20 February 2015

Real Life: What My Evenings Look Like as a Working Mom

Yesterday, I gave you all a peek into what my mornings are like around casa de crazy as a working mom. If you missed that post, you can catch up on all the fun here. {One word for our mornings? Busted. That is all}

I thought it would be interesting to do a follow-up post of what my evenings look like since I work during the day. While it’s certainly nothing special, maybe if nothing else it will only go to show that you’re not alone if you feel like your evenings with a preschooler are anything less than spectacular at times.

5:00 p.m.    
Quit’n time! I leave the office and head over to Chickie’s day care, which is located on campus. Her building is located right behind mine so it’s literally a 10 second drive to get there which is great. I swing my Rogue in and find that the solitary and coveted parking spot under the trees is open and whip my ride under it pronto {these things matter living in South Georgia}. At the same time, I'm thinking of all the errands I should be running after we leave school because I wasn't able to do them during my lunch hour. I find every reason in the world to put off said pesky errands for another day. I just want to get home. 

As I head inside to pick up Chickie, I’m silently praying that she made it through the day without dropping a deuce in her underwear. Potty training wise, we’re almost there but it can still be hit or miss with this one thing.

5:15 p.m.
Success! No plastic baggies to take home today! I sign Chickie out, collect her artwork and papers, and get a quick recap from her teachers on how things went for the day. Lately, sharing toys with friends has been a challenge so I’m eager to see how it’s going. I’m happy to hear that no one was bitch-slapped today so off to home we go!

5:30 p.m.Thus begins the witching hour. Usually by this time, Chickie is throwing a fit and having a meltdown over everything; she’s annoyed because she has to take her shoes off in the house. She’s crying because she can’t have Cheerios before dinner. She’s rolling and screaming on the floor because Henry the dog keeps following her around the house. #toddlerproblems

All of this usually results in her being sent to her room for a timeout to which more crying and screaming ensues. I close her bedroom door and walk away. Anxiety level is at a solid 10 by this point. I pour myself a glass of wine and stare off into the pantry. WTF am I fixing for dinner tonight? This whole dinner gig would go a lot smoother if I would get into the better habit of using my crock pot but alas, I have yet to learn this lesson so I usually spend a good amount of time perusing my kitchen for ideas on what to cook for dinner. Meanwhile, the dog wants out, my phone is blowing up with email notifications, the cat is throwing up a hair ball on the floor and Chickie has just TP'ed the hallway. 


6:00 p.m.

Dinner is underway. It should be noted that half the time I end up feeling like Susan Lucci where dinner is concerned – I never win. 

“Mama, I want mac and cheese for dinner!”

Mac and cheese it is. Until it isn’t. 

“I don’t want mac and cheese!” it screams as it pushes the plate away. Seriously, kid? 

This could go on forever but lately, I’ve started towing a pretty hard line on dinner. I’m take it back to the old school and whip out the classic, “Well, that’s what’s being served for dinner. Either eat it or go hungry.” After glaring at me for a while, she finally picks up her fork and starts eating.

I thought you’d see it my way, kiddo.

After Chickie is done with dinner, we make her clean up her dishes by dumping her leftover food in the trash and putting her utensils, plates and cup in the sink. I must give my little Chickie kudos for this. She is, if anything, a great little helper. 

High fives all around are given.

6:30 – 7:50 p.m.
This time is usually a random mix of things going on. Michael is usually pretty great about cleaning up from dinner {thanks babe!} since I cook and while he’s doing that, mine and Chickie’s activities vary. Some days she’s really great about doing a little independent playtime while other days she can be very needy and wants mommy and daddy for everything. Lately, she’s taken to wanting to play with her blocks in the evenings and is so super cute and sweet about it that for a hot second, I don’t feel the burning need to eat my young. 

I like to try and do a few things around the house during this time, too – laundry, straighten up, get Chickie’s school bag ready for the next day, answer personal and work emails, etc. On Wednesday nights, we Skype with my parents so that usually takes up the entire hour or so. Most nights, we just take it as it comes and go with the flow.

The TV is off during this time which I think helps a lot with getting Chickie decompressed and in a more settled state for bedtime. No movies and no TV are allowed. 

7:50 – 8:15 p.m.
Bath time! 

This is my favorite part of the day with Chickie. Since I work outside of the home, this is my chance to bond with her for the day. I sit beside the tub and we talk about nothing while Chickie insists on playing barista with her cups and shovels. Daddy has also been known to get a pretty sweet manicure from time to time.

8:15 – 8:30 p.m.
Pajamas, book and lights out! 

If only it were that easy. We usually get held up for one or more of the following:

Just one more sip of water
Just one more book
Just one more trip to the potty
I don’t want this stuffed animal in bed, I want this one

Just one more hug {this one gets me every time. I mean, how can you say no to that?!}

After finally getting Chickie settled into bed, its lights out and the sound machine goes on. Nine times out of ten she’s really great about going right to sleep. We haven’t experienced her getting out of bed or playing around in her room after lights out so for that, I’m thankful. She will usually stay asleep until about 11:00 a.m., if we’re lucky.

8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
This part of the evening usually varies as well. If Michael is working on school work, then I’m pretty much left up to my own devices. The norm is surfing the web, paying bills, preparing a blog post, catching up on my DVR shows, etc. There is usually another glass of wine involved as well. 

Some nights, we Michael will watch a movie {because I’m old and end up falling asleep} or we’ll sit and shoot the shit from the day and get caught up in some rather random conversations like where the best place to buy crushed ice is in Statesboro. 

Yes, we actually debate this. Yes, I’m fully aware of how dorky we sound.

11:00 p.m.
If I haven’t fallen asleep by now, then I’m on my way to bed. A quick check to make sure my alarms are set and I’m off to dreamland…

11:30 p.m., 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.
Chickie is up and awake and she thinks it’s a perfectly acceptable time to be up and at it. We’re either soothing her back to sleep, walking her back to her bed or generally begging her to just sleep. Since Michael and I both work, some nights I’ll admit, we put her in our bed. It gets to a point where we have to get some sleep. The alarm goes off at 5:15. Go to sleep, kid.

So there’s a rundown of my typical evening. If you’re a working mom, how do you spend your nights? Even if you’re a SAHM mom, how do your evenings go?
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.


  1. 5:30 is our bewitching hour too. I usually miss it because I don't get home from work until 7:15. It's the worst. I have so much to cram in before bedtime and some days I wish bedtime was 7:30 for me!!!

  2. OMG, so similar, except for my way longer commute. I love bathtime too!

    P.S. Your new design looks great! Yay for using Erin!

  3. wow sound like a lot you capture some memories i member what it was like being a working mom , you leave one job to come to a next

  4. Such adventurous evenings! We pick up the kiddos around 4:15ish, then head home, veg for a while - while Wes begs for 5 snacks before dinner. Dinner is around 5:15. If Henry refuses to eat, we usually tell him x# of bites or we put it in the fridge and if he's hungry later he has to eat that. Then it's play time/laundry folding time/watching Wheel of Fortune time. Baths happen 2-3x a week. Henry has karate one night a week. In bed by 7:30 - veg time for Russ and me until about 9:30-10!

  5. I am a SAHM, and my kids are a little older, so we don't really hit that witching hour anymore (at least not every night), but believe me, we used to! Some of our nights are very similiar to yours, although my kids go to bed earlier (I am so ready for bedtime by the end of the day) and a few nights per week I am not home for dinner and bedtime with my little guy because I am at dance or Girl scouts with my daughter. Next year he starts Kindergarten and I am sure he will start some activities so it will only get busier in the evenings. It is a whole new world when they get older!

  6. Pamela Firestine BeauneFebruary 20, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    I remember when my kids were young. Always something to do and experience. It's a lot quieter around the house now that they are in college. Great post!

  7. Ah yes, those days of, "oh crap, it's dinner time and I suppose people are going to want to eat something pretty soon", we all have those moments!

  8. Ooooh, we definitely experience the witching hour! AND the waking hours! I've been trying to remind myself that most adults don't even "sleep through the night" and that children can't self-monitor themselves, so they need our guidance to get to the point of going back to sleep. Oy, it's hard to remember that at 4:00 a.m. :X

  9. Totally worth it though! <3

  10. Absolutely. Even though it can be crazy, I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for reading!

  11. Very hard! We've struggled with sleep issues too so I completely understand. I keep telling myself that it won't be like this forever but yes - that's not much comfort at 3 a.m. Thanks for reading!

  12. Every moment, every day, haha. Thanks for reading, Justine.

  13. Thanks, Pamela! I can't imagine a quiet house but I know those days are coming faster than I can believe. Thanks for reading.

  14. It's always something new with kids! Never a boring moment, haha. Thanks, Sandra!

  15. Whew! Your evening sounds busy, too. We just recently upped Maddy's bedtime to 7:30 from 8:15 and it has made a world of difference with her sleep at night. Hope you guys are doing great!

  16. Yes, that is a perfect way to describe it, Jazmine! Thanks for reading!

  17. Thanks, Jess! She was wonderful to work with and I'm LOVING my new look. Hope you guys are having a great week!

  18. I hear you! There are morning that I wake up and I'm already ready for bed, haha. Hope you're having a great week.

  19. You know, I started researching sleep and I started thinking about it differently. We're always talking about "sleeping through the night" and it just isn't normal! I've tried to train myself to stop thinking of it as a problem or as abnormal. It has helped a little bit! I agree, it still isn't much comfort at 3 a.m. haha!!

  20. Sounds about right. Push back your 5:30 by an hour and 15 minutes and you'll get my life.

  21. Just saw this article and I have just one thing to say: it's like you described every single evening at our house :D Right down to Julia waking up 2-3 times in the middle of night.. And I should definitely be revising right now, but procrastination is seriously getting the better of me at this point!