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Guest Post: A Day In Anna’s Life

I am really excited to share our next guest this week — Anna! She’s a mom to two toddlers, works a full-time job, and has an active-duty spouse.

Without further ado…


Hello there, I know you’re here to get a glimpse of what life is like as a mother with multiple toddlers and a full-time job (as if being a mother isn’t already full-full-full time), so let’s begin. 

My name is Anna. I’m a 30-something mother, wife, and I am currently working in communications doing copywriting and content creation. I would take the time to describe myself a little more, but to be honest, much of my focus these days is on simply surviving and squeezing the most out of each day. Amidst the chaos, this stage of life is awesome, and I want to enjoy it the best I can.

Our family consists of myself, my husband – who is currently active-duty military, our 2-year-old daughter, our 1-year-old son, an 85-lb goldendoodle (also known as our “first-born”), and a partridge in a pear tree. 

Beyond the crazy that is life with two toddlers, we are in a bit of a unique situation, as my husband is currently deployed. That means he is gone for official duties for roughly six months, and ultimately, we have additional details to navigate – like solo parenting, learning a new style of communication, reintegration when they come home, etc. But overall, we’re very lucky. We get to talk regularly, and we do everything we can to keep life as normal as possible for our family. 

If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around. I promise I’ll get to my point, but before that, a few words of encouragement for any and all other moms that are currently “going through it,” like me. 

  1. You are doing an INCREDIBLE job! If you’re anything like me, you doubt yourself 10,864x a day…but at the end of the day, you should be proud of yourself.
  2. It really does take a village to raise children and stay sane. What many people don’t recognize is that a village comes in many, many shapes and sizes. Whenever you are lucky enough to find help, those who are helping, are a part of your village. From the daycare teachers to the friend who has seen your kids (and you) at your worst, to your parents, your in-laws, the neighbor who asks how you’re doing, or the lady who helped you carry your Homegoods haul to the car because you were carrying two screaming kids over your shoulder (I do not speak from personal experience….), they are all considered your village. And though it can be extremely hard to ask for help, accept it when it’s offered. It’s a sign of strength, not defeat. 
  3. Apparently, this is a phase? I’m actually just saying this to remind myself. Constant survival mode is exhausting. Don’t feel bad for wanting to get out of a certain phase sometimes, just try to remember/enjoy what you can. 
  4. If you ever find yourself really needing a pep talk – and I’m not talking like, “Oh enjoy these days, they go so fast” pep-talks which are true but can also send you into a guilt-ridden spiral of asking yourself, “Am I a terrible mother?” but like a you’re-a-badass-and-you’ve-got-this pep talk, take a few minutes and listen to this podcast episode. It really puts me into a good mood, and makes me realize I’m doing just fine. 

Ok, ok… I really buried the lead. Please enjoy what a day in the life as a mom, working a full-time job, with two toddlers is like. Quick reminder: the schedule below is how I am currently doing it, without my better half around. So just imagine that I have more helping hands when he’s back home.

A Day In The Life

6 am: I wake up

6:02 am: One child somehow always can detect that my breathing pattern has changed, so they also wake up. 

  • Note: our rooms are on opposite sides of the house…but they always *just know*
  • Whichever kid gets up first gets a little bit of alone time with me to read books, change diapers, and relax. Inevitably, the other child will wake up shortly thereafter.

7 am: My work day begins. Because we are on the west coast, I work different hours to accommodate an east coast position. 

  •  Usually, the kids are eating breakfast (english muffins, waffles, toast, or smoothies) while I start on emails/etc. 
  • On the days when I have early meetings, I rely on Ms. Rachel (the world’s greatest babysitter) to keep my kids zoned in while I get my work done. The success rate of keeping their focus is about 33-50% depending on the day.

8 am: After work calls/breakfast, we hop in the car and make our trek out to daycare, a whopping 30 minutes away, because childcare is very limited where we live. But our kids love it, and they’re doing well, so I can’t complain. 

  • For the parts of the drive when my kids are in the car, we listen to a lot of kids audiobooks. And when I’m driving solo, I am CONSUMING books on Audible, or taking work calls.

9 am-3 pm: Get as much work done as possible until my day is over. I work remotely, so when I can, I will do a load of laundry, clean up, take the dog on walks, or prepare dinner.

3 pm: Daycare pickup.

4-5 pm: Play with the kids, mostly outside whenever it’s nice.

5-5:30’ish: I prep dinner. This is another time when I, without shame, will turn on the TV so I can make dinner. If the kids want to be in the kitchen with me, I’ll find something they can do to “help cook” – which means handing them spoons and bowls, and saying no less than 5,000x “do you want to eat food, or do you want me to play?”

  • What do I make for dinner? I try my best to plan out the meals for the week on Sundays. It makes things easier for me and the grocery bill a little less painful. 
  • Our weekly menu generally looks something like this:
    • “Simple 3 Meal,” one protein, one veggie, one carb. For example – chicken, broccoli, rice.
    • Pasta of some sort; this recipe is a fan favorite and SO easy
    • “Something New,” I actually enjoy trying new recipes from a cookbook. Usually, my kids look at me like I’ve given them a plate of gruel. But every once in a while, they surprise me and enjoy it.
    • Breakfast for dinner, leftovers, or a Costco premade meal.
    • Salmon bowl. This is a family favorite. You can easily make this however you’d like or with whatever you have on hand. But our FAVORITE combo is rice, salmon (usually marinated in a teriyaki sauce), bok choy, edamame, avocado, furikake. 
    • Friday nights are McDonald’s nights! It’s a fun way to end the week and kick off the weekend.

5:30’ish pm: Dinner, no TV. Hard rule for me.

6 pm: Bath, start the nighttime routine.

6:30 pm: Usually by this time, everyone is dressed and ready for bed. It’s our nightly routine to do “milk and cookies” and read, listen to the Toniebox, watch a bit of a movie, or play. Note: “cookies” are usually a few small cookies from TJ’s, like the mini chocolate chips or school house letters. It’s what works for us, and it’s special for the kids. But you do you!

7-7:30 pm: Kids go down. Usually, we all read together, and then I put them down one at a time.

7:30 pm – until whenever I should be going to bed: Clean up dinner, prep lunches, workout.

  • As far as the “prep lunches” piece goes, I am 100% the person that needs to do everything the night before. I get as much of their school lunches together as possible, prep coffee for the next morning, and do what I need to start the day without feeling like I’m crazy. Wait, I’m always frazzled, but I try to mitigate the frazzle as much as possible. 
  • I know you’re probably thinking I’m nuts for the workout part, but this is truly my daily mental break. I used to (and can’t wait for the day when I can do it again) be an early morning exerciser – like 5 AM. But that’s just not realistic these days. So for me, I look forward to ending the day spending time on me. It’s usually only 30 min, sometimes more, never less. And lately, I’ve been incorporating meditation – which is really hard, but also…amazing.

When it comes to the weekend, we keep certain parts of the routine- routine, like dinner and bed, but we also leave space for flexibility. Routine helps us, and I’m learning (with a lot of humility) that that is what my kids need right now. Their daily routine is sacred, and it’s what helps them navigate this stage of life. 

I liken parenthood to the movie, Edge of Tomorrow. There’s no Tom Cruise (unfortunately) but every day, you wake up and it’s a repeat of the day before…only this day (today) you know a little more, so you do a little more, and you make it a little bit further.

Life is intense, insane, and amazing all at the same time. And while there are many days and moments where I am asking myself, “WTF?!” I also go to sleep every night thanking God and all my lucky stars for our blessings. 

Thanks for spending your time reading my ramblings, and thank you to Christina, for helping to bring such a wonderful and supportive community of women together. 

  • If you are part of a military family, first, thank you for your service. The gratitude extends to all of you (kids included). Second, if you want a great resource for community, special perks, or a place to share your voice, Blue Star Families is great. I highly recommend it. 
  • If you’re not a part of a military family, but you either know someone who is, who might have a family member deployed, or is new to the area, please reach out to them. Let them know they’re a part of the community and you can be a part of their village. A small welcome goes a long way.

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Thursday 27th of July 2023

It's been several years since I was a geographically single parent while my spouse was deployed. You said it and I'll repeat, routine will save your sanity. My boys loved our weekly trip to get ice cream and counting days until dad returned. We took full advantage of any freebies in the areas we were stationed: kids eat free, movies etc. Thank you for your commitment.


Wednesday 26th of July 2023

I loved this Day in the Life! I'm also doing the 9-3 WFH / daycare hustle, so this is super relatable. I'm impressed with your breakfast work calls...when I try that, my daughter decides it's the perfect time to screeeaamm my name over and over again ha. Thanks for sharing with us and most importantly, for your service and sacrifice!

Carol McKey

Tuesday 25th of July 2023

Anna- you truly are AMAZING! I think about you , your kids and Alex on deployment. It must be a struggle but I am sure you are a spectacular Mom, wife, friend and woman. Your article was fun to read and I thank you truly for your service as well! Carol ( Reagan & Grant’s great aunt)

Ed Kurzanski

Tuesday 25th of July 2023

This was great! Move over, Miss Rachel, Mrs. Anna's got you beat!