Working Mom: Days Like This

Mama said there would be days like this.

There are days I truly feel like a hero. I get to my 6am spin class. I have breakfast with my daughter. I kick butt at work, chipping away at the never ending to do list. I leave in time to run a few errands and then I make it home in time to have dinner with my daughter and my husband. After Brielle is in bed, I manage to sit on my couch and binge watch a show or two before I fall asleep.

Those days...those are the glory days.

Then there are days when I can’t open my eyes in the morning (because I hardly slept all night thinking about the never ending to do list). I rush out the door for my early morning meeting, but I hit RIDICULOUS traffic the.entire.freaking.way. I don’t get a thing done at my office because my phone is ringing off the hook with all kinds of client problems. I spend my day putting out proverbial fires. I miss the text from my nanny, asking if I remembered to register my daughter for her afternoon art class. (Of course I didn’t remember. Thankfully they let her in anyway.) I skip lunch to try to power through the day, but by 4pm, I am starving, cranky, and realize I still haven’t had my morning coffee. On the way home, I hit the same RIDICULOUS traffic, because, of course. I walk in the door just in time to get a few hugs and put Brielle to bed. I snap at my husband for asking me basically any question. I open my computer in an attempt to refocus and garner some level of tangible productivity from my day. I’m distracted by the dumb show my husband is watching. I snap at him for watching said dumb show. I go to bed, still cranky and exhausted. And I hardly sleep, because the to do list is on repeat in my brain. It’s a vicious cycle.

The last week has been a series of these bad days in a row. I’ve had work functions almost every day after work. Nearly every client came from out of the woodwork with a problem to be solved immediately. Brielle has a cold, so she’s sniffling in the night—which of course keeps me up, as I wonder if she should go to the doctor (but when can I get her there??). This week I wake up every day wondering how I will get it all done.

The truth is that some days, it just doesn’t get done. And nothing truly life-altering happened as a result. The world continues to turn. The to do list is always waiting for me, always growing faster than I can chip away at it. I am learning that these days come in ebbs and flows, just like the glory days.

I do not have any insight or advice on how to better manage your time or avoid unpredictable traffic, but I am going to set an alarm on my phone to at least remind me to have my coffee. No one should have a bad day and a caffeine withdrawal.


Ashley Vallillo Manzi lives in Hoboken with her husband and one year old daughter. She is a family law attorney with Ziegler Zemsky & Resnick. With focus on prenuptial agreements, divorce, alimony & child custody, Ashley sees her role as "helping someone arrive at a new beginning." On the weekends, Greg, Brielle, and Ashley love to go out for brunch, playing in Church Square Park, or chasing the birds along Sinatra Drive. With lots of friends and family (her siblings live here too!) this family is always on the go.