Being a mom is like working your way through a 1,000-piece puzzle. Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture, but each day you try to make progress. Somedays you have a breakthrough and fit a bunch of pieces together, and others you’re completely stuck. Usually, you can get momentum by enlisting help and doing the puzzle as a team.
Below, we’ve profiled three members of The Assembly, who are also moms. We asked them to share a day in their life, as well as tips for finding time to take care of themselves. Each woman takes a different approach to tackling her puzzle, but you’ll recognize common themes, like the importance of exercise and a supportive partner.
Meet the Moms
Child: Maya’s son Enzo is 2 years old.
Career: “I work at an enterprise tech company in the South Bay. My role is planning their user conference, including everything from logistics, to partnerships, to marketing.”
Child: Louise’s son Lincoln (Linc) is 11 months old.
Career: “I’m currently in transition. What I’m excited about right now is my new start-up: bringing healthy, plant-based, no-soy nutrition to infants and babies. My side-gig at the moment is running the nonprofit Femaletechspeakers to help tech conferences and events get to a 50/50 quota stage time for women and men.”
Child: Jana’s son Ray is 4 years old, and she is pregnant with a baby girl due in July.
Career: “I run a product design lab with my husband.”
The Morning Rush
6:30 a.m.: “I try to get up before Enzo,” Maya told us. In that short window for herself, she has a cup of coffee and checks her email. A few moments of her previous child-free life.
7 a.m: “Enzo gets up shortly after me. We eat breakfast and chat,” she continued: “Just like an adult, he is moody. But first thing in the morning, he is consistently happy.”
8:10 a.m.: Enzo is out the door and off to school. “My husband or I take him to school based on the day’s schedule,” Maya said.
6 a.m.: “We hear Linc talking to his teddy bear in his bedroom,” Lousie said. “My husband and I both pretend to be sleeping deeply so that the other person will go try to convince Linc to sleep for another hour.”
6:30 a.m.: “Linc is most definitely in our bed. Talking, crawling around, and poking me in eyes, nose and mouth,” Louise recounted.”We’re still trying to get a few more minutes of sleep, which is definitely not working, but the occasional minutes you get to rest your eyes feels good.”
7am: Louise and her husband are ready to start the day, and the morning bottle is delivered to Linc, who still refuses to hold it himself. “He’s a total diva,” she said. “Either me or my husband have our first work call at this time, we alternate every other day or so. For the days I’m not doing three skype meetings in my pyjamas, I’m skimming through emails and calendar in bed while, of course, being a very present parent who’s feeding the baby.”
7:10 a.m.: It’s on. Smoothie making, clothes on, make-up done, dog let out and fed. “And yes, the dog gets fed twice as both my husband and I think the other person forgot to feed him about 50 percent of the mornings,” Louise joked.
7:30 a.m.: Playtime with Linc and their very patient dog, Snoop. “This time of the day — where we talk, play and laugh — truly fuels me for the day. Sometimes I’m interrupted by work-calls from about 8 a.m., but I try to keep it blocked out for playtime.”
8:30 a.m.: Help arrives: “Our nanny arrives and I’m rushed in to a Skype meeting.”
10 a.m.: After wrapping up work at home, Louise is off to the office — or The Assembly! “Alternative mornings exist once or twice a week where I feel like my old self. I simply get up at 6 a.m. and go workout, have breakfast, and go to work. Two different worlds!”
5:30 a.m.: Jana usually wakes up between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. “I like having some time by myself in the morning before the rush starts,” she explained. Jana said that’s her secret to making the morning go more smoothly: “by giving myself a lot of time in the morning, I’m able to be more calm and focused when things get hectic.”
8:30 a.m: Jana’s husband handles drop off: “Ray’s school is nearby so my husband usually drops him off between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.. I typically exercise in the morning on most days.”
Maya: “I usually head to the Assembly and work from there for the rest of the day,” Maya explained. She often does the noon workout class, before leaving by 4 p.m. so she can get Enzo from school at 5 p.m. “Then we either hit the park, do errands or head home to cook,” she said.
Louise: “I try to get one workout a day in,” Lousie told us. It doesn’t have to be something big. “I’ll do two seven-minute workouts if nothing else works for my schedule. I benefit greatly from even a short workout as I stop the thought-process marathon that goes on in my head for a bit.”
Jana: “I work or do errands until pickup time at 3 p.m..” Jana explained. “When I’m home, I tend to get overwhelmed by the household tasks that need to get done so it’s been really nice having The Assembly as a place that I can escape to when I need to focus.” Jana’s son is in school until 3 p.m. each day, so she’s able to have a good amount of time for herself. “Of course this will change when the baby comes,” she said, “but I’m really cherishing the time that I have now and trying to take care of myself in preparation for all the changes to come.”
Maya: “We pick up Enzo and head to the park,” Maya said. She believes that is the best way to avoid the dreaded witching hour: “he usually needs a bit more free play before heading home.”
Louise: “My baby is so small, I guess we will see different times within soon. But so far our nights are pretty easy and fun,” Louise admitted. “We try to always have dinner together as a family around 6 p.m., bath time at 7 p.m., music or book time and 7:30 p.m., Swedish dream-feed served (also known as Välling) at 7:30.” Louise swears the Välling is what makes my baby sleep through the night. “It’s magic! And lights out at 8 p.m. If he’s struggling with falling asleep, I’ll stay a few more minutes in his room.”
Jana: “My husband usually does the nighttime routine with Ray, which typically involves bath time, playing with trains, and reading.” Jana said Ray always has a burst of energy right before he goes to sleep, which can be stressful especially since she is sually exhausted by like 8 p.m. these days. “Once he calms down, he loves to cuddle with me in my bed before he goes to sleep in his own. I cherish that time as we can just be quiet and cozy together.”
How Do They Find Time for Themselves?
Maya: “My ‘me time’ consists of walking to the Assembly or the 12pm workout class. We also plan a lot of date nights.”
Louise: “We try to do one date night a week, just for two hours, after Linc’s gone to sleep. We usually go for a workout or coffee, dinner, or smoothie. It’s working really well for us. After moving you’re de-stressed, have so much endorphins in your body, and are more open to connect.”
Jana: “My husband and I work together. So a lot of our time is spent either working or talking about work, which isn’t necessarily negative since we really love what we do. However, we do try to make time in the evening after Ray is asleep to be with each other and unwind in other ways. Exercise is very important to me so I make sure that I make time for it everyday. It’s what keeps me sane and definitely helps me be a better partner and mom.”