A Week in the Life of a Busy Mom
This post first published on KristiAndrus.com, and is reproduced in full with permission.
From Pizza Disasters to Magical Memories: A Week in the Life of a Mom Juggling Business and Family
Although it was out of my way, and I didn’t have time, picking up pizza from my twin’s favorite spot on their birthday would be a fun surprise.
I left two pizzas on the passenger seat when I walked into the school for pickup. They were under a pile of jackets and bags, and I was in such a hurry that I didn’t give it another thought.
When I opened the door, there was the dog, her tail wagging madly, happily eating one entire pizza.
I wish that were the end of the story, but the next morning, right before we walked out the door, the dog vomited pizza all over the carpet. We won’t be eating pizza anytime soon. What can I say? It’s just another day in the life of a working mom.
Why Do We Do It?
Monday: Managing Priorities
My week typically starts with planning meetings — both personal and professional. This week, I met with another classroom mom to confirm the details of the 5th-grade fall party and with a group of entrepreneurs locking in their 4Q23 revenue targets and holiday marketing campaigns.
Because focusing in two directions can feel a little scattered, I streamline as much as possible, cutting out anything that’s not essential and asking myself as often as I need to: Does this move me/my business/my family closer to or farther from our goals?
Tuesday: Hustle & Grind
I scheduled one virtual meeting to explore an opportunity for 2024 and lined up four trainings that I wanted to get through. I completed two and a half, and the opportunity turned out not to be a good fit.
I had to drop one vehicle off for service, and then after school, I convinced the kids to help me organize the PTCO closet in advance of two upcoming events. I’m on the board, and we are ramping up.
Even though I’m intentional about our family and business calendar, it takes sophisticated orchestration to manage the school, PTCO, and extracurricular activities for three kids on top of it. We don’t get to do everything we want to all the time, and although elementary is a hard time to learn those lessons, it’s a fact of life.
It’s also one of my clients’ greatest challenges: balancing family goals with career aspirations and keeping up with the day-to-day while reminding themselves of the big picture.
Wednesday: Family Time
Two of our three children were receiving awards at school and bursting with pride, it was important to me to be there to support them. It’s also their short day and the day when all three have afterschool activities simultaneously, so I roll with it.
For the few hours I have to myself, I time block and note on my calendar exactly what needs to be done and how long I have to do it so I can save time by not deliberating, and I try not to multi-task if possible.
Multi-tasking worked once upon a time, but we live in the Attention Economy now, and social media, our phones, and the digital world can feel irresistible. So, if I’m scrolling, I set an objective first — research, engagement, inspiration, or education.
I try to set an example when my kids are watching, and if I’m watching them, I make sure they know they have my undivided attention.
Thursday: Networking & Growth
I get a little reprieve and breathe a sigh of relief. The calendar is fairly open, but I need to finish the trainings I started, follow up with a few clients/leads, and prep for a keynote.
My daughter needs me to sew on a Girl Scout patch, and I’m sure the kid’s uniforms need washed too. I’m looking forward to a networking meeting where I’ll share AI prompts and best practices. (It turns out that fairly open is relative).
I schedule a spa appointment for next week and put the school’s Spirit Week themes in my calendar with a reminder to turn in permission slips. I ask my husband to book the dog’s boarding for Fall Break, binge five podcast episodes while running errands, and do the budget.
When I find an open block on my calendar, I feel into what’s more pressing — family, home, work, or well-being? Whatever area seems neglected or isn’t flowing gets the bonus attention.
Friday: Self-Care and Reflection
I meet the neighborhood moms for a 3-mile walk. We try to meet daily, but this week was a doozy for all of us, so it kept getting pushed. We’ve committed to be accountable to each other for self-care, and it’s working.
That night, when I’m half-watching shows with my hubby while reading a book, I make the pinch screen motion. Do you know how you enlarge what you’re reading on your phone or iPad? I did that on a physical book!
My hubby notices and says gently, You might have overdone it this week with screen time, and I agree. I’ve been prepping for a work/life balance challenge that I’m super excited about, but connecting the tech to my vision requires extra effort.
When I see the weekly report that my screen time is up 18%, I shudder and recommit. I update my website so my challenge is live, and I do a silent happy dance.
We take nine kids to the baseball game to celebrate their birthday. We rode the lightrail downtown, and because the kids were dressed in their Hogwarts best to match the MLB theme, the conductor changed the announcement to say: This is the final stop for Platform 9 3/4, and the kids went nuts! I find myself thinking that all the planning was worth it.
While waiting in line to order ballpark snacks twenty minutes later, I find myself thinking, I would not survive it if all these kids were ours, but it’s fleeting and we create another magical memory.
Fingers crossed that tomorrow, I’ll get a nap.