I have no idea how to organize my day, because I SUCK at planning. I try, I really do, but it never works out quite like it does in my head. My husband is freakishly regimented by nature and plans things down to THE MINUTE, but that’s just not me. Instead, I try to find a ‘loose outline’ of what the coming week will look like, then I laugh at my ambition as I sip cold coffee on Monday morning and sigh repeatedly staring at the calendar I’ve drawn up for myself.
Regardless, I still try, so I’m going to share what an average day looks like for me. (Sort of.)
Background: I have a twenty month-old daughter, and am four months pregnant with our second child. I stay at home with our daughter, and am also a writer for my personal blog as well as other outlets such as WIRL (of course), The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and others. I’m currently working on a baby and toddler cookbook called What a Good Eater! with a partner of mine, Amy, who is also mom to a toddler and pregnant with her second child, and I provide writing services for clients with company blogs.
It became very important to me, both professionally and for my own sanity, to carve out time to dedicate to my own writing and projects. Somehow the stars aligned and the trusted nanny of a good friend of mine became available for 5 hours per week. Her name is Violeta. To get the most bang for my buck I hired her to come Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00 AM – 11:30.
While five hours a week is not much time, as any mother knows, we tend to get really good at being efficient in whatever time we can get, so those 5 hours really help me.
Here’s what a standard day looks like in our household:
6 AM: Sleep through morning workout. (The best is when I sometimes dream I’m working out, which makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, until I wake up at 5 minutes to 7 and am hit with realization that it never actually happened.)
7 AM: Rise and shine with Penelope. Diaper change, brush teeth, make breakfast, clean up from breakfast, play with P, check email. Get P dressed and ready for day, attempt to get myself dressed decently enough to be seen in public places.
9 AM (Monday – Wednesday – Friday): What we do in this time block varies. Sometimes my cookbook partner, Amy, and I will get our kids together for a play date and attempt (sadly) to get some work done for our project while they run around like lunatics. If the stars align and we get them to nap for at least an hour at the same time, we down caffeine by the pot-full and ferociously get to work creating recipes, flying through agenda items, and taking care of other project-related tasks.
If Amy and I do not meet, this time is spent wrangling my small toddler and running in circles wondering what the hell I am doing, or attending a short meet-up with other friends with children where we also run around wrangling little people and talking about how we don’t know what the hell we are doing.
9 AM (Tuesdays and Thursdays): Violeta comes at 9, I rush out the door to the café down the street, and get to work until 11:30.
11:15 AM: Lunch time for Penelope. While she is strapped into her high chair and corralled for a few moments, I’m usually cleaning up the kitchen and attempting to eat something, too. (If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, I come back during lunch time at 11:30 and finish up with P.)
11:45 AM: Get P ready for her nap. She’ll nap anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours, so whatever is really important that day I try to get done in that first hour just in case that’s all the nap she needs. It’s either working on a writing project, doing something necessary so that our house doesn’t fall apart, squeezing in a fast workout, or zoning out completely thinking about all the things I have to do as I take turns staring first at the clock and then out the window wondering when she’ll wake up.
1:30(ish) PM: P gets up from her nap. Go-time again. First a snack, then if it’s nice out, to keep her from climbing the walls, we’ll head out to either run an errand, go for a walk, or visit the park. We’re usually back home by 4:30 – 5, then it’s time to figure out dinner and wait for Greg to get home.
If it’s crappy out, I have no idea what we do. Puzzles? Patty cake? Play the game where she takes all the bibs out of the drawer one by one, then puts them back in again, or the one where she empties all the drawers in the kitchen? Maybe the one where she attempts to try on every pair of shoes I own? It’s all a blur.
5:45 (ish) PM: P’s dinner time. Regular menu items consist of refusal with a side of floor-wrecking, messy attempts to “do by self”, and demands for “more cheese! Cheese! Pease pease pease!”.
6:30 (ish) PM: Bath time for P, followed by story time. Current fan favorites are Llama Llama Nighty Night, Ten Little Ladybugs, and It’s Hug Time! Which is the book that accompanies the dancing hippo that sings “I Like Big Hugs and I Cannot Lie” to the tune of Sir-Mix-A-Lot on an endless loop. (Thanks, Aunt Lisa!)
7:15 (ish) PM: Lights out for P.
7:30 PM: Eat dinner with Greg, then either cookbook meeting with Amy (her house our mine), work on writing projects, or fall into a useless heap onto the couch to watch Shark Tank or binge on whatever series we are hooked on at the moment. (Currently it’s Episodes and Better Call Saul.)
9:30 – 10 PM: Bedtime (I’m pregnant, remember?). Sometimes I don’t even make it past 9.
Lather, rinse, repeat! It’s sometimes messy, tiring, and taxing, especially while pregnant, but it’s also beautiful, fun, and rewarding, and so fulfilling. No matter the ups or down, challenges or uncertainties, I consider myself very lucky and would not change a thing.Add to favorites