My friend Melissa over at Stafford Stories is doing a blog series on working mom's. I was asked to participate so yesterday I did my very first guest blog! Yay! It's so interesting to read about other working moms and how every family makes things work. I thought I'd repost my post here for ya'll to read. Go check out Melissa's blog also; she's having guest mama bloggers on Monday's and Wednesday's and the series runs through September.
Hi! I'm Kristen!
Hi! I'm Kristen!
I'm wife to Chris...
Mommy to our very busy, strong willed, independent, smart, and beautiful 3 year old daughter, Sara Kate...
And we are the Michaels family!
Even though we only have one child, our life is busy!! My husband is a teacher and I work in Bentonville, Arkansas, in the field of environmental science. My work day is 8:00-4:30, and I have a dreadful 45 minute commute. Our day goes a little something like this...
I am NOT a morning person so I try to do as much prep work as I can the night before. I get Sara Kate's milk ready, her clothes picked out, lunches made, my water bottle filled, and an idea of what I'm going to wear done every night before we go to bed so I don't have to do any of that in the mornings. I try to get up by 5:45 but usually it's closer to 6, and I immediately get in the shower and start getting dressed. Sara Kate used to be a late riser, but right around the time she turned 3 she started getting up earlier and earlier. She could get up anywhere between 5:45-6:45. When she gets up Chris (or I) gets her milk out of the fridge, we give her a breakfast bar, waffle, or Pop Tart, and she sits down to watch a movie or tv show on the iPad while we are getting ready. After I'm dressed, it's time to get her dressed. Like I said, I pick out her clothes the night before but I give her a couple of options. She has become quite opinionated and it helps get her dressed quicker if she has a say in what she is wearing. If Chris is home he is a big help in dressing her, otherwise it's just she and I. If I'm going to be on time for work, we have to be out the door by 7:10...5 minutes makes a world of difference in the morning traffic!
I drop her off at school around 7:30 and hopefully I'm at work at 8. Thankfully I have flexibility with my job so if I'm a little late it's no big deal. I work until 4:30, but sometimes I stay until 4:45 or 5:00 to stash back some overtime. I pick Sara Kate up on the way home, and we are home between 5:30 and 6:15, depending on when I leave work.
It is very important to us to eat dinner as a family. Because of my commute, a lot of the dinner prep falls on Chris. I'm very thankful for him stepping up and doing most of the cooking, even though I do get home in time to cook some meals. He grills a lot in the summer, and I'm also a big fan of the crock pot! We do lots of crock pot meals, which I prepare the night before. After dinner we have play time with Sara Kate. Some of her favorite activities include reading books, puzzles, and coloring, but her most favorite thing to do is to be outside. Most of our play time involves taking walks, riding her bicycle, playing on her swing set, playing with sidewalk chalk, or playing at our neighborhood playground.
Bath time begins between 8:00-8:15, and she is in bed around 9:00.
I wish she went to bed a little sooner so I had more time in the evenings to spend with Chris or do things around the house, but at the same time, because I am a working mom, the window of time between after dinner and her bed time is so narrow I really don't have that much play time with her. It's a catch-22. After she goes to bed Chris and I hang out, maybe watch a show on tv, sometimes I blog, and I get things ready for the next day. I'm usually in bed between 10-10:30.
As far other household chores, I always do all the laundry on Sunday. But if something comes up during the week that needs to be washed, I'll do that when the need arises. A huge weight off my shoulders is cleaning. Last year for my birthday, Chris got me a cleaning lady. We found a sweet girl who cleans some other friends houses and she comes to our house every other Friday. I thought it would just be for a few months but Chris plays music every Friday night and gets paid for it so we've managed to keep her in the budget. I feel bad about it sometimes, like I'm not doing some kind of wifely duty. It's a luxury for sure, but I really really appreciate not having to do deep heavy cleaning. Even though we have someone clean for us, clutter drives me nuts. We always clean up Sara Kate's toys before bed, the dishes are always done, and the kitchen is clean. I also vacuum regularly to pick up the dog hair that accumulates.
Time with Chris is something we really have to work on.
He gets really busy during the school year but that's the nature of his job. Thankfully his mom and dad live in town and can watch Sara Kate every now and then so we can go out. We get lots of good quality time together in the summers, too. During the fall, we have regular 'dates' on game days to watch Razorback football. We also get to hang out with friends on game days too. Getting together with friends isn't something we do regularly, but we try to have dinner get togethers or play dates with friends and their kids when we can.
That's a little glimpse into my life as a working mom. It's certainly busy, but I wouldn't change it. I love that Melissa does this series so we can see how other working moms make it work! Feel free to follow our little life on my blog (ckmichaels.blogspot.com) or follow me on Instagram (kristen912) or Twitter (@kmmichaels)!