin Stephen, and eating as many Goldfish as humanly possible. Mine: Working.


Dress Coraline for the day. Let her run around our bedroom while we get dressed for the day; she usually heads straight for my nightstand. Let Coraline brush her own teeth (it’s easier than trying to do it ourselves, and really, she’s not that bad at it). Fight to get toothbrush away from Coraline (downside to letting her brush her teeth: getting the toothbrush back).


Frantically grab all our assorted laptop bags, backpacks, shoulder bags, lunch bags, my purse, and diaper bag to get the car loaded. Bundle Coraline up (it is winter now, after all) and drive to my mom’s house.


Drop Coraline off at Mom’s house.


Get to work. Eat a granola bar or dry cereal for breakfast (yes, dry). Down my first of many glasses of water. Dive into email and start on my first work task.


Cave and put on my sweater since it’s COLD in the office.


Tune IPTV to Supernatural on TNT for background noise.


Steal a glance at Jensen Ackles.


Wonder how Coraline is doing and wish she was with me. Preferably not in my cubicle at work.


Grab a short lunch at my desk if I’m really busy. If I’m lucky, one day a week I manage to get away for an hour, just me and my book.


Call Mom to find out how Coraline’s doing. The usual: She resists napping early in the day, is eating well, is busy playing with Stephen, and will hopefully nap later that afternoon.


Listen to Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy on Lifetime while I work.


Find either chocolate or a soda as a pick-me-up from my post-lunch coma.


Mind starts to wander since it’s late in the afternoon.


Rally and manage to refocus on work.


Leave work. When exactly is determined by how short/long a lunch I took and whether or not Rich is stuck in a meeting (we carpool most days).


Pick up Coraline from Mom and Dad’s house. Bug Stephen for a hug and kiss. Stay for dinner on occasion.


Get home. One of us takes Coraline inside and puts her in her pack-‘n’-play in the living room. The other one grabs whatever bags they can manage to carry inside then lets the dogs out and gets their bowls prepped. Dogs are let in to eat and we prepare dinner.


If Coraline needs dinner, we feed her upstairs in her high chair and eat at the dining room table with her. Fight to keep the dogs at bay since Coraline loves to throw them her food.


All three of us head downstairs to the basement den. Coraline runs around playing while Rich and I eat dinner. If she had an early dinner at Mom’s house she grazes off our plates.


Coraline gets prepped for bedtime. Rich and I alternate: I’ll handle bedtime, he’ll handle any overnight wakeups. The next night, we switch. Tonight, I handled bedtime so he’s on overnight duty.

Post-Coraline’s Bedtime

Wash dishes, do laundry, file papers, take out recycling — do whatever needs to be done around the house that night. Get nagged at by Rich to RELAX. Take a shower at some point.


Give dogs their dinner.


Steam-clean and prep Coraline’s bottles for Mom’s house the next day. Pack any food and drinks in her cooler.


Find a few minutes for some downtime before getting ready for bed. Usually involves watching a few minutes of whatever I’ve got on the DVR in the upstairs living room. Update blog if I remember/am motivated.  Get the dogs to go out one last time before setting the house alarm.


Get in jammies. Brush teeth. Get in bed.


Curse the dogs and their clicky nails on the hardwood floor. Try to tune their clicking out to get some more sleep.


Curse the cats for fighting in the hallway right outside our bedroom door.


Wake up and do it all over again.

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