I am a good month into my working mom of 2 schedule and I’m just going to warn you, it’s going to seem like the most insane schedule, but it’s working… for the most part. Having returned to work full time after having my first 3 years ago, I had a good sense of what was to come and how we needed to prepare, but having 2 kids is a whole new world.
Just to set the stage, we live outside of Washington, DC in Montgomery County, Maryland and have 2 kiddos. Neal works full time downtown Washington, DC near the Capital and I work full time in Northwest Washington, DC. Neal takes the train into the city and I drive each day. My oldest is in preschool and our baby is in daycare, but we pick both kids up from daycare at the end of the day.
Other variables that came into play when we were designing our schedules included our commutes, workouts, flexible work schedules, daycare/school hours, bus schedule, work demands, and personal wellness. We are both very thankful to have flexible work schedules, so I fully recognize how much crazier things would be if we couldn’t work schedules outside of the traditional 9am-5pm schedule.
Alright, lets dig in… Below is a detailed look at what my working mom of 2 schedule has looked like these past 5 weeks. In short overview, I drop off and pick up the kids on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Neal drops off and picks up the kids on Tuesday and Thursday, giving me time to work late twice a week.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
5:30AM – Neal and I wake up. I get ready for the work day and finish packing our bags. Neal takes Theodore out for a walk and gets ready for work
6:00AM – I wake up Kinnick, feed him, and get him ready for the day
6:30AM – I drive Kinnick to daycare. While I’m gone Neal packs Magnolia’s lunch and does a few chores if needed (loading dishwasher, starting a load of laundry, etc)
7:15AM – Neal wakes up Magnolia and gets her ready for school
7:25AM – I return from daycare and make myself coffee and breakfast
7:30AM – Neal makes Magnolia breakfast and then leaves for the train station
7:45AM – I put Magnolia on the bus and begin my drive into DC
9:00AM – Neal and I both (roughly) arrive at work and start the day
9:30AM, 1:00PM, and 4:00PM (roughly) – I pump at work
4:30PM – I leave work to pick up the kids from daycare. The latest I can leave is 5:20PM, but I try to leave on time most days
5:15PM – Neal catches the train back home
5:30-6:00PM (depends on traffic) – I arrive at daycare to pick up the kids
6:30PM – All 4 of us arrive home. Neal takes Theodore out for a long walk right away and I get the kids settled in. Kinnick almost always takes a nap during the drive home and for about 30 minutes once home
6:45PM – I make dinner for everyone while Magnolia watches Curious George or her show of choice
7:15PM – I sit down for dinner with Neal and both kids
7:40PM – Neal takes Magnolia upstairs to start her bedtime routine and to put her to bed. I get Kinnick ready for bed and breastfeed him
8:15PM – Both kids are usually asleep by 8:15/8:30PM. We watch various shows and usually have the TV on while we get things done around the house
8:30PM – We tag team and prepare for the day ahead. I defrost breastmilk for Kinnick, pack my bags, and clean up the kitchen
9:30PM – We are both pretty checked out and do our own thing. I often fall asleep on the couch, unplanned, while watching TV or use the last few hours of the day to work or blog. Neal is working on his 5th book, so he writes most nights
11:00PM – If I don’t fall asleep on the couch, Neal and I both tend to go to bed some time between 11:00PM and 11:30PM. We’re not good about going to bed early as we both use our night time hours to write and/or work
Tuesday and Thursday
3:50AM – My first alarm goes off. In order to pump before OrangeTheory, I have to get out of bed by 4:15AM in order to make it on time
4:15AM – Pump and clean up
4:30AM – Throw on my workout clothes and gather up my bags (I pack everything the night before, including my lunch)
4:40AM – I leave for OrangeTheory, which starts at 5:00AM
5:30AM – Neal lets Theodore out, finishes packing the kids meals and bags for the day, takes Kinnick to daycare, gets Magnolia on the bus, and begins the work day at home
6:10AM – After working out and stretching I head into Washington, DC
6:40AM – I either stop by Starbucks to relax for a little bit or head straight into work to start the work day
7:10AM – Arrive at work and get ready for the work day.
7:30AM – Begin the work day. I usually eat breakfast at Starbucks (coffee and oatmeal) or something from home at my desk
7:30AM, 9:30AM, 1:00PM, and 4:00PM (roughly) – I pump at work
12:00PM – Neal tends to workout over his lunch break (and on weekends)
5:30PM – My work day technically ends but I almost always work until 6:30/7PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I try to make it home before Magnolia goes to bed
6:00PM – Neal wraps up the work day and picks up both kids
6:45PM – Neal makes Magnolia dinner, usually leftovers, while she watches Curious George or her show of choice
7:15PM – Neal feeds Magnolia and Kinnick
7:30PM – I arrive home and spend time with the kids before bedtime
7:40PM – I take Magnolia upstairs to start her bedtime routine and to put her to bed. I get Kinnick ready for bed and breastfeed him after putting Magnolia down. I like doing bedtime on Tuesdays and Thursdays
8:30PM – Bedtime tends to be a bit later for Kinnick on Tuesdays and Thursdays
8:30PM – We tag team and pack for the next day
9:00PM – I am exhausted on Tuesday and Thursday nights, so I almost always go to bed right away or fall asleep on the couch
What’s Working, What’s Not Working
Well, there it is! Our weekly schedule. I know it’s nuts, but it’s working. It’s hard when Neal and I are both trying to get 40+ hours of work in a week, while also balancing our kid’s needs and schedules, but I honestly don’t know what else we could do to lighten our load without making a major life change (moving, changing jobs, etc). We both love our careers and where we live, so for now, at this season of our lives, we’re making it work.
Weekends, the occasional Friday off work, and hiring a housekeeper definitely help! Neal and I try our hardest to communicate our needs and to help the other out when we need a break. I try to let Neal sleep in each weekend and to give him space to write. Neal then watches the kids so I can have some time alone to blog, organize, shop, or just get out of the house.
A bit about what’s not working… Since I’m working until 6:30/7PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m thinking I should rework my schedule. I don’t mind working late one bit, but I’d rather work those hours into my actually schedule. This would give me a chance to come in later or to adjust my hours on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
I’m also not working out as much as I want to. I have been working out at OrangeTheory on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I am going to try out a new schedule starting next week. I am going to try out going to OrangeTheory on Mondays and Fridays and then working out at work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I really want to get at least 4 workouts in each week as I work to get back into shape postpartum, not including any workouts on the weekend.
We’re also so exhausted by the time Saturday arrives that we don’t want to do anything. We haven’t been the best about grocery shopping, meal prepping, or cleaning before the work week starts. The weeks we use the weekend to prepare make a world of difference, but we aren’t always good about getting everything done. We tend to nap, watch TV, and just play with our kids.
We also aren’t getting enough sleep. I’ve blogged about this before, but we end up using our evening hours to get things done instead of going to bed early. We pay for it in the end, but there’s just no other time to get things done.
The good is that we’re doing it! I know our schedule is nuts and I know we have a lot on our plates, but we’re doing it! I’m proud of what we’re doing and that we’re making this schedule work considering we have long commutes, 2 full time jobs, 2 kids, and various other responsibilities. I’m proud of us!
I share our schedule so that others know that they’re not alone. I also want people to know that it’s doable. For us, the key is planning ahead, communicating needs, and staying on top of our responsibilities.