A Day in the Life of a Working Mom: Dena

I’m Dena, mom to Miles (6, going on 16) and Ava (2, going on 22).


They are so cute together, and really love each other!

My paid gig is as a union organizer, so my day is pretty varied depending on the week, month, time of year.  I am so very fortunate that I have somewhat flexible in hours, however that can mean lots of “non-normal” working hours.  My husband is a consultant with an equally “non-normal” working hours day.  We try to balance it the best we can.

Here is a look at a recent day I had (note that some of these pictures were taken on different days… I am a busy working mom after all!):

Did you seriously think I would be awake enough to take a real picture of my alarm clock?!?

6:15:  The alarm clock turns on to the latest traffic report on 1080am radio.   I fall back to sleep….

6:40: Hubby lovingly pushes me out of the bed and proceeds to sprawl out for the next 10 minutes… creep…

6:45: Get Kid #1 up and out of bed, which sometimes is a monumental task for both of us.

6:50: Kid #1 is upright and getting changed despite his best efforts to convince me he needs to play, bring something for show-and-tell, is too sick to go to school, doesn’t need to eat breakfast, or otherwise procrastinating (he is so my kid).  Hubby gets up and reiterates the “get changed” part before jumping in the shower.

6:55: This rambunctious ball of fur is Jax. He is almost one year old and the cause of almost every grey hair on my head. Take him downstairs to do his business.

7:00: Find coffee maker.  Place pod in coffee maker.  Push button.  SH*&! QUICK GRAB A MUG!!! Ok, sip coffee and start to wake up.  Get dog food, let him in.

7:05: Kid #1 is coming downstairs for breakfast.  We go through the same routine every morning.  What kind of cereal do you want? Get a spoon.  Milk or water in a cup?  Get your coat on, backpack on.  Sit down and eat the bus will be here any minute.

7:10: Check email, FB, and People magazine online while sipping coffee, waiting for the bus and fielding questions like, “You know Mom, I haven’t brought in anything for show and tell this week, so I really think you should let me bring in my karate trophy.” (He is so his father’s kid)

7:20:  I can hear Kid #2 jumping in her bed as Hubby goes in to greet her.  He comes down and quizzes Kid #1 on his spelling while waiting for the bus. I give Kid #1 a kiss, wish him a good day, and head upstairs for the next one.

7:25: Kid #2 is usually pretty happy in the morning (remember the jumping) and greets me with, “Hi, Mommy!” She wants “up” at the mention of breakfast and since it will inevitably be on her as much as in her, we don’t get dressed first.

Ha! She is usually happy, but was a little peeved I wouldn't give her the camera!

7:30:  Kid#1 has gotten on the bus and Hubby is usually on his way out too.

7:35:  After tricking Kid #2 into having yogurt and cereal instead of M&M’s and chips, she sits down to eat.  As predicted, it’s messy.  Clean her up a bit and head upstairs.

7:55: Gotta take a shower.

Most moms find the shower to be their alone time, but I have a little stowaway this morning.  (After reading of all you night-showerers, I may have to give it a try).

8:15: We are out of the shower, Kid#2 is dressed and either playing, watching Elmo on my tablet (or “tah-blit” as she calls it), or causing mayhem as only a 2-year-old knows how to do while I get myself dressed and ready to go.

Mayhem evidence- she got ahold of the camera while I was getting ready and apparently figured out how to take pictures!

8:45: Gather ALL of our stuff.  Seriously, I have no idea how I am not super buff and skinny after carrying a 30lb toddler and the stuff that comes with her!  Lately the only places she wants to walk by herself are parking lots and busy streets.  Everywhere else it’s “Mama, up!”

8:50: Get the dog in the crate, lock up, and get Kid #2 in car seat- We’re off to Daycare!

9:00:  Drop-off these days goes pretty smoothly (knock-on-wood).  She really loves the kids and the teachers, and so do I.  Five kisses and five hugs, and I’m out the door.

9:10: Crap, I forgot to sign the sign-in sheet again… oh well!

9:11- 4:00 (this day):  My job consists of a lot of visiting with current members at various worksites around the state.  I have  a pretty decent territory that I am responsible for, which keeps me, at the most, an hour (without traffic) away from home and daycare.  My days in the car consist of a lot of this

These are my best friends

Work phone, personal phone, bluetooth, and my tablet

and luckily I have this to keep me company

On days I don’t have to travel, I am in the office working on gathering and creating materials, chugging out lists and emails, prepping for the week ahead, and various other things (the dreaded expense report!) I have to do.

Some days, like today, I have a meeting at night to go to.  I am fortunate to have a job (and employer) who allow us to make our own schedules.  So even, though I have worked almost a full day already and have a 2 hour meeting tonight, I can use that to flex another day I need a few hours.  This is really helpful when I need to schedule doctor appointments, volunteer at Kid #1’s school, just want to have a little extra time in morning with Kid #2, or use my saved extra hours to cut out early to spend more time at night with the family.  It’s great, but it can also be VERY tiring!

4:30:  Pick up Kid #2 at daycare.  This takes time because I usually have to chase her to get her coat on (thankfully it has been warm lately because this is not always successful).  We head home to relieve the babysitter who gets Kid #1 off the bus at 3 until I get home (which is great since she does homework with him and knocks one thing off my nightly to-do list).

5:00:  Get Kid #2 and all of her stuff (which now includes lots of artwork and glitter from daycare) out of the car and into the house.  Babysitter goes, TV goes on, and I go through Kid#1’s backpack for notes, papers, and whatever he managed to smuggle to school while I wasn’t looking.  Oh, look… his karate trophy.

5:15:  Start dinner.  Some nights I come home to my crock pot cooking, but tonight we have chicken marinating (inspired by this Tasty Thursday recipe).   I have had over 6 years of one-handed cooking practice, and I am pretty good, if I do say so myself.

5:30: Hubby is home, and sets the table and wrangles the kids for dinner.  I shovel some food in my mouth, while deflecting peas that Kid #2 has realized make great spoon-shot material, we talk about our days, and then I have to go upstairs to freshen up before my meeting.  Hubby cleans up, but with 2 kids to play with and get ready for bed by 7:30, our sink on most days looks like this!

6:15:  Head to for the 7:00 executive board meeting of one of my groups.  Must stop to get a coffee!

8:48: I’m finally on the road after the meeting.  Call Hubby to see how the kids are.  Call my mom to chat (she jokes that she gets slightly offended that I call her “because I’m bored in the car,” but I talk to her every other day, so I think it’s ok).

9:08:  Pull into driveway.

9:12:  Kick off heels, and make one of these

9:15:  Make one for Hubby.

9:20:  Make lunches for the next day.  Sometimes it’s for all four of us, but tonight it’s just for Kid #2.

9:35: Head upstairs to wash up and get jammies on.  Hang out with Hubby watching some TV, checking emails and FB, pay some bills, write a blog post, etc.  Maybe, if we feel adventurous, we clean up a bit, but honestly the toys will be all over the floor again tomorrow… maybe if they start on the floor, they will end up in the toy box?  Hey, a girl can dream…

11:30:  Holy crap, it’s 11:30!  Trudge upstairs, with dog leading the way.  Check on sleeping angels, crawl into bed, and get some sleep before we do it all again tomorrow!

11 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a Working Mom: Dena

  1. I really need a drink!
    The one-handed cooking is a true talent. With only three years experience, I still make gigantic mistakes, like dropping my I-Phone into boiling water 😦 My husband has NO CLUE how to cook one handed and looks at me with amazement when he comes home and I’m cooking and holding the baby!
    Great pictures, beautiful family!

  2. i was totally planning on doing the time thing for my day in the life. and you totally rocked it way better than I would have. WHAT A DAY! dang you, fabulous Dena, for making me come up with another idea.

    1. Amy you can do the time thing too! It was easier to write, since I realized that most of my day, no matter how hectic is feels, runs on this choreographed schedule!

  3. That drink is a cucumber cosmo. I haven’t perfected it yet, so I guess I should keep trying! It’s cucmuber vodka, triple sec, splash of cranberry, and lime juice. The triple sec is a bit harsh for me so I don’t use a lot. Buy cucumbrr vodka is so yummy!

    1. How often would you say you have a beverage of this type? I find I drink more now than before I had a kid (OK, well at least compared to post-college drinking)

  4. So impressed with the one handed cooking! Your work day sounds a lot like mine! I totally agree with your must haves in the car and it is funny because days someone is in the passenger seat of my car I feel weird because that is basically my work desk! Lol

  5. Love it!! 🙂 Also I agree Michelle!! We just bought a really great elliptical and I’ve NEVER had a night to go on it. EVER! We’ve had it for a month! My husband has been on it probably 5x but I have yet to have a free night. UGH.

  6. First of all, that night-time beverage looks AMAZING! Details please.

    Also, how the heck are we suppose to find time to work out? I haven’t seen any of us post anything about finding time for that yet!

    I too read people.com in the morning before work!! I believe Marie does as well. Guilty pleasures.

    You are one rockin mama!

  7. Wow! Reading all of these “days-in-the-life” is making my head spin! You women are AMAZING! So funny about kid #2 getting a hold of your camera ~ my littles love the camera too. Oh, and my kid #2 DID have chip and M&M’s for breakfast. 😉

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