My Day as a Single Working Mom (in GIFs)

Back in 2013 I wrote a post called My Day as a Working Mom in GIFs. Since then I’ve gotten divorced and while many aspects of my day remain the same, I thought I’d give a little update to reflect the realities of being a single working parent.

6 a.m. and I hear my daughter open her bedroom door to start the day:

Instead of waking me up, she goes downstairs because I TAUGHT HER HOW TO TURN ON THE TV:

This gives me maybe 10 more minutes of laying in bed:

Then it’s time to get up. If I’m motivated enough this is the only time of the day I have to exercise. Since I can’t actually leave my house because my kid is only 6 and I’m a single parent, I’m relegated to the basement:

Oh! I forgot to mention another glorious development. I leave breakfast out on the counter each night so that my kid can grab it for herself when she comes downstairs, saving me from early morning whining!

Now it’s  shower time for me. I take a super fast shower, often opting to not wash my hair in favor of dry shampoo. It’s healthy to not wash your hair every day right??!!

Then I get dressed but I only put on the skirt or pants I’m wearing for the day and throw on a crappy top because I ALWAYS end up getting something on my work shirt when I’m in the kitchen.

Next up is making lunches. Why does this small task that really only takes me 5-10 minutes feel so arduous?

I never remember to go through her backpack at night so as soon as I start making her lunch I realize I have to go find her backpack and get her lunchbox. Which I then have to empty from the day before. And I also have to remember to pack 2 snacks and her water bottle. And since it’s summer camp right now she also needs a bathing suit, towel and sunglasses, on the daily. I’m tired just typing this.

Then I usually have a moment where I’m looking at a sink full of dishes. No one in my house is doing dishes except for me, which can feel overwhelming at times. There’s no one to help with daily chores when you’re single so I just need to get it done.

Once all my kitchen related morning duties are done I head upstairs to finish getting ready for work. This is also the time I realize my kid hasn’t gotten dressed either so I gently remind her to go upstairs with me.

If I have the energy I love to do a fun braid in my hair for the day. I taught myself how to do a variety of braids by watching YouTube tutorials and after cutting a ton of hair off last year it’s finally at a good braiding length again!

Usually I’m still getting ready when my kid is done getting dressed so she comes in my room to hang out with me. Which I love.

But mama gets no privacy people. This kid is 6! When will the whole I want to be with you even when you’re on the toilet thing subside?

Next it’s time to get shoes on and get in the car. Somehow I manage to load the car up with everything, put my own shoes on and use the bathroom again before she has her sneakers on.

Then we arrive at before care and it’s drop off time! This goes one of two ways.


Fortunately we have more easy than hard drop offs. Then it’s time for me to hustle into work. I spend my commute time eating my breakfast and listening to 101.3 for my morning dose of the Elvis Duran Show.

Then it’s time to work work work work work. Being a single parent means I’m on call all the time in case anything happens during the day with my kid. So I have to keep my cell phone out all the time.

If I happen to see a call coming from a number in my town I momentarily panic BECAUSE SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG.

But it’s usually just my local CVS reminding me for the millionth time that it’s allergy season.

After my work day is done I zip back to pick her up. I’m usually feeling a little bit guilty at this point because she goes to before AND after care so her day is really long. Sometimes she’s one of the last people to be picked up and while she never complains, it hurts my heart a little bit. But I have no choice because working full-time and having a commute means her day is long too.

One of my favorite moments though is arriving to pick her up. She always comes running and gives me the biggest hug.

Then we hop in the car and I ask her how her day was. I usually get about one sentence from her and then she’s like:

Then we get home and this kid wants to play! But I’m tired! Hella tired!

Thankfully our neighbors have a son that she loves to play with so if he’s home she can head outside to play with him.

Either way though I still now have to make dinner. This kid could eat noodles with butter and cheese every single night. At least I manage throw in protein and veggies for some balance.

After dinner she has a nightly call with her dad.

And then it’s bath or shower time. Now that she’s a little older I can get some me-time during this part of the night and check in on Facebook or even read a little bit. She does awesome washing herself but is still not a big fan of getting her hair washed. But she smells SO GOOD when she’s all done!

Then I usually brush her teeth. For something that only takes 2 minutes this is my least favorite part of the evening.

Now it’s story time, if we have enough time before bed time. Her school has challenged each kid to read 60 books over the summer. SIXTY BOOKS. Not books read by me to her but by her to ME. That’s a lot of sounding out words.

Now it’s time to turn off the light and get a little bit of snuggling. I love to snuggle, especially with my girl. I sing her a bedtime song, the same one I’ve been singing almost every night of her life. And sometimes she puts her little arm around my neck and it’s the best thing ever.

It’s finally time for me to be alone. I’m an extroverted introvert which basically means while I love being around other people and really value relationships, I need alone time to recharge. So I head downstairs to finally get some couch time in.

Like clockwork though, as soon as I sit down our cat comes running and jumps on me for attention.

I feel bad saying this but I’m so tapped out at this point that I can only muster up a few minutes of snuggling with her. Then it’s time for Game of Thrones. I got into this super late so I’m just starting season 4. NO SPOILERS PLEASE!

While I’m loving the show my sensitive soul has a hard time with the violence so I’m usually watching it like this:

Then after one episode it’s time for bed for me. So I slip under the covers and get ready to do it all over again, tomorrow.


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