A Mom Day In My Life in 2021
In January, I gave you a glimpse into a work day in my life in 2021. Today, I’m back to share what my other two days of the work week look like as a mom. My mom watches Rory on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and then I’m with Rory on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought it might be interesting to share a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our days together.
Mom Day in the Life, 2021
While my work days are a bit all over the place, my mom days are a bit more predictable because my schedule is based on Rory’s 11 month old schedule. I’ve found that she is a girl who thrives off of routine, just like her parents, so we do our best to keep naps, meal times, and bed time on a schedule. I realize that we’re lucky because we are home 24/7 so it’s easy to stick to a schedule. If things were “normal”, we would likely be out and about more often, so I’m sure it would be more difficult to stick to these exact times.
I started getting Rory on a schedule when she was about eight weeks old, following the Moms on Call method. In those early days, it was mostly about watching her “wake windows” to make sure she didn’t get overtired. We’ve dropped naps according to their recommendations and we’re now down to four bottle feedings, three meals, and two naps a day with a 12-hour overnight sleep. We’ll be on this same nap schedule for at least a few more months and it will be a sad day when we lose that second nap! Rory just turned 11 months old last week, so this is a look at her 11 month old schedule.
Rise & Shine
6:00 am: My mornings are the same during the week, whether I’m working or not. I like to wake up early, before Finn and Rory, so I can get some work done and have the house to myself. When I’m spending the day with Rory, I’ll often just throw on workout clothes because I don’t care if they get messy. Also, leggings are nice to wear when I’m up and down on the floor all day long.
Finn actually bought me lots of cute new athleisure wear after I had Rory – he is the shopper in our house – and I’ve found that these long sleeve shirts, these leggings, and these t-shirts are my favorites. I also swipe on a bit of makeup to feel put together, most days. I use this cc cream, this concealer, this mascara, this bronzer, and finish off with my favorite tinted lip balm. I also either braid my hair or throw it up in a pony tail or bun. Having my hair down is never a good idea with Miss Rory. She is still learning the word “gentle.” Ha!
6:20 am: I head downstairs to unload the dishwasher, open up the blinds, make a cup of coffee, and prep Rory’s bottle. I also grab a protein bar and my vitamins and head upstairs to my office.
I try to fit in as much work as I can on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but as you saw from this post about how I schedule my weeks, I try my best to keep those two days a lot lighter in terms of my workload. However, since I have blog posts publish those days, I still have to check the blog, publish the post to social, and respond to comments throughout the day.
7:00 am: Rory is up and raring to go! She will sometimes wake up a bit before 7 or a bit after. If she wakes up before, we let her play in her crib quietly until 7 am. She is very good about just hanging out and having some alone time. Lately, she likes to sit up in her crib and practice pulling up, which, of course, terrified us those first few times. Her mattress is now on the lowest setting, so we know she can’t get out!
I’m very lucky that Finn takes most of the morning shift. He gets Rory out of bed, changes her diaper, changes her clothes, and heads downstairs with her for her morning bottle. She drinks about 7-8 ounces of formula four times a day, but we’re going to start weaning this month. Our pediatrician recommends trying to ditch the “babas”, as Rory calls them, by 12 months of age, so Rory’s schedule will soon be changing.
While the two of them hang out downstairs, I try my best to sneak some work in. I respond to comments, clean up my inbox, sign a contract for a brand, and send analytics to a brand from a recent partnership. I do my best to keep my inbox at zero, so I like having time every few hours to keep on top of it!
Breakfast with Rory
8:00 am: I head downstairs to see my two favorite people. As they play in the living room, I get Rory’s breakfast ready. As you saw from this blog post, we follow the baby-led weaning method of eating (this blog post has alllll the details if you need them) and Rory is really an amazing eater. This morning, we’re having a banana, berries, and a veggie egg muffin that Finn prepped over the weekend. (You can read more about how we food prep for Rory in this blog post.)
Rory and I sit down and eat together. I’d say it usually takes her about 20-30 minutes per meal. She likes to play, sing, and “chat” with me while she gobbles her food down. I like meals because it’s always a fun activity that breaks up the monotony of the day a bit.
8:30 am: The only downside of baby-led weaning is the mess. Wow, does it get messy! I wipe Rory down and bring her out to the living room to play while I clean the kitchen. We’ve been working on more independent play time where I’ll show her how to play with something and then I’ll leave her for a few minutes to do it by herself. I always peek in on her from the other room just to make sure all is good, but it’s nice to give her a bit of independence, not to mention I can get the kitchen cleaned up from breakfast.
9:30 am: It’s time for Rory’s first nap of the day. I tell her it’s time for “night night” so she knows it’s nap time. We head upstairs and I change her diaper, zip her up in her sleep sack, pop a binky in, and close the door. I don’t rock her to sleep, so it only takes a few minutes to get her in her crib.
I then watch Rory on our monitor (we use this one) and see that she is laying in her crib quietly, rubbing her eyes. She is asleep a few minutes later. I bring the monitor with me to the living room where I do my best to clean up the toys that are scattered just about everywhere. I try my best to tidy up after nap time and get the house back to normal. If I don’t do this, by the end of the day it’s so much harder to get our house clean again.
With the kitchen and living room clean, I head upstairs to the laundry room.
9:50 am: I throw in a load of laundry. I find that we probably do a load of laundry every day. With Rory’s stuff, her bath towels, and our clothes, it really adds up.
With the wash going, I head back to my office to try to sneak some more work in. I find it hard to write blog posts on days when my time is limited, so instead, I edit some photos for an upcoming blog post. Once that is done, I do some research as I’m shopping for a new dresser for our bedroom. I then head back to the laundry room and throw the clothes in the dryer.
Rory is Up!
10:50 am: I glance at the monitor and see that Rory is rolling around and making some noise. Her first nap is usually about 1.5 hours, so she is right on target. I pop my head into her room and I’m greeted with a big grin. She is one happy girl!
I changer her diaper while she says “baba, baba, baba” over and over again. As I said, the girl definitely likes her schedule and knows that once she wakes up she gets a bottle at 11 am. Man, it’s going to be hard to wean her from these babas. Oh boy!
11:00 am: I make a bottle using our Baby Brezza machine. If you formula feed, this machine is a freakin’ lifesaver. I wish we would have bought it sooner. You have a perfectly mixed and warm bottle in about 25 seconds flat. It’s amazing. Rory likes to push the button and watch it pour into her baba. She then is in charge of doing the “shake, shake, shake” to give it one good mix before we eat.
If Rory wakes up from her nap early, we still wait until 11 am to have her bottle. If she sleeps past 11 am, I’ll just give her a bottle as soon as she wakes up.
We sit together on the couch and she downs her bottle. Behind the couch is our large floor mirror and Rory is obsessed with seeing the “bah-be” (aka baby) in the mirror. After her bottle, she always pops her head over the couch, waves, and blows kisses to the bahbe. It’s adorable. The girl loves a good mirror.
This winter, the weather has been horrendous here in Chicago, with tons of snow and cold. Because of this, we’ve been homebound and rarely go outside. But if we ever get a break in the weather, we’ll usually head out for a walk around the neighborhood or to the baby swings at the park. Breaking up the day with a little outdoor time is my favorite, so it’s been unfortunate that we’ve been forced indoors lately.
12:30 pm: It’s lunch time! This time, I bring Rory in the kitchen with me and she has fun playing with our plastic Tupperware while I get lunch ready. She has salmon, green beans, sweet potato tots, and cucumbers today for lunch while I mix together one of my Farmer’s Fridge salads.
We put music on the overhead speakers and sit down for lunch. Daddy pops his head in to check on his girls and Rory goes wild. She often points at the basement door and shrieks “Dada” if she hears anything in the basement. I am so grateful that Finn has been able to work from home during the first year of Rory’s life. I don’t know how I would have managed without him. Plus, Rory loves it! She is obsessed with her Dada and loves spending time with him. The hardest part is for Finn to head back downstairs. It’s difficult for him to head back to work and miss out on lots of Rory play time.
After lunch, we clean up and head back to the living room for more play time before nap #2.
1:30 pm: While I can’t control the length of Rory’s naps, I can control when they start. So it’s important to me to try to start her naps at the same time every day. It’s funny because about ten minutes before her naps, Rory often gets a bit fussy and starts yawning or rubbing her eyes. Then, it only takes a few minutes for her to fall asleep.
With Rory down, I head to the laundry room to fold and put clothes away. After that, I get the living room and kitchen cleaned up. With that done, I grab my gym shoes and fill up my water bottle to sneak a workout in.
Strength Workout for Mama
I try to work out 3-5 days a week, depending on how busy my schedule is. This year, I’ve been loving the Ladies Who Lift program. I do their home-based Dabbler program that comes with a 4-week strength and cardio schedule. It’s nice because you can tailor the program to your strength and I’ve found that I’ve gotten a lot stronger over these past two and a half months. It’s run by a woman here in Chicago, named Rae, and she is amazing. I love supporting other female entrepreneurs and her program is awesome. (Rae even created the code CASEY1 if you want $5 off the upcoming April program.)
Our workout equipment is in the basement, but I don’t want to disrupt Finn while he works so I grab the equipment I know I’ll need (weights, a mat, and resistance bands) and make room in the living room.
2:45 pm: The strength workouts take about an hour (cardio is shorter), so I’m happy that Rory is taking a good nap today so I can get my entire workout in. Since she is still sleeping, I head to my office and work to clear my inbox while I watch the baby monitor.
3:15 pm: Rory’s second nap ranges from an hour and a half to two hours, so she is up and wiggling around her crib. I scoop her up and we head downstairs for her third bottle of the day. Just like her previous bottle, this one happens at 3 pm or later, depending on when she wakes up from her nap. She sucks it down; we say “Hi” to the bah-be in the mirror; and then it’s back on the floor for more play time.
My mother-in-law got us a subscription to the LoveEvery Baby Toy service and it has been fantastic. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good gift for someone with kids. New toys arrive every few months that are specific for her age range and development. The toys are created by experts, sustainably-sourced, and safe for babies. It’s nice to have new items for her every few months and the kits even come with lots of ideas on how to play with your kids and help with their development. I’ve learned a so much from them!
Even though we have lots of books to read and toys to play with, I do find that the afternoon awake time tends to drag a bit. For some reason, that 4-5 pm window feels like it’s 5 hours long! Around 5 pm, I’ll usually bring Rory down to play with Finn in the basement while I take a little break and get her dinner ready.
5:30 pm: Rory eats dinner every night at this time and we often join her. My friends make fun of me for eating dinner so early, but it’s just so much easier to eat together and to eat the same thing. Plus, you only have to clean the kitchen once!
Tonight, we’re having spaghetti and meatballs – Rory’s favorite! She also has some broccoli and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Spaghetti night is always a messy night, so I’m happy that we have a bath tonight (we give her a bath every other night) so we can clean this little girl up! She has sauce everywhere, even in her hair!
Rory has upgraded to the big bathtub and adores bath time. She loves playing with the cups, splashing around, and spending time with Dada. It’s their daddy-daughter time together and I let the two of them do their thing while I get Rory’s room ready for bed.
6:30 pm: Rory has her last bottle of the day. I sing to her. (Yes, it’s the lullaby that I made up for her that you can see in her gallery wall. ha!) We read two or three books, and then she points to the gallery wall and we head over there to say good night to it. She loves pointing at each picture and naming what it is “moon, baby, mama, dada, etc.” It’s adorable and we wave “night night” to each one.
I then put her in her sleep sack, pop in a binky, and tuck her in!
6:50 pm: I head downstairs to spend some time with Finn while we both clean up from the day. We watch Rory fall asleep on the monitor and chat about our days as we get our house back in order.
Finn has a bit more work to do, so he heads to the basement while I head upstairs to take a bath. He also always takes the baby monitor, so he keeps an eye on Rory during the evening hours, which I so appreciate!
7:00 pm: With Rory sleeping, I usually have two to three hours to myself to workout, catch up on work, take a bath, or read a book. Tonight, a bath sounds good because it’s frigid out. I put on a face mask before I hop on in. I’m the kinda bath taker who makes the water scorching, lays in there for twenty minutes, until I feel like I’m gonna pass out, and then I get out and into my jammies. Lukewarm baths are not my thing and the more bubbles the better. (I use these bath bubbles.)
Once a week, I try to do a beauty night where I use a face mask and a hair masque, pluck my eyebrows, whiten my teeth, buff my nails, and do an elaborate skincare routine. It’s kinda nice to feel a bit pampered at home since spas are not in the cards these days. Here are some of my go-to skincare products…
- I use inexpensive Cetaphil for my cleanser. I have dry skin and this doesn’t dry me out.
- I like this retinol and this resurfacing night cream. I hop between the two every night.
- Twice a week, I mix these tanning drops into this serum (you can mix into any moisturizer) and put it on my face for a subtle glow.
- Lately, I’ve really been digging this thicker moisturizer for my dry winter skin.
- I put this lip mask on every night to keep my lips from getting flakey.
8:00 pm: I’m in my jammies and my face is shiny from my skincare routine. I always tell Finn, “If your face doesn’t look like a glazed donut, then you’re not doing your skincare routine right.” Ha! He gets a kick out of that one. Finn is still working – he works many hours – so I decide to read a book in bed until I go to sleep.
9:00 pm: I text Finn to come to tuck me in and say good night. We hang out in bed and chat about tomorrow and he then tucks me in, turns on the sound machine, and heads back downstairs to catch up on work.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.