Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of another working mom is like?
I’m featuring an interview with a working mom just like you. It’s called A Day in the Life of a Working Mom.
We’ll learn about what she does for work, her family life, and….her tips/tricks for getting everything done.
Today’s featured Working Mom is Ashley!
Ashley Bernandi is the Founder and Publicity Director, Nardi Media, a full-service media relations firm based in Washington, D.C. and mother to three young children – Ages 7, 3, and 1.
What is your typical day like?
I always wake up before my kids wake up, by at least an hour. I need to start the day alone. It is part of my self-care routine. I journal, meditate, work, and drink coffee, all before my crew rises for the day.
Then it’s the hustle and bustle of getting kids out the door and to school, and then I settle into work — whether it is at home, or running to a TV interview with a client, or a lunch meeting, etc. I sometimes set reminders on my phone to take breaks throughout the day, because otherwise I would push full speed ahead until the kids get home from school!
Once they’re home, I’m back managing the house, running errands, running to activities, cooking dinner, the bedtime routine, and then finally, some relaxation time. And other times, I just go to bed right when the kids do.
What’s the best thing about being a working mom? What’s the hardest thing?
I absolutely love knowing that I am setting an example to my children of following my dreams and passion.I am a proud example to them of a hard-working and career-driven mother, wife, and entrepreneur.
My own mother is an entrepreneur and she set this example to me when I was growing up. I saw her run her own successful dance company, and she always pushed me follow my passion – no matter what it may be.
The best thing about being a working mom and entrepreneur is knowing that I am setting the example for my children to follow their hearts and find what brings them joy, no matter what it is. When you find your joy and passion, it doesn’t feel like work. I am a testament to this path. I love my job and want my children to one
I am a testament to this path. I love my job and want my children to one day find jobs that they too love.
The hardest thing about being a working mom is the exhaustion. Every day is a juggle and switching back and forth between work and home, work and home, work and home.
Then there are the unanticipated days of a sick child at home or a snow day, in which case, because I run my own business, I still have to work. The juggling act can be very challenging and stressful on a day to day basis, which is why a self-care routine is so important.
The juggling act can be very challenging and stressful on a day to day basis, which is why a self-care routine is so important.
Do you experience guilt associated with being a working mom?
I think working mom guilt is an unrealistic societal expectation that we’ve set upon our individual selves. I used to get guilt for not being at home during the bedtime routine.
But instead of continuing to sulk about it, I knew something had to change.
A few years later, I started my own business, which gave me the freedom and flexibility to work when I want, and now, I tuck my children into bed every night.
I’ve taken very proactive measures to eliminate any mom guilt and much of that has to do with the freedom and flexibility of being my own boss. And now, being several years into motherhood, guilt sometimes creeps up – and that is normal. I take a deep breath and know that I am doing my very best.
How do you handle day to day responsibilities (meals, laundry, cleaning, chauffeuring kids, Dr. appointments, school meetings, etc.)?
One word: HELP. I cannot do it alone.
I used to do it alone and my health nearly failed because of it. I used to think that it was possible to do it all and have it all and be supermom. It is absolutely NOT possible, and to anyone reading it, don’t try.
I nearly killed myself trying. Now, I have cleaners come to my house when needed. My company grew and I hired employees to help with the workload.
My husband does all of the laundry.
I hired a mother’s helper service (Queen Bee Concierge) where an assistant comes to the house one time a week to help with any task I need – laundry, dry cleaning, grocery shopping.
I also do grocery deliveries (PeaPod or Instacart) on occasion so I don’t have spend time in the store.
We have a regular babysitter during the week, the grandparents pitch in for childcare, and I am also a member of a co-working space (Play, Work or Dash) where I work and my children play.
My neighbors are amazing and we are all constantly helping each other juggle kids. I will take all the help I can get to make my house stay on its feet and keep me happy and sane.
It’s truly a self-care priority for me. It is imperative that all working mothers know they cannot manage a house and work alone. You need help. Ask for it, take it, and hire it out when you can.
What are your top 3 – 5 tips for keeping everything together?
- Self-care: I start my day with self-care. Reading, writing, drinking coffee alone, lighting a candle, and listening to music are all examples of how I start my day. This keeps me happy and fulfilled every day
- Sleep: I know I need at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night, and this is non-negotiable. I go to bed early and wake up early.
- Disconnecting: As an entrepreneur and publicist, I am constantly connected to my phone. It’s how I do my work. But one rule of thumb is that I don’t go to bed with my phone in the same room. Once I am in my bedroom, I am disconnected. I don’t want to be tempted to look at my phone in the middle of the night or when I first wake up, so I remove it from the room.
- Ask for help. I used to be afraid to ask for help or admit I needed it. But as working moms, we need ALL the help we can get. Once I started asking for help, my quality of life improved and I was a much happier mom. Whether it is asking your husband, friends, family, neighbors, or hiring help, seek opportunities to get it. Your family will thank you!
S’mores around the firepit with my family. We try to do it once a week!
Is there anything else you’d like to add that you think would encourage other working moms?
You don’t need to try to do it all. I don’t believe work/life balance is achievable, yet work-life integration is. Get all the help you can, and keep your own self-care routine a priority.