A Day in the Life of a Working Mom: Christa

18 comments

Hi, I’m Christa and I’m mom to sweet, nine-month-old Nora. I’m also a work from home mom, which means that Nora is also my coworker.

I don’t have a typical day. Depending on the day of the week, even the time of the year, my days vary greatly. In the fall, when I coach cheerleading, I get my work done around practice and games, and Nora spends time with her grandpa. In the off season, my days are dictated by meetings with clients. Some days of the week, Nora and I spend time together at home. We break the day up with story time at the library or errands; I get my work done during naps and meals. Several days a week, I go to my in laws’ house and work while Nora plays with her grandparents.

I’ll take you through one of those days now:

6:34AM – My 20-pound, footie-pajama-wearing alarm clock wakes me up. She’s all smiles, but I want to sneak in a few more minutes of sleep.

 

I nurse a sleepy Nora until 7:00, and manage to doze off myself while she’s in my lap. When we’re both more awake, I change her diaper, and change her into clothes for the day. On other days we may stay in our pjs until after breakfast, but her grandpa is picking her up early today, and I want to make sure she’s ready.

We go downstairs and play for a bit before breakfast. I choose a show from the DVR – Super Why, her favorite. She loves the songs and is completely distracted. I take this opportunity to go through the email I received since the night before.

7:35AM – We haven’t had breakfast yet but Nora seems hungry again. I still nurse on demand so I offer it again, and she definitely needed more. No matter, I love the extra snuggles I get when she nurses. Happy girl (and mom, with bed head).

 

7:55AM – It’s time for both of us to eat breakfast. I wheel her into the kitchen and keep her busy with some Cheerios while I cook us both some oatmeal on the stovetop. Today we’ll mix it with mashed banana. Yum!

 

8:30AM – In between bites, I check in on one client’s twitter stream for the first time today. Just as we’re wrapping up breakfast, grandpa shows up right on time, as usual. I hate the feeling I get when she’s taken from me. I know that sounds melodramatic, but I’d much rather be the one to drop her off, and leave her, than have her leave me. But, my meeting this morning is right up the street, and it doesn’t make sense for me to drive her 20 minutes away, only to essentially drive right back home again. My father in law is so great, he never minds picking her up. I’m lucky to have his help and support.

9:45AM – I’m ready for the day. I’m wearing dress pants, a sweater AND heels! I thank my clients for the excuse to get dressed up every now and again. I have enought time to hit the bank, grab a much-needed hot chocolate with espresso shot (my fav lately) and pull into my client’s parking lot.

I’m here on time, but where are they?

I wait a few minutes, then leave them a voicemail letting them know I’ll hang out for a bit to wait for them. I take this time to tweet some more for my clients and reply to emails that have come in since the morning. Gotta love the convenience of smartphones.

A half hour late, my client shows up and we have a productive meeting. While in this meeting, I get a text that my lunch meeting has to cancel. Secretly, I’m okay with this; it means I can head straight to my father in law’s house to see Nora sooner!

1:00PM – When I get there, I’m greeted with this:

My sweet girl is all smiles when she sees me! We nurse again and it feels like we’re catching up on the morning.

1:25PM – I get set up to work. Here’s my “office” (fake flower centerpiece and all!)

I’m settled, and my father in law announces that he’s taking Nora shopping. I know he thinks he’s doing me a favor by giving me some quiet time to work, but again, I find it hard to see her go. I struggle to get some work done without her there.

2:25PM – They’re back! I instantly feel more at ease and focused with her around. Finally, I get more work done. My Natalie Merchant Station on Pandora provides some nice background noise.

3:25PM – It’s time to nurse again! I truly appreciate the chance to work nearby where Nora is taken care of so we can nurse and not pump! I cover up because my father in law is around.

Nana’s home from work! She gets snuggles, but it’s back to work for me. Then of course, I need to take a timeout for this cuteness (sorry for the quality):

Nora goes shopping from Christa Allard on Vimeo.

Chatterbox Nora from Christa Allard on Vimeo.

While all of this is adorable, I found it extremely distracting because everyone was in the kitchen just steps from where I was working. I decide it’s time to wrap up and head home. Then, I get a text from Nora’s Auntie Gena – she’ll be in town in a few minutes and wants to stop by! Nora and I are thrilled; it’s been awhile since we’ve seen her and we’re all up for a short visit. Nora and I hop in the car.

4:30PM – Auntie Gena time!! We play again for a bit before dinner.

5:45PM – Gena goes, and it’s time to wrap up the day. We nurse…again…and have dinner. Nora is skeptical of the meatball I’ve shared:

6:20PM – After dinner, it’s time for a bath, pajamas and story time.

 

It takes FOREVER to get Nora to sleep tonight. After lots of nursing and rocking it’s…

8:45PM – I’m back downstairs but my day isn’t over yet. I need to write one more blog post for the day and send off the proposal I worked on earlier to a prospective client. While I wrap this up, I watch American Idol, which I DVR’d.

9:45PM – Could it be? I’m done! Proposal submitted, blog posts written and scheduled, baby still sleeping (and, so is hubby). I do one last sweep of the house to put things in order, and hop in the shower. I was never one to shower at night, but I learned to embrace it. I have way more time at night than trying to squeeze it in in the morning!

10:20PM – After my shower, I come downstairs to clean up the kitchen and pick cheerios out of the carpet.

10:30PM – Time for a late night snack. Breastfeeding makes me so hungry, if I don’t eat late, I wake up starving in the middle of the night. Lately, my snack of choice is greek yogurt with dark chocolate chips mixed in.

11:00PM – Nora’s awake. I nurse her back to sleep. We do this dance multiple times every night.

11:30PM – Back downstairs for a drink of water. Breastfeeding makes me so thirsty! I try to drink one of these a day:

11:45PM – Last order of business before bed: I record a memory from the day in my book.

This format appeals to the social media consultant in me because it’s like a low-tech version of twitter. Every day I record one line about what happened that day. This book allows me to do it for 5 years, so that on any given day, I can look back at what Nora and I were doing together that day years before. I look foward to seeing how our days change together in years to come!

But for now…time to drop into bed and get some rest to do it all again tomorrow!

18 comments on “A Day in the Life of a Working Mom: Christa”

      1. I’m in Texas, lol. But I will check out the website and I will find someone who sells that because I wish I would have done that with my first and she is now 4.5. My little one is 16 months. The things the 4 year old says is truly precious. Just yesterday she asked me how to spell “recently” and then proceeded to draw me a picture with the title Mom I love you recently.
        Thanks!

  1. Wow. Seeing it all written down is exhausting. Glad we’re doing this. Thanks for organizing it, Christa. Nora is such a beautiful, happy girl! So glad you have such supportive and involved family.

  2. Michelle, three things make showering at night work for me.

    1. The straightening iron. In the morning I give it a brush, then smooth out te kinks with the iron. Usually I just have to wet my bangs a bit and blow dry those, but not my whole head.

    2. Dry shampoo. If I have to go more than two days without washing my hair (something I also never did), dry shampoo buys me another day. Some days I still throw it back in a pony after the dry shampoo, but it cuts that greaseball feeling a bit.

    And finally…

    3. Lowered standards. Honestly, most mornings I’m satisfied if I don’t leave the house with drool/spit up/food on my clothes. So if my hair is halfway decent these days, I feel pulled together.

  3. Hey Christa – great post – just curious, do you bill your clients by the hour after an initial consultation? Or charge hourly, or does it depend? Don’t feel obligated to answer if this is proprietary … was just curious how consulting works for you. 🙂

    1. I actually bill by the month. This way it’s more predictable by the client and they can easily budget for it every month.

  4. I sometimes shower at night, but sometimes I’m so exhausted that i just crawl into bed and hope it works out in the morning. I have somewhat dry hair and I don’t use a lot of product in it, so I only wash it and blowdry every 2-3 days (and sometimes I skip the blowdry if I think I can get away with it). I’ve never been great with hair so I don’t really have much advice in that department – I feel like I have let myself go a bit since having a kid – not good but it’s so hard to be motivated some days.

  5. Great post! Michelle, I work out of the home and have to leave the house by 6:45 (with 2 kids ready to go as well!). Showering at night is the only way it works…I shower at night, but blow dry and straighten my hair in the morning. It is not perfect, but better then the bun i was rocking when I showered in the morning!

  6. Loved the post! Nora is getting so big! As for the shower before bed, which I do too (have since I was a kid since I lived in a house of 5 women, LOL) I try to try it back so there isn’t as much tangles, and if need be use a spritz of water and blow it out a bit. Better than full blow dry, or tie it up in a bun, put a hair band, etc.

    1. Definitely try the yogurt! I get the benefit of the protein plus something to satisfy my sweet tooth. Of course fresh fruit would be delish too especially once it’s berry season again!

  7. Love this! Follow up question however. I’m thinking about showering at night too because it seems to make so much sense but I don’t know how to do it so that my hair looks nice in the morning before I go to work. Any advice?

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