I think many of us love learning through example. Sure reading about a technique or an idea can be great, but I much prefer real life experiences. And who isn’t a little bit nosy? I love hearing about the little habits and ways of other people. With that in mind, I will be featuring different moms and how they juggle life. Don’t worry—this won’t be about having it all, wanting it all, leaning in, leaning out or anything else like that. It is simply a peek into someone else’s life. From this, I hope we can all see we each struggle in different ways and we all have something to offer.
To kick it off in style is my dear friend Katrine. This mother of one is a real go-getter with incredible energy. She never pretends to have it all figured out, but she does make it look easy. Quick to offer help and also quick to ask for help, she is that unusual combination of being totally put together and also completely open-minded to new ways and ideas. Here is Katrine’s 24 hours:
1. Do you work inside or outside of the home? If outside of the home, what are your hours? I tell people I’m a garbage lady for Advanced Disposal because ultimately that’s what I do—just in the marketing department. Generally I work about 45 hours a week (8-5) with some before/after from home and some travel. I feel fortunate because my commute to work is only 3 miles, which drastically reduces my time away from home, not to mention the lack of traffic stress!
2. What is your childcare/schooling situation? Our daughter (F), 18 months, goes to school at a church very near to our house/my work. She goes every day for the full day and loves it. I call it school because I don’t like the way “daycare” sounds and she’s learning, so it is school.
3. What is breakfast, lunch and dinner like in your family? Breakfast is either the three of us or just me and F. Mornings are much more relaxed when it’s all three, as I’m less rushed to get her and me out the door. Those mornings we may have eggs versus the hurried mornings, it’s quick things like cereal or waffles. I have oatmeal and cereal at work for those rushed mornings. We try to make enough dinner so there are leftovers for my daughter (and sometimes me) for lunch. Lunches and snacks get packed in the morning. Lately, my husband and I have been making smoothies for lunch. We throw in a bunch of veggies and fruit in our high-powered blender for a quick and nutritious lunch. Dinner depends on if he is working or not and are usually fairly quick/easy but always healthy with plenty of veggies. We try to opt for those recipes that do not require numerous pots and pans to minimize cleanup.
4. Do you meal plan or wing it? Do you like that? Meals are a team effort between my husband and me. When he is off work (which is regularly due to his wild work schedule), he takes care of planning, shopping and cooking. It’s so nice to have a delicious meal waiting when I come home from work. When he is working, it’s 12-hour shifts and sometimes through the night, so meal planning is key because much of it is up to me to run the household pretty much solo. Kudos to those moms who have it that way all the time!
5. What is most the challenging part of your day? The most challenging part of my day is what I think challenges any mom who works inside or outside the home, and that’s simply finding time to get it all in. I always have to leave my desk at work with more work than there was when I sat down that morning. And when I get home, all I want to do is sit in the living room floor and play with F. Dinner, clean up and the chores of running a household are always there nagging for attention. Finding the balance and being ok with “good enough” versus perfect is my biggest challenge.
6. What is the easiest part of your day? I feel blessed that I am a morning person, so it’s easy to get up and get things done while everyone else is still asleep. I get up at 5 and most days will work out between 5:30 and 6:20. Having that time to do something for me sets the tone for the rest of the day and starts it off right.
7. In terms of running a house with a family, what do you feel like you have figured out? We rarely go out to eat and instead use the money we save to have a housekeeper come every other week. It means more time on the weekends to do what we want and enjoy time as a family. We’re fortunate enough to “buy” time, and that’s ok. Planning dinners and making enough for leftovers makes meal preparation more smoothly and healthy – two things that are vital to a happy household.
8. Does anything still stump you? How do I make the weekends feel more relaxing for us? I feel like Saturday and Sunday are busy with laundry, errands and getting ready for the next week, and we only have one child!
9. How do you take care of yourself and recharge? I run about 20 miles a week and do some strength training. I tell people that I am not a nice person if I don’t get a couple solid runs in a week. Prior to having a baby, I competed fairly competitively in triathlons (swim, bike and run races). Now I just do some running races here and there. I’ll likely never compete at the level I did and while I miss racing, I don’t miss the second job of training so seriously. My time is simply better spent playing kitchen and dress up with F.
10. If you had an extra hour in your day, how would you spend it? Playing (without the feeling that I should be tending to something else) with F.
11. What does a typical day look like?
5:00 am: wake up (to music, not blaring alarm)
5:15: 50 minute run/work out
6:30: shower, get ready for work
7:00: F gets up, give her breakfast while packing lunches
7:45: out the door to school & work
8 – 5: work at the office, either work through lunch or take time to work on personal items. (I always pack my lunch or go home if husband is off work)
5:20 pm: home to prepare dinner/play before dinner
7:00: bath, bedtime for F
7:30: clean kitchen, relax
8:30: read in bed
I love that Katrina calls it “school” because I do the same thing! Daycare has such a bad connotation in our country. And how smart to work out first thing in the morning. Making the weekends more relaxing is definitely a great point—one we are all probably figuring out in our own way! Thank you for sharing, Katrine!