In my last reader survey the #1 most requested topic was how I “balance it all!” I am always surprised to get this poll result/reader email request/Instagram message, etc. because I really don’t ever feel like I’m balancing anything well but am glad it looks like that from the outside! Today I thought I would address 5 of the most frequently asked questions around this topic.
When do you exercise and how do you maintain your weight?
Unfortunately, we really don’t exercise consistently or regularly at all. I usually get to the gym once a week if the stars align, preferably after work. Or I’ll workout at the hotel when I travel. However, when we’re feeling really motivated, I’ll go to kickboxing class at 6 am, then come home and Matt leaves for the gym (which is in his office building) and gets ready there and heads straight to the office afterwards.
As for my diet — two things. One, you only see me post unhealthy types (and quantities) of food when we’re on vacation (or date night). We LOVE to eat. However, I don’t eat like that regularly and you’d be bored if I posted all of the salads I eat. Secondly, Matt and I completed the Whole30 challenge in January in preparation for our vacation in February. Both of us lost and exceeded our goal weight. In fact, it’s the lowest weight I’ve ever seen on the scale which I was super proud of and worked very hard for! Since then, we have continued a low carb, low sugar and high protein diet during the week. And we enjoy our food on the weekends!
How do you coordinate your work travel?
This was of a huge concern that Matt and I shared when we were considering my big jump to my new firm. In my role, meeting with my attorneys and attending practice group meetings in person is super important so I regularly travel to the other offices of my firm. Thankfully a few of our office locations are easy day trips. And for the most part (outside of standing team meetings) my travel dates are up to me and are are usually one night, sometimes 2 nights max. I typically plan my travel a month out, then I email dates to Matt to check his calendar for conflicts (hearings, trials, after work events, etc.). Although rare, if both of us have unavoidable conflicts we call Ms. Jamie (one of our former daycare teachers) right away to see if she’s available.
On the mornings I travel, I try to get on the road early so Matt usually takes the kids to school (I’m normally on morning drop-off duty). I try to pack lunches for him to take to the office so he doesn’t have to waste any time leaving for lunch on days I’m gone. For dinner, I’ll offer to throw something in the crockpot so it’s all ready when they arrive home. However, most of the time Matt takes the kids out to pizza when I’m gone. It’s become their tradition and the kids look forward to devouring pizza after school with daddy when they know I’m out of town. They all love it and it keeps things easier.
But as you all know, Matt is really a rock star daddy so although it’s exhausting doing it all solo, he can do it. And he can do it better than me.
How do you keep your house clean?
So I’m not gonna lie, Matt and I do keep our house as tidy as possible during the week (we’re a little more relaxed on the weekends). I always have to remind my SAHM friends who comment on our tidiness that NO little people are here all day destroying the house. And when we are home in the evenings, my kids are usually parked in front of the TV, not playing in the play room. Or now that the weather is warmer, we’ll all go outside for a little bit before dinner is ready, then watch TV (no TV shame here). But after dinner we usually move upstairs for baths then bedtime. The kids will definitely destroy the space upstairs during this time but we don’t care to keep that area clean. Same with our play room, it’s always a disaster, but I shut the door and ignore it. As for the areas we spend most of our time in (kitchen, bedroom, living room), those are usually picked up before we go to bed. And deep cleaning it outsourced. Same with our yard. Neither Matt nor I want to spend precious weekend time with our kiddos cleaning or mowing.
Mom hacks & things I couldn’t live without:
- Lunchables…at least once a week (usually Thursdays)
- Melatonin gummies for nights the kids are particularly wound up or I’ve run out of patience
- Scheduling regular time away with my husband (& a good sitter!)
- Sauvignon blanc by the case from Total Wine (best deal)
- Amazon prime anything that can cut out an errand
- If the kids won’t touch their dinner, cover it in ketchup
- Dinner on TV trays during the week, attempt dinner as a family on the weekend
The Hall Pass! One more thing that has been huge for us is our weekly Hall Pass. One night per week we’ll claim a Hall Pass from wrangling the kids home from daycare, cooking/feeding them, bathing them and putting them to sleep. So one night per week Matt has the flexibility to do whatever he wants after work (usually he’ll work late and then meet the guys for pizza and trivia) and on another night that week I’ll take time to do things like workout, run errands, meet a friend for dinner, get a pedicure, take a long bath and/or camp out in our bedroom with a glass of wine and blog. This has been huge for us as we both struggle to find time for ourselves and the evenings can be extremely stressful after a long day of work and then rolling straight into negotiating the night time routine with cranky kids.
Will you write a “day in the life” post?
YES! I try to write this post annually and will probably start working on one soon!
If I didn’t answer your question, you may want to check out these posts:
And if I still didn’t answer your question, drop it in the comments.
Stephanie Olive and Tate says
Next time you need a hall pass dinner date……just sayin’, I know someone 😉
Owen Davis says
Rockstar mom, seriously! I want to know what time you go to bed haha! I am usually in bed by 9, no shame here
I too have been impressed by how much you seem to juggle! Can you do a WEEK in the Life post?! I don’t think I remember reading about working out, work travel, or Hall Pass (love that you and Matt have this strategy!) in your last Day in the Life. Would love to see how it all balances out over the week!
A week post! I’ll add it to the list!
Most relatable blog post ever.
You are amazing my friend, and so proud of the way you juggle life SO SO WELL!! x
Cute ideas here! What brand of sauv blanc are you buying from Total Wine? I mostly drink red but like sauv blanc sometimes, and i have trouble finding affordable white wine options that don’t taste like vinegar.
I have been loving the Kia Ora Marlborough Sauv Blanc!
Thanks for your realness! TV + lunchables…generally not things those “perfect” moms would fess up to. But SO relate-able for us “normal” moms!!
I loved all of this so much. I try really hard not to play the comparison game, but still find myself worrying that I’m not doing enough, or that we’re somehow failing our kids. Yesterday I felt totally overwhelmed with trying to sort out issues around getting our countertop replaced, helping our 10 year old with a massive school project, feeling like we were ignoring our five year old (because we were both helping our older child), trying to make a healthy supper, and get everyone to bed on time. We eventually parked the five year old on the couch with Netflix, laid out the school project on the kitchen table, cooked ground chicken tacos and threw a whack of raw veggies on a plate, and had everyone eat on the floor, and decided to pause the countertop thing until everything else was sorted. I don’t think ANYONE has everything perfectly balanced, but everyone is doing their best. And while we’d all love to be “no junk food, limited screen time, early bed, etc.” all the time, there is no shame in doing all the things that work best for our own families. Thanks for sharing your life with us! 🙂
You are a super mama!
The Hall Pass idea is brilliant!
Love your blog..: what exactly is your job?? It sounds very interesting!!
There are some great ideas in this post. I am much older than you, have teenagers and have always been a SAHM so we don’t have a lot in common at the moment but I have so much respect for you and so enjoy the little peeks at life with your sweet family. You seem like an absolutely lovely person and wise beyond your years. I love how you make time with your husband a priority. That’s so important. If things are good between the two of you, everything else will fall into place. I don’t read many blogs but I love yours and for some reason felt like I had to comment and offer some encouragement today. (Also feel weird and creepy saying that!) Thanks again for sharing!
This comment just made my day. Thank you so much, Sue! That means a lot.
As a single mom to a 17 month old and a high school teacher, it is so refreshing to see a mom who seems to have it all together admit to the same issues/struggles/problems I experience. It makes me feel a little more normal. Even the moms I know in real life won’t admit to this sometimes! I worry that my daughter is watching too much TV or that I hand her my phone too often to watch Sesame Street. I worry that she’s not eating the right things or a good enough variety of food, despite how much I try. It’s nice to know that others sometimes resort to ketchup or lunchable type meals to get their kids to eat. Thank you for your honesty!
I applaud you for raising a little one on your own! You are the real super mama here! We watch a LOT of sesame street on our phones around here, during ALL the errands and over any meal at a restaurant!
Danielle Butler says
Thank you for sharing this. I love reading these sorts of things. I am a mom of 3 year old twin girls and life is tough. I love the idea of the weekly hall pass. Please continue sharing these tips!!!
I loved seeing this – all too much I see the endulging food posts from many people and I always want that vs a salad.. I say post your salads haha! Or at least on intsa stories! I love hearing how moms balance it all and keep it REALLLLL… Because TV is legit and parents are crazy for trying to pretend they aren’t letting their kids watch it. I’m not even a mom yet but I always love that I can find people who tell it like it is!
I loved reading this! As a mom working in a similar field, I’m on the PR side of Big Law, with a 10 month old, it is refreshing to see that we are all just doing the best we can. Thank you for keeping it real! In my book, as long as our littles are happy and loved, it is a win.
Love this. I am also a full-time working mom (content management) I also outsource cleaning and it is one of THE best decisions I’ve made as a mom. We keep our kitchen clean and we vacuum, but now we never have to spend our weekends or evenings cleaning the whole house.
I’ve also been beating myself up—and nagging my husband a lot!—about how often we both exercise. It is SO nice to see that not everyone is hitting the gym daily. Once a week is tough enough during this stage with little kids.
This is awesome, thank you for sharing! While I don’t have children yet, it is nice to see some things we can do to make life easier when the time comes, as we will both be working. The hall pass idea is genius, and we already outsource deep cleaning since we don’t want to spend the weekends cleaning.
Love this! I’m glad I’m not the only one who has basically given up on exercise.
Toni :0) says
So much love for this post. My kids are 19 and 14 and I look back and wonder how I kept the house clean (mopping at 10:00 pm. I still remember this!!) and I remember mowing the yard when they napped. Such crazy times. It’s a bit easier now but a different kind of hard. No easy feat indeed. Keep on rockin Momma, you’re doing a great job and I love how real your blog is. A favorite read. God bless you. ☺️
Nikki Granger says
I can’t wait to read the day in the life post!
Your honesty is so very refreshing. I LOVE your blog (and instagram) and enjoy getting peeks into your life as a family – and it’s so nice to know I’m not alone! I’m a full time working mama with a full time working husband and THREE little girls 4 and under (ages 4, 2, and 8 months)….and I feel like my entire life is just MOM GUILT about not doing enough, not being intentional enough, etc. I especially needed the encouragement to prioritize my marriage and aim for regular date nights – that mom guilt just keeps making me feel like I’m a terrible selfish mom if I use what little time I do have with my kids to leave them with a babysitter…and yet I KNOW that the best thing I can do for them is have a strong and healthy relationship with their dad. You rock, mama!!!
Brandi Patton says
Lunchables for the win!!! Great post!!
Paula B. says
As Sue mentioned above, I am much older than you, but nevertheless a faithful reader. And, I am beyond impressed with how you and your husband navigate both your relationship as well as raising your family. It wasn’t just this post, but so many others covering a myriad of topics which serve to not only enlighten and educate, but to do so much to make (I bet) a lot of women out there feel like part of a sisterhood. You are such a shining example of doing real life honestly and gracefully.
I just LOVE everything about this post and Hall Pass is genius!! Definitely going to share that idea with my husband. As a working mom I love to hear how others manage it! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for being real and sharing how you balance all the things 🙂 This is one of the many reasons I love reading your blog!
This post is why you are one of the BEST bloggers. My hubs and I are both lawyers and I travel similar to your schedule. But you are just so real – we do all of what you mention above. It’s not #goals but it’s life and it works and we’re all super happy ?. #melatonin&ketchupforthewin
OMGGGGG. The hall pass sounds AMAAAAAAAAZING!