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Where is the Balance: The REAL Reality of Working Millennial Moms
January 29, 2017
As I drift to sleep every Sunday night with the help of social media, Buzzfeed, and NPR I take a mental note of my day. From start to finish, I think about what was accomplished, what I didn't get to, and what I will try and find time for during the week. I review my never-ending to-do list and wonder if I am inefficient, ambitious, or a mix of both to explain why the list never seems to shrink. A bit of self-doubt crosses my mind, and the thought of another 40 plus hour work week, a privilege to have by most standards, zaps my energy.

I love the work that I do. It provides me with an opportunity to impact an entire educational system in the Greater Houston area. It is both intellectually intriguing and challenging to determine ways to provide better educational outcomes for students, particular students of color. Yet, my love for urban education doesn't change the fact that the demands of a working millennial mom are HARD. I turn to Instagram and I see beautiful photos of moms and their kids. I google working mom and the strangest pictures of women in business casual clothes holding babies come up. I love a great baby picture, filter, and hashtag. Yet, that doesn't represent the reality for most working millennial moms. In case anyone is wondering this is what a typical weekday in my house looks like.

  • Sunday night: To minimize prep time in the morning, I try my best to have everything prepped the night before. I pick out Vivi's outfit and shoes and sit them on her dresser. I make sure her diaper bag is properly stocked. I gather my purse and keys and place them by the front door. I pick out an outfit and shoe combination for myself, and double check the weather report (you never know with Houston). Most days I pack a lunch and breakfast (trying to cut down on food costs), and I run through all my what-if scenarios with traffic, actual departure time, the amount of sleep I will actually get, etc.
  • Alarm: 5:15 a.m.
  • 5:25 - 6 a.m: Get myself and Vivi ready for the day.
  • 6 a.m: Leave the house to drop Vivi off at her grandparent's house. My mother-in-law, or Nana, watches Vivi during the day.
  • 6:30 a.m: Drop Vivi off and head to work area.
  • 7 a.m: Arrive at work area and eat prepared breakfast or pick something up. Work doesn't start until 8 a.m. so I use this time to set a positive, stress-free tone to my day. I listen to NPR, eat my breakfast, and think of positive affirmations I choose to claim for the day. With the current political climate I sometimes cannot stomach NPR, and instead find inspiration in Solange, Lauryn Hill, and the like.
  • 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m: Work my full-time job.
  • 4:30 p.m: Leave work and head home. I often use this time to call people I know are off of work/free to catch us while I battle traffic.
  • 5 p.m: Arrive home and start my daily weekday routine. Unwind for about 30 minutes. Confirm what the cooking plan is with Charles. Either start cooking, if it is my turn or makes sure the appropriate cooking ingredients and materials are available.
  • 5:30 - 6 p.m: Charles and Vivi arrive home. Generally speaking, I drop Vivi off and Charles handles pickup. this system works for us most days as I am generally less grumpy about an earlier start to my day.
  • 6 - 7 p.m: Play with Vivi, clean up after Vivi, make sure Vivi doesn't harm herself OR cook dinner.
  • 7 p.m: Eat dinner.
  • 7:45 p.m. Give Vivi a bath OR wash dishes/clean kitchen.
  • 8 p.m: Get Vivi ready for bed. Since I get Vivi ready in the morning I like to put out her clothes for the next day, stock her diaper bag, etc. It gives me peace.
  • 8 - 8:30 p.m: Put Vivi to bed.
  • 8:30 - 9 p.m: Get myself ready for the next day: outfit, clothes, hair situation, breakfast, and lunch, shower, etc.
  • 9:30 p.m: My recommended bedtime as indicated by Apple Bedtime to get an optimal amount of sleep based on my age, weight, and wake-up time. Thanks Apple for letting me know on a daily basis that I probably need more sleep.
Honorable Mention
Funny how the Google images I see about working moms don't seem to capture what I actually do almost every day. It also doesn't capture being a millennial in the workplace (hello ageism), being a woman of color in the workplace (Please don't ask to touch my hair), or being any combination of a Black millennial working mom in general. It doesn't state what little time we are actually afforded to spend with the children we all work so hard to provide for, and it doesn't capture how many companies and entities don't seem too concerned about changing the status quo with longer/paid maternity leave, flexible work hours, more affordable insurance rates, etc.

In Case You Were Wondering
Somewhere in the list above I am suppose to find time to continue to strengthen my relationship with God, my husband, my family, and my friends, workout and check my BMI, eat organic healthy and locally sourced food, keep my hair oiled up, and make sure I know culture is a noun, adjective, verb, and the name of a new album by Migos.
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