We made it to the half way mark of the work week, and since I’ve been reading and talking a lot lately with other mamas about the daily struggle of balancing it all, I figured it was a perfect time to give a glimpse into a day in the life of this working twin mama.
Before I jump in, I have to call out that I’m not a huge fan of the phrase “working mama.” Obviously all mamas are working, and stay at home mamas arguably work the hardest of them all. “Work outside the home” sounds a little forced, so sometimes I use the phrase “career mama” but I’m not so sure I’m sold on that either. Suggestions, anyone?!
Now on to my schedule. When I went back to work after my four-month maternity leave, I kind of obsessed about how our days would work. How in the world would we balance commutes, time with the babies, nursing. I asked friends and colleagues for input and spent a lot of time talking with Troy, and of course, over thinking. One example is a phase I went through when we started solids, I obsessed over the fact that we should both be home to experience this milestone together. Sounded appropriate and memorable at the time, but something I later learned wasn’t that big of a deal and not worth so much worry. Things have evolved a bit in the past year and a half, and while it’s not always perfect, we’ve gotten into a decent groove and a schedule that works well for us. Sure, some weeks we get thrown curveballs with work events or other obligations, but in general, here’s what a typical Monday-through-Friday looks like in the Bienemann household.
Wake Your @$$ Up!
Troy and I alternate morning workouts, so if it’s my workout day (aiming for 3 times a week), I’m up around 5:15am to catch a 6:00am workout class. I’m two weeks in to making a dedicated effort at the gym and I’m loving Orange Theory. On those days, I crush a 60 minute workout, shower at the gym/studio, and then head to BART.
When it’s not my workout day, I try to get my @$$ up when Troy does to jumpstart my workday or to enjoy some quiet, me time. Well, that’s always the plan. But let’s be real, I typically hit the snooze button a couple times and get up with just enough time (if I’m lucky) to shower and do my hair before the twins wake up.
B&B are up!
I know, I know. We are crazy lucky to have the twins sleep past sunrise. I will say that sometimes they keep us on our toes and decide to wake up at earlier than this and throw our whole morning into a frenzy. For the most part they get their @$$es up around 7am. Typically Braxton babbles and Brylie screams (you’d think the world is ending) to let us know they are ready to start their mornings.
Once we get them out of their cribs, we get them a cup of leche (which we still warm up 🙄). Oh, and these and these are our favorite cups. I love when they’re still in that just-woke-up haze, they are so cuddly and warm! Anyway, they drink their leche in our room or on the couch in the living room. Post milk, I juggle finishing getting ready with playing with them. I’ll feed them dry cereal, Troy puts them up on the counter to help prepare his morning smoothie, or we let them run around and play until our nanny gets to the house.
Nanny arrives, we get our @$$es to work!
The real MVP and glue that keeps our frantic lives sane is our incredible nanny. Seriously, we could not have found a better woman to care for our children. We love her like family. It is so apparent and visible how much she loves B&B.
I’ve got another post lined up soon about our decision to go the nanny route and how we found her, so stay tuned.
Anyways, she comes over each morning at 7:45am. It’s really like Disneyland when walks in the door — B&B and Lux get so excited every single day! She’s so sweet that she brings dogs treats for B&B to feed Lux. It’s no wonder she’s his favorite.
The kids now know when she gets to the house, mama and dada go to work. “Bye mama” is their new saying when she arrives.
Her routine for the day is action packed. Homemade breakfast, diapers on diapers, park/story time/art class, lunch, naps, milk, play, then dinner time. All before Troy or I get home from work!
7:45 – 8:30am
Commute –> Work
I live in Burlingame, just south of SFO, and commute into the heart of downtown San Francisco. The crow flies only 17 miles but takes me 45mins – 1 hour for my door-to-door commute. I drive to BART (15 mins from the time I leave the house step on the train), take the 30-minute train in, and take the elevator to my floor. Yes, I scored that my office is literally right above the BART station. Sometimes I also take Caltrain, which I can walk to from my house and gets into SF a little quicker, but is a 25-minute walk from the station to my office.
8:30 – 4:30pm
Work, work, work, work
I try to be as efficient as I can during my time in the office so I can leave at a reasonable time, either to relieve our nanny at 5:30pm or to just to get quality time with B&B. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but I always feel a little bummed on the days I have obligations that take me away from bedtime, especially if I left the house before they woke up. To make this schedule work, I’m a little antisocial and eat lunch at my desk. Most of my days are typically half-filled with meetings and 1:1’s with my direct reports, so I have to take any time I can get in between to get project done and meet deadlines.
4:30 – 5:30pm
Commute –> Home
I usually leave the office between 4:30 and 5:30, depending on when I need to be home and what my meetings look like. My commute is my “me time” (which I know I could use more of!) which typically involves some podcast action, IG browsing and blog writing.
5:30 – 6:30pm
Home sweet home!
It’s off to the races before bed time. We recently had our nanny start feeding B&B dinner around 5:00pm which has been so nice. I’m sure we aren’t alone, but getting toddlers to eat when they’re excited can be a S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E. I love it, but they get all hyped up to see us and just want to play when we get home, or really do anything but sit down at the kitchen table. So now when we come home we do exactly what’s in their plan — play! We wrestle, have tea time, go for a walks with Lux, and just enjoy our time together. Close to 7:00pm, they turn into pumpkins if we push bedtime too far, so usually around 6:45pm we wind things down. Some days that involves baths, and other days we play special music in their room while we get that last burst of energy out. Then jammies, story time, cuddles, and night time.
7:30 – 8:30pm
Someday I’d love us to be better about eating dinner as a family, but for now, we found its much more enjoyable (and efficient) to eat after the kids are in bed. We usually whip up something quick, grab takeout, or enjoy some homemade Columbian cooking from our nanny. We do out best to keep phones off the table and use the “quiet” time to talk about our day and game plan the next.
830 – 11:00pm
Work, sometimes fun, sleep
I’d love to say that we use this time to spend together watching a fun show or stepping out with friends, but most nights our laptops are open after we finish the dishes to squeeze in those final emails of the day. I try to meet a girlfriend at least once a week or make sure Troy and I get some quality downtime together… but it’s a work in process.
We try to get our stuff ready for the next day and quickly clean the house before bedtime to make the morning more smooth. We aim to get to sleep between 10-11:00pm because that alarm comes QUICK. I can’t lie, I am definitely one of those girls who needs her sleep!
So there you have it, a day in the life of this mama.Congratulations for making it to the end of that novel! I’d love to hear how you manage the juggle. What tips do you have to fit it it all and reduce the mama guilt?!