Two weeks ago, I randomly decided to document my day. Hooray for the iPhone Notes app! So if you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “What does a day in the life look like for a work-from-home freelance writer and podcast host with Crohn’s disease who lives in Weehawken, NJ, and has a nine-month-old baby and four-year-old dog?” I’m glad you asked! This is what it looks like — or what it looked like a few Tuesdays ago. This was a pretty standard day where I didn’t have to go into the city, I recorded one podcast episode, and spent a whole lot of time doing prep work, sending emails, and doing the non-fun-but-necessary work stuff.
4:20 AM: My alarm goes off. Rise and definitely don’t shine, but rise anyway. I use the bathroom a few times, brush my teeth, get dressed, and head out.
4:40 AM: I’m out the door, but thanks to this Crohn’s flare, it’s a process. I have to stop twice on the way from my apartment down to the car so I can use the bathroom. (God bless that random bathroom in our building hallway.)
4:55 AM: In the car, finally, heading to Orangetheory.
5:07 AM: Arrive at Orangetheory. Use the bathroom again and chat with friends before class starts.
5:15 AM: Workout time! It’s a run/row workout, and I manage to make it through the first half of class without needing any bathroom breaks. That’s exciting! I needed to run for the bathroom once during the floor block, but it wasn’t too tragic. I felt tired on the floor. Waking up for the 5:15 AM class is never particularly fun, but I remind myself that there are at least 30 other people in my neighborhood alone up doing the same thing at the same time. If they can do it — along with the thousands of others around the world — I can do it, too. I used to take the 8:30 AM class once our nanny arrived to watch Annie, but I hated using childcare hours to work out. It took up too much of that very precious time, and now I’m able to use all of my childcare time to work. It’s so much better.
6:23 AM: Back home! I change back into my pajamas and check Annie’s monitor. She’s stirring, but she’s not quite awake yet. She normally wakes up anytime between 5:30 and 7 AM, but as long as she’s happy, we don’t get her out of her crib before 6:30, since she’ll usually let herself fall back asleep. While she keep snoozing, I make the bed, get her bottle ready, wipe down the kitchen counters (probably should’ve done that the night before, but Mondays are late work nights for me, so screw it), and eat a Superhero Muffin for breakfast.
7:18 AM: Annie finally wakes up! This is a late morning for her! She’s all smiles, and loves chatting when we go in to greet her. I change her diaper, then bring her out into the living room for her bottle. Brian takes Ellie out while I’m feeding Annie, and my stomach kicks into high gear mid-bottle, so I have to run to the bathroom while feeding Annie. Poor kid. I bring her in with me and kept feeding her, which is kind of gross and kind of good multitasking. Once I’m done my stuff and she finishes her bottle, we play on the living room floor for a bit.
7:30 AM: Nanny time! We have our amazing nanny, Stef, four days per week, from 7:30 AM until 2 PM. Annie and Ellie both get so excited every single time she walks in the door. (So do I! We love her so much.) It’s very cute. We all play for a bit, and Ellie gives everyone lots of kisses. Then it’s time to get into work mode.
8 AM: First up: prepping the Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas interview for the Ali on the Run Show. My interview prep includes going hard on Google and social media, learning everything I possibly can about my guests, and finding what most interests me to guide the conversation. I knew we could have some fun with this particular conversation, and it helped that I’ve already had Lauren on the show, so we’re comfortable with each other. Adding Jesse to the mix meant we got to talk a lot about relationship stuff, parenting stuff, marriage stuff, and entrepreneur life. I love working from home because it means I get to pop in to see Annie throughout the day. Today, I snuck into the kitchen for a few minutes to see her trying kale for the first time! She liked it in her morning smoothie. (I’m glad one of us likes kale!)
8:50 AM: Bathroom and shower. All business. Glamorous.
9:15 AM: Annie and Stef are heading out for Annie’s first gym class! I was a little sad to miss her first class, but Stef sends me a million photos and videos every single day, so I never feel like I’m missing too much. I say bye to them, and then sit down to prep my conversation with Alexi Pappas for the marathon training series that’s coming to the Ali on the Run Show soon. This one is less about her life and more specific to her experience with the marathon.
10:10 AM: Billing, banking, and invoicing. More glamorous things!
10:30 AM: I send a ton of emails to schedule upcoming podcast episodes, I put together and send off a proposal to a potential new client, and I respond to DMs on Instagram.
12:30 PM: I get to work on some lululemon ambassador stuff, which is exciting! I did some research and brainstorming about upcoming events and things I want to accomplish this year. Stay tuned!
1:20 PM: I take Ellie out while I order lunch, because this fridge is empty.
1:40 PM: I eat shrimp tacos at my computer while doing some social media stuff. My least favorite part of the job, but that’s OK!
2 PM: Time for Stef to leave. Annie is napping, so I keep working. Mostly email stuff. My inbox is a black hole and I need two weeks with no distractions where I can just respond to the 400 messages sitting in my inbox. If you’ve ever sent me an email, I read it! I really did! I most likely read it on my phone and promised to respond to it later. And then didn’t. And I’m really sorry. I need to get better about this. It’s very embarrassing and irresponsible.
2:50 PM: Annie is awake! I feed her and we play for a bit, and once she seems fully digested, I get her dressed in a super cute outfit and put her in her carseat. We’re headed to Garden State Plaza to meet with my lululemon store team! Time to put all that creative brainstorming into action!
3:30 PM: We’re in the car and on our way!
4:15 PM: We’re not even on the highway!
4:20 PM: We are only 1.5 miles from home and haven’t moved in almost an hour. This is not good and I should’ve abandoned this route a long time ago! I send a quick text to my girl Alex at lululemon and let her know we aren’t going to make it in. I hate to do this, especially since I was super excited about this meeting and had been looking forward to it since our onboarding event last month. Ugh.
4:30 PM: Quick Target run instead. I need to use the bathroom as soon as we get there, because Crohn’s is cool, but a woman is in the only handicapped / family-friendly stall with her two kids (they’re both at least 10–12 years old) trying on clothes! That’s not what the bathroom is for! I start to sweat a little, cursing the giant stroller for not fitting into any of the normal tiny stalls. Fortunately, the woman and her kids exit the big stall just in time. Close call.
4:45 PM: Back home! We go upstairs to get Ellie, and she does not want to go for a walk! Instead, she decides to lie down in the middle of the road, which is very cute. So I’m trying to get her to move with one arm and am holding Annie’s stroller in the other, while cars start to stop all around us. I’m clearly struggling! Still, one car honks and I think I yelled something like, “I’M DOING MY BEST! I’M TRYING!” She was annoyed. (This entire incident lasted probably 12 seconds. SORRY, LADY!) I try very hard to stay very calm, and I get Ellie to move and not-so-gracefully walk her around the block.
5:05 PM: Back inside. We FaceTime my brother for a bit, which Annie loves.
5:30 PM: Dinner for Annie! She has the rest of her kale smoothie from breakfast and loves it. It’s very messy!
5:50 PM: A much-needed bath! Annie loves the bath.
6 PM: I put Annie in her jumper so I can clean the aftermath from her dinner and her bath. I put everything away, wipe the soaked counter and soaked floors, clean her bib, drain the tub, switch the laundry over to the dryer, and prepare her last bottle of the day.
6:15 PM: Bedtime is usually around 7 PM, but by 6:15, Annie is rubbing her eyes and getting sleepy. So we snuggle up and I give her that last bottle of the day. She’s a little fussy and instead of chilling out and drinking her milk, she wants to flip over and climb on my head.
6:30 PM: We read Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball, and Annie is still wiggly and fussy, and I am exhausted. I zip up her sleep sack, kiss her goodnight, turn on the white noise, and close the door…and then she starts to wail! Normally she goes down pretty easily, but lately nights have been a bit of a struggle. It’s tough because I’m beat, I usually have hours to go, and I’m by myself. (This night, in particular, I still need to clear off as much as I can from my hard drive so I have room to record tonight’s podcast episode, and need to prep and test all my equipment and the internet connection before starting to record.) I go in and rub her back, and the pick her up and rock her for a bit.
6:40 PM: OK. She’s out. That wasn’t too bad. I think she was just fussy because she was exhausted. Maybe tired from gym class! I go right back to my computer to get set for Alexi Pappas.
7:20 PM: Test sound.
7:23 PM: Use the bathroom one last time.
7:27 PM: Ready to record!
8:18 PM: That’s a wrap! Alexi was great. Time to back up computer 100 times.
8:40 PM: Brian is home, with dinner. I eat in front of my computer while half-watching the Democratic Debate.
9:50 PM: I respond to a few more DMs (I am so bad at this, but I am doing my best!), brush my teeth, and get into bed with Fleishman is in Trouble. I set my alarm for 4:20 AM, read half a page…
10:20 PM: …and pass out!
The end! Of Tuesday!
Your energy is admirable. Your daily routine is incredible. I can’t believe that you still has time to woke up that early. Your such an inspiration for many people who has a lots of excuses to do exercise. Thumbs up!
I love this! Like a lot of folks, I have this weird fascination (maybe it’s not so weird since so many people have the same obsession?) with reading other people’s daily schedules, especially busy working women, so I appreciated the detail. And yeah, total kudos for not calling out the lady for using up the handicapped stall. I have UC myself (although I haven’t had a flare in years, thankfully), and totally get that situation.
You’ve inspired me to go and get Shalane’s book. It’s been on my Amazon list for months, but after reading the recipe for the Superhero muffins, I HAVE to get it now!
Looking forward to listening to the Alexi episode!
I love this type of post. Mostly I’m impressed at the 4:20 alarm. I also have little kids and I get that it makes the day more efficient, but damn that’s early. Major kudos to you! Also kudos for not asking/demanding the family in the bathroom try their clothes on ANYWHERE ELSE. Maybe they had a reason for being in there?!