A day in the life of a West Michigan working mom

The great debate: to work or stay-at-home? West Michigan moms share their stories.

working mom jamie allen featured

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- We know parenting is hard work, but there remains the debate — is it harder to be a working mom, a work-at-home mom, or a stay-at-home mom? We know there isn’t an easy answer, it just depends on the day! We asked some West Michigan moms to chronicle a typical day with their kids to show just how tough being a mom really is. Here is Jamie’s story…

About our family

My name is Jamie Allen and I’m a working mom. I work full-time in marketing and juggle that with being a wife and a mother. I have two beautiful daughters, Sophia (9) and Stella (4), and a very supportive husband. Being a working mom can be challenging and overwhelming at times, but being able to set an example to my daughters that women be both successful in the corporate world and as a mom is important to me. Here’s a look at an average day in my life.

The morning routine… snooze!

Still Wearing My Coat

6:15am – The alarm goes off and I hit snooze. Not once, but three times. This is pretty much a morning routine for me. Unfortunately this also means that I’m going to run behind and craziness will ensue for the next 45 minutes.

7:00am – As I’m in the midst of getting ready I yell upstairs to my 9-year-old, Sophia, and 4-year-old, Stella, to “get up!” Both my girls are fairly light sleepers, so once I give them a shout they get up and moving.

7:10am – Stella marches downstairs in a race to get to the TV first. She is a pistol these days and tries her best to rule the roost. In her rush to get to the remote she yells out “get me a pop tart, chocolate milk and my vitamins.” Nice, apparently she hasn’t heard of manners.

7:15am – Sophia stands at the top of the stairs asking me if her outfit matches. It looks fine, but of course Miss Fashionista doesn’t believe me. I guess her 36-year-old mother does not know anything about fashion because she goes through four choices before deciding on something that actually does not match. Whatever. There is no time to argue this.

7:20am – As I’m finishing packing up Sophia’s backpack and lunch for the day, my husband heads to the living room to referee the TV fight. Sophia has hijacked the remote and iCarly is not Stella’s idea of good morning television.

7:25am – I grab my coffee, say goodbye to the girls and get ready to head out. John reminds me I’m on my own tonight because he has a client dinner. That means he’s on kid-drop off duty this morning, so I head out the door. Whew! The second I step outside is like a breath of fresh-air from the chaos.

Off to work!

On Time!
On Time!

7:30-8:00am – I work about a half hour from home, so my drive is a time to drink my coffee and just relax before I start my work day. I’m thinking through what I need to get done today and remember that I have to call Sophia’s school because her babysitter is picking her up early to go to the orthodontist. That’s one of the biggest downsides of being a working mom. There is not time for me to leave work for every appointment, so luckily I have a great college student that helps out with Sophia after school.

8:03am – Roll into work. Woohoo! I’m actually on time for once. Notice the song playing on the radio. Ironic, huh?

8:05am-Noon – Work, work, work. Notice my three cups of coffee to get me through the morning.

Noon – My lunch hour is often a time when I run errands. Between kids activities and finding time for myself, evenings are busy at our house. Today I head out at lunch to get a few things done. We waited until the last possible minute to do our taxes, so I head to the post office to get them in the mail.

1:00-5:00pm – Work, work, work. Crap! I didn’t call school yet. At the last possible minute I remember to call the office and give them the okay to release Sophia to the babysitter.

5:00pm – I need to leave right at 5:00pm today because I have to get our groceries from curbside pick up on the way home. Meijer curbside pick-up is my savior. The fact that I can eliminate going to the grocery store on the weekend is amazing.

A sprint to pick up the kids…

Stella Not Listening At Daycare
Stella Not Listening At Daycare


5:30pm – Grab my groceries and head to pick up Stella.

5:45pm – When it’s pick up time at daycare I never know what to expect. Excitement I’m there? Sadness she has to leave? Like many four-year-olds, Stella is a mixed bag of emotions. I walk out on the playground to find my ragamuffin daughter running like a wild woman yelling “can’t catch me mom.” Oh boy, here we go. I chase Stella around the playground until it gets annoying and then sternly tell her we need to go. Of course, she could care less and the game continues.

6:00pm – After 15 minutes of chasing and “can’t catch me” on the playground and inside the gym, we’re finally in the car and headed home.

Stella Running on the Playground
Stella Running on the Playground

6:05pm – I pull in the driveway and start to unload the groceries. What’s next is a whirlwind. The second I walk in Sophia tells me she made herself dinner and is eating already because she wants to go play with friends. At the same time the sitter is explaining to me the ins and outs of the orthodontist appointment. Stella is yelling she’s hungry and the dogs and whining to go outside. AHAHA! There are times when I wish I could clone myself because I can’t be everyone to everybody at once.

The evening whirlwind unfolds

Sophia Eating her Pizza
Sophia Eating her Pizza

6:10pm – Sophia assures me she finished her homework already with the sitter before heading out to play. This is the biggest plus of having an after school sitter. Take note moms, college students are much better at homework than parents! I hated homework when I had it as a kid, but I hate it even more as an adult.

6:15pm – Sophia hops on her bike and heads up the street and I take the dogs outside for a minute. Stella is inside and I’m assuming she’s in the living room playing. I assume wrong. Suddenly the backdoor opens and she pops her head out to tell me, “I made myself eggs.” What?!? I go in the kitchen and she has cracked three eggs into a bowl. I would have been pissed if it made a mess, but she did it perfectly.

Stella With Her Eggs
Stella With Her Eggs

6:30pm – Stella is eating dinner and groceries are put away, so I get working on basic household crap. Unloading the dishwasher, getting laundry started, picking up the house. I have a little downtime before the bedtime routine starts, so I try to make the most of it.

7:00pm – I realize I’m still wearing my coat from when I walked in the house an hour ago. Seriously?!?

7:15pm – I round-up Stella and get her in the shower. This normally buys me about a half hour because she loves playing in the shower.

7:45pm – Stella’s out of the shower and Sophia rolls in after playing down the street with friend. Soph hops in the shower and I bring Stella upstairs and brace myself for bedtime. Stella doesn’t like to go to bed (surprise, surprise), so each night is a crap shoot as to how she’s going to act.

8:00pm – After five million hugs and kisses and going through all of her usual stall tactics Stella is in bed. That is normally when I know I can start to relax for the evening.

8:15pm – I realize that it’s 8:30 p.m. and I still haven’t eaten dinner. I grab a bag of tortilla chips and a container of salsa and plop down on the couch. Just as I’m settling in, Sophia decides it’s time to have a heart to heart about puberty. “Mom, when do you think I’ll get boobs?” Oy vey!

8:20-9:00pm – I reassure Sophia she doesn’t need to worry about getting a bra anytime soon and we watch The Voice together. Sophia loves to sing so she is super into the show. I just zone out still trying to figure out the ins and outs of Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani’s relationship.

9:00pm – I tell Sophia to head up stairs and get ready for bed. As she belts out Taylor Swift’s “Style” on the way up and remind her to keep it down up there since her sister is sleeping. Waking up “the beast” would be a big mistake.

9:15pm – I head upstairs to tuck Sophia in. She reminds me I need to sign her agenda, get her reading minutes in her backpack, and pack her gym clothes for Girls on the Run. Thank goodness she’s so responsible. My 9-year-old actually reminds me my nightly duties.

9:30pm – After getting Sophia’s bag ready for the morning I sit down grab the remote and flip through the DVR to see what I have recorded I could catch up on.

10:30pm – After watching last week’s episode of “The Family,” I head to bed. Lights out. Until it all starts over again in the morning.

Final Thoughts…

No two days are ever the same at my house. Some days seem difficult and some days are a breeze, but in the end being a working mom is what works best for me and my family. I hope you enjoyed reading about the average day in my life!

Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of WOTV 4 Women, its staff and/or contributors to this site.



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