A Typical Day…

It’s taken me a while to put together well-rounded answers, but I have not forgotten about all of the sweet and engaging questions from my birthday week. I wanted to share my first set of questions with you all today, and I actually grouped the questions into four broad areas to help narrow the focus of the four different posts:

1 | What does your typical day look like? How do you balance your different responsibilities?

2 | Where does your blogging inspiration come from? You cover such a wide range of topics, how do decide what to post about?

3 | Would you guys consider moving? Are you or when do you think you’ll be ready to start again?

4 | Tips for working/creating from home with little kids

I thought I’d tackle each of these broad topics in a different post, forgive the lack of brevity, I really dove into these! Feel free to skim :).

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A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

1 | What does your typical day look like? How do you balance your different responsibilities? 

Surprisingly, one of the common threads running through my birthday question was what a typical day looks like around here. I actually think that it’s kind of cool to document these sorts of things and totally dig it when other bloggers share their balancing secrets, so I’m happy to let you in on one usual day in our crazy lives.

I’ll preface by saying that most days of the week are pretty different. Mondays and Wednesdays flow similarly as do Tuesdays and Thursdays (because of preschool schedules, nannies, playgroups…) but meetings, classes and sporadic events tend to mix things up pretty regularly. I’ll sort of jump into a typical Tuesday today and consider it to be just about as normal as it gets.

I’m a night owl so Taylor waking me up at 6:30am for her daily nursing session is the norm. I must admit that she’d be weaned by now except that I don’t want to wake up at 6:30, so cuddling and falling back asleep is my main goal at this moment :). I don’t mind that it’s so good for her as well.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Kevin leaves for work at 7:30 and I hop out of bed to get the girls ready to go. We make breakfast (sometimes oatmeal or fruit, sometimes toasted waffles) and I spend the first hour of my day cleaning up. Might be unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming the floor (our dog is a shedder), picking up toys, mopping, the usual.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Once the girls are dressed and teeth are brushed, I walk both down to our neighborhood preschool where Liv will spend her next two and a half hours. Taylor’s nanny will meet us back at the house so that I can concentrate on my first chunk of the work day – and a good cup of freshly dripped coffee.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

We live very close to SDSU, our local state university here in San Diego, and I’ve been taking advantage of an awesome group of girls over there for all of our nanny needs since Liv was a couple of months old. When one girl graduates or heads out on a study abroad program, she usually recommends one of her close friends to take over. They are the best! I’ve some how tapped into one of the sweetest sets of 18-22 year old girls you’ll ever meet. Sometimes I’ll even have as many as 3 or 4 on schedule each week. It’s great because I have the flexibility to work around college class schedules and love that I get to break my day up into big chunks (sometimes dictated by their class schedule) rather than have an eight hour nanny that is with us full time. It’s also very affordable.

I typically settle down for work and knockout a few hours from 9 to noon.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

On Tuesdays my mom picks up the girls around lunchtime for a swim lesson and an afternoon with nana and papa (Liv’s a fish now!). On almost every other day I use lunch as another opportunity to spend time with my little ladies before diving into the second chunk of my work day and another (or the same) university nanny.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

The girls come back around 4pm and just in time for me to transition to snack time as Liv recounts her first dive from the side of the pool or how her instructor is teaching her to use her arms to swim. Even T takes a lesson with my mom and is such a water baby these days.

At this time one of my favorite secret weapons stops by to play for an hour or two – a mother’s helper. Have you ever heard of one before? I’ll go into full detail in a future post but essentially they are neighborhood girls within walking distance to your home that are not yet old enough to babysit on their own. Since I’m home working in my office it’s perfect, the girls play in the living room or outside and my little helper is an excellent entertainer. She might even help me to catch up on folding laundry if the girls are napping when she arrives (Liv dropped her nap about two months ago – sigh – but occasionally is exhausted enough to give in).

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

I slip in a few more hours at the computer. A typical day at work as a marketing director for me might include working out the kinks for a new print material run, time editing a new training video, consolidating recent market trends for an upcoming presentation, measuring results from a recently launched campaign.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

By 6:30 or so I close up my computer and the third chunk of my work day to focus on dinner and cleaning up (again). It’s a never ending cycle ’round here.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Occasionally we slip in a walk to our local park just before sunset.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

Kevin comes home around 7:30 or 8, we enjoy a meal all together, then off to bed go the girls with their Daddy. A beautiful San Diego day!

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

My last work chunk is usually from about 10pm to midnight. In a perfect world this would be the chunk that I delete despite the fact that I work so well in the quiet of the evening. This is also a lot of the time that I dedicate to side projects. In addition to my job as a marketing director, I’m also helping a local start-up launch a sustainability tracking software tool, working with clients on rebranding, spend time sitting on the board of a women in business group and volunteer here and there when I can. As far as the blog goes, it fits in wherever possible (and I mean that so loosely!). I’ve been living by my editorial calendar to keep me on track but sometimes I’m totally a late night blogger, or I’ll fill in minutes while I’m waiting for a video to render during the day or while I’m watching TV with the hubby. Working from home means I can capture photos when light is optimal, write (usually) when I’m inspired. But as always, It all really does take so much more time than I usually plan for. :)

On most nights I crash somewhere between midnight and 1am, just before setting my alarm to begin it all again the next day.

A Typical Day... | PepperDesignBlog.com

It’s not a perfect system but managing my time like the above is what allows me to work from home, work full time and have an active role in the girls’ day-to-day activities. It’s a total blessing and one I hope to never take for granted. Many say balance isn’t possible – I say that it’s never perfect but that it’s worth pursuing.

Thanks for letting me share a little snippet of real life with you! Crazy how quickly the average day will just fly by…

Stay tuned for more personal question posts coming soon.

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Comments

  1. Laura Sheppard says

    Morgan,

    You have always been such an amazing juggler in life! I think it is a trait you acquired from your mother. Reading this post was inspiring though as I live a very parallel life but with only 1 munchkin and a lot less organization. Working from home some days feels like a blessing and others a curse. I definitely have a few new ideas up my sleeve after reading this (like the “mothers helper”) in the afternoons or some weekends. Thanks for allowing me to compare notes. BTW, I miss you dearly.

    • says

      Thanks, Laura! I feel as though the work-from-home platform is a new frontier, and we will be the ones that determine what makes it fail and what makes it successful.

  2. Janelle Carlson says

    Wow, I don’t know how you do it all Morgan! But you are indeed very fortunate to be able to work from home.
    It’s so cool that your Mom is nearby now to take the girls to swim lessons, how fun for all of them! ;)

    • says

      My mom is a life saver, I’m not sure what I did before she moved down here a year ago! She helps to pick up the pieces where I fall short :).

  3. Mary in PDX says

    I love the level of detail, Morgan! I missed the boat on the birthday questions, but I am curious about how you go about menu planning/grocery shopping. I would love to get your perspective on how you make it work!

    • says

      Mary, that is such a great question. I badly need help in that arena! I’m trying out a few things now so I’d be happy to share in a future post.

  4. Tauni M says

    What Women in Business board do you sit on? I am always looking for good WIB groups.

    • says

      Hi Tauni, it’s Women in Business, San Diego chapter (WIB SD) – you can find out more here: wibsd.org!

  5. says

    Such a busy girl! You really seem to have hit a sweet spot with the local college girls. I’m curious how you got hooked up with them in the first place. That would be a great alternative for us now that T is headed to Kindergarten next year.

    • says

      We have been so lucky with our nannies! I started hunting for help when Liv was a few months old and searched through friends, sitter websites and even Craigslist with a specific type of nanny in mind (age, flexibility, availability). A friend of a friend ended up introducing us to our first college nanny and it ended up being just perfect. They are responsible, smart (most of ours have even been child psychology or education majors) with very flexible schedules. You might try to see if a university near you has a job board or check in with college organizations (I know that many of my girls know each other through Campus Crusade).

  6. says

    Ahhh I love this! I think the reason bloggers and blog readers love this question answered the most is because we’re deeply interested in other people’s lives. (At least I know I am). As full as your day seems, it feels like that’s just the way it is once you have kids. When do you usually blog?

    • says

      Oooo that’s a great question! Can’t believe that I left it out of this post after compiling all of this info :), I’ve just added a little blurb but essentially I fit it in wherever humanly possible. Sometimes late night, sometimes early morning, sometimes when I need a break during the day. I just have to stick by my little editorial calendar!

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