The end of the school year is upon us so I wanted to capture a “day in the life” before summer break officially begins this Friday! This was such a wild year and so much has changed since I wrote my last Day In The Life during quarantine last year…
Caroline finished kindergarten remote and also started first grade remote from home. Remote learning was pretty difficult but we were super fortunate to have an extremely incredible first grade teacher who went so far above and beyond to keep the kids engaged. In January the kids began returning to the school building for a few days at a time and we saw and felt a tremendous amount of improvement in many ways. And then a few weeks ago the kids finally returned to the school building full time!
Thomas is finishing his TK (transitional kindergarten) year this week at daycare and will be joining Caroline at the same school for kindergarten this fall. We are so, so, so glad we held Thomas back for TK. Not only were we able to avoid virtual kindergarten, we saw a tremendous amount of growth in him over the past year — academically, fine motor skills, interest in learning, vision, etc.
Despite living through a pandemic year, I have to admit that life has gotten SO MUCH EASIER in many ways over the past year as the kids become more and more independent. For those of you who are desperately looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, I’m here to say that although it’s hard to see it from the toddler trenches, it will come and is life changing. In the past year we’ve transitioned both kids to booster seats in the car and they buckle and unbuckle themselves (it took Thomas a long time to get there but hallelujah for this milestone). And while they’ve been making their own breakfast most mornings for awhile now, Caroline absolutely loves to cook and is now making pancakes on the weekends all by herself and that has been amazing. Another big milestone is allowing the kids to play outside with the neighborhood kids after school and on the weekends. They have strict boundaries and rules but absolutely love this freedom…even though 99.9% of the time all the kids end up in our backyard anyway, which we love. And one last big milestone worth mentioning — swimming. Last summer we were able to ditch puddle jumpers and have moved from being in the pool at all times to supervising from the pool wall. We still constantly scoot along the pool wall to ensure we’re always nearby (mostly for Thomas), but it still feels very different from even just the previous summer!
Alright, now that I’ve given you a quick recap, let’s dive into a typical day in our life…May 2021 with a 7 year old and an almost 6 year old.
6:30 am: The kids are usually up, dressed and playing with Sprinkles upstairs around 6:30, then come down and make their breakfast (usually cereal or toast) around 7. About 2-3 days a week Matt and I try to squeeze a 9Round workout in. If we’re both working out, Matt will usually go to the 6:30 am class and I’ll go to the 7:30 class. If I am the only one working out, I get to the gym around 7 am. Working from home has allowed me to sleep in later which has been amazing.
8-8:15 am: No matter how early we get up or prepare for the day, it seems we are always scrambling to pack backpacks (lunch box, iPad, extra masks, etc.), fill water bottles, locate jackets and shoes and get out the door to the bus stop. I walk both kids down to the bus stop each morning giving Matt a few extra minutes to pack up his car and continue looking for any missing items that Thomas may need for school that day. If we get to the bus stop a few minutes early, Thomas and Caroline will either run around together or Caroline and I will practice hand clap games. But many days we are sprinting to the end of the street, frantically waving our hands and yelling for the bus driver not to leave.
8:20 am: Thomas gives Caroline a big hug and she gets on the bus. Matt is either at the bus stop by now or is pulling up to grab Thomas and take him to daycare.
8:25 am: I usually have about 30 minutes to quickly shower and get dressed for the day. If I’m feeling extra ambitious, I’ll hand-vacuum the cornflakes off the floor, unload the dishwasher and load in the breakfast dishes.
9:00 am – 4:45 pm: Off to the Circle Room for work with lots of water and coffee. As many of you have noticed, I have an addiction to sparkle waters and I usually go through about a case (8 cans) a day…
Our Work Day
My Work Day: I am still working from home and very much love it now that I’ve found a good work/life balance. I am a Business Development Manager for a large law firm and most days I really like my job. I’ve been with my firm for a little over 2.5 years now and am fortunate to work with an amazing team and boss who are mostly located in Philadelphia. Even though we have all been working from home for more than a year, I feel more connected than ever with my team (and attorneys) thanks to frequent video calls and our internal messaging system. My firm hasn’t announced the plans for returning to the office yet but I am anxiously anticipating them now that all of our offices are open.
In my role I support attorneys nationwide in our Real Estate Department, as well as a few other practice groups (Zoning & Land Use, Affordable Housing, Energy, Environmental, Transportation), with all things business development. This includes client targeting and expansion, identifying new business opportunities, monitoring industry trends, drafting business proposals for prospective clients, business plans, managing practice area budgets, planning events, facilitating sponsorships, attorney coaching and lots more.
Matt’s Work Day: Matt is a Partner at his law firm, Marcellino & Tyson, and practices family law and business litigation. His firm continues to grow and currently has 10 attorneys (in a variety of practice areas) and 9 staff members!
While working at home together for a few weeks last year during quarantine, I got a pretty good peek into Matt’s work day and now have a much better understanding of just how very tough and demanding his job is. His days are completely and insanely different every single day. His calendar gives me anxiety when I look at it because he is often fully booked (sometimes even double booked) with meetings (client, marketing, vendor, admin, staff, etc.), new client consultations, court or networking with referral sources. However, when the stars align and he doesn’t have court or meetings, we try to meet at the coffee shop near our house to work together.
4:45 pm: I walk down to the bus stop and wait for Caroline to get off the bus. Previously, I had to leave my office Uptown by 3:50 pm to get to the bus stop on time but with no commute I can wait until the last minute to run out the door. Picking up Caroline is one of my favorite parts of the day. I love hearing about her day on our walk home together.
Our evenings look a little different after school each day depending on what activities we have going on. Here’s a snapshot of a typical week of activities and dinners…
- Mondays: As soon as Caroline gets off the bus and home she will begin knocking on all the neighbors’ doors until she finds someone to play with while I finish up my work for the day. Then Thomas will join the fun as soon as Matt gets him home around 5:30.
- Tuesdays: Caroline stays after school until 5:15 so I’ll drive up and get her or Matt will grab her since his office is right next to her school, and I’ll grab Thomas from daycare. However, Thomas just started golf lessons, which rotate each week between Tuesdays and Thursdays. If it’s a golf lesson night, Matt picks up Thomas from daycare and takes him to his lesson and I pick up Caroline.
- Wednesdays: Thomas has hip-hop and Caroline has ballet class at 5 pm, so I’ll drive down to the bus stop and scoop Caroline up and then grab Thomas and drop them both off at dance class. After I drop the kids off at class, I will either walk to the market next door where Matt will meet me for a beer, or I’ll bring my laptop and continue working or blog if Matt is working late.
- Dinner: Crock pot or pasta night! Since we have dance class, I try to make something in the crock pot so it’s ready when we get home, or I’ll quickly make spaghetti.
- Thursdays: I grab Caroline from the bus and Matt grabs Thomas from daycare to bring him home or take him to his golf lesson.
- Dinner: TBD. Thursdays we usually reheat leftovers, make pancakes or pull something random from the freezer.
- Fridays: I grab Caroline off the bus and Matt grabs Thomas from daycare. As soon as the kids arrive home they take showers while I start whipping up cocktails, order our pizza, throw something yummy together for dessert and we all cuddle up for family movie night!!
6-6:30 pm: On the nights we don’t have activities and the kids can play outside after school, we will ring the dinner bell to call them inside for showers between 6-6:30 pm. Without fail, the kids argue over who showers first every night (even though we rotate each night) and it seems to take a million years to coax them to actually get IN the shower and not just run around upstairs. After showers, Thomas sets the dinner table. We’ve been eating outside a lot since the weather is nice!
7 pm: Family dinner together! We eat as a family almost every night during the week and it’s some of our favorite time together each day. Sprinkles is also always present for family dinner in a nearby play pen and usually gets lettuce or carrots to eat.
7:30 pm: The kids clear the dinner table and then play (usually with Sprinkles) for about 30 more minutes while I clean up the kitchen, pack Caroline’s lunch for the next day, clean out backpacks, sign school papers, etc. Matt will wipe down the dinner table, pass out vitamins and fill up water bottles before wrangling the kids upstairs where he makes sure they brush their teeth and mops up the bathroom floor which is always soaked from the kids showers. I swear they either shower with the curtain open or just toss buckets of water onto the floor.
8 pm: We are currently on book #2 of the Harry Potter series and have been reading a chapter together every night. We are absolutely loving this series but the chapters are SO long and usually take at least 30 minutes to read. And Thomas made a well played argument that since Caroline received the first Harry Potter book in her Easter basket, it’s only fair to read one of Thomas’s books afterwards too. Right now he is obsessed with the Dog Man series!
8:45 pm: Matt and I tuck one kid into bed then pop into the other’s room to say goodnight. I’ll take some fresh veggies up to Sprinkles, then I’ll take a bath (where I catch up on Instagram, blogs, texts, edit photos, etc.) while Matt watches one of his TV shows in bed and tackles some more work. After I’ve done my skincare routine I’ll join him in bed and we turn on whatever show we’re watching and I’ll get some blogging done while Matt is still working.
Meanwhile, the kids will begin their excuse circuit at the top of the stairs…usually a combination of “there’s not enough ice in my water” and “I’m not tired” and “why do you guys get to watch TV?” and “it’s not even dark outside yet”…
9’ish pm: Thomas “sneaks” over to Caroline’s room by army crawling very slowly to her door. Some nights she’ll call him out and yell “Thomas is in my room!!!” but most nights she just lets him climb into bed and they fall asleep listening to a podcast. Even though we always put them to bed in their separate beds, 99.9% of the time Thomas sleeps in Caroline’s room, with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights when they have a “sleepover” in his room.
10:30-11: I pass out while Matt stays up much later finishing work and re-watching the same episodes of whatever Netflix show I keep falling asleep to.
And that’s a wrap on our day!
FAQ: The Hall Pass
I know I’m going to get asked by my longtime readers…YES, we still have The Hall Pass which Matt and I implemented back in 2018 when we were both experiencing burnout and were struggling to find time for ourselves.
So one night per week Matt has the flexibility to do whatever he wants. Most of the time we will eat as a family and then he’ll go to the gym or retreat to our bedroom to watch TV (and tackle more work). I usually use my night for Supper Club, Community Group, meeting a girlfriend for dinner, practicing piano or catching up on blogging!
The Hall Pass has been huge for us as the evenings can be exhausting after a long day of work and then rolling straight into negotiating the bedtime routine with two wild kids. And while it doesn’t happen every week (especially as we’ve added in more and more evening activities), we do try to still keep it up as often as possible. Not only is it nice to have a night to ourselves, it’s also nice to have a night where we get the kids all to ourselves too. And every now and then we’ll combine our Hall Pass nights and instead go on a date night.
Having this time to re-charge makes a huge difference in our week!
Previous Day In Our Life Posts
- A Day in Our Life | April 2020 (Quarantine Edition) / 6 yo & 5 yo
- A Day in Our Life | July 2019 / 5 yo & almost 4 yo
- A Day in Our Life | June 2018 (4 yo & almost 3 yo)
- A Day in The Working Mama Life [Travel Edition] | May 2018
- A Day in Our Life | July 2017
- A Day in the Working Mama Life | June 2016 (11 months & 2 yo)
- A Day in the Life of Maternity Leave | June 2014 (7 wks & 14 mo)