24 Hours {A Day in the Life of Motherhood}


“You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.”

Well, can someone please have Beyonce’s people call my people and ask them why they never show up to work?

We are all told constantly, “just move your body for 30 minutes a day to stay healthy,” “try and start your day with quiet meditation to center yourself,” “it’s best to feed your family healthy, home-cooked meals to set them up for a healthy lifestyle.”

There are plenty of things we “should” be doing. Plenty of things that “just take 10 minutes” that everyone seems to want to fill our days with. I’ve entered 2021 with a goal to work on living a healthier lifestyle. In doing this, I have started a few daily rituals and have been thinking a lot about how much time it takes to stay healthy, to keep your family healthy, to do everything we “should” be doing. Allow me:

24 Hours

  • Sleep: It is recommended that an adult get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy.

Minus 8 hours

  • Meditate: It is recommended that you start your day with 40-45 minutes of meditation to increase mindfulness.

 Minus 40 minutes

  • Shower: Hopefully alone, but probably with tiny humans banging on the door. 

Minus 15 minutes (minus 5 more if you have to shave)

  • Skincare: You know, in order to keep ourselves looking young. I *think* we are supposed to wash, exfoliate, moisturize, apply eye cream, use some kind of roller thing, and I think real adults are supposed to do this twice a day. 

Minus 15 minutes

  • Brush and floss teeth: It is recommended to brush your teeth for 2 minutes at least twice a day and we’ll go ahead and add 30 seconds each for flossing. 

Minus 5 minutes

  • Kid morning routines: Get everyone dressed and have them practice some level of personal hygiene.

Minus 15 minutes

  • Make healthy, balanced meals for the whole family: Make sure it includes omega-3, fiber, iron, and all the other good stuff. Try to plan ahead so no family members consume too much natural or processed sugars or simple carbohydrates. Please also consider food preferences, aversions, and allergies. Let’s also not forget about the 3,852,283,408 snacks the kids ask for every day.

Minus 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Eat: All those healthy, balanced meals need to be consumed by you, too. But make sure to take time to sit and not eat too quickly. Eating slowly can decrease excessive bloating and help aid in digestion.

Minus 30 minutes/meal – 90 minutes

  • Clean up all the thousands of dishes it takes to make and consume healthy, balanced meals and snacks all day long: 

Minus 40 minutes (Although, I swear my entire day is spent on these last three points).

For anyone who is counting, we have 11 hours left to fill. Look how much time we have!

  • Stay hydrated! Sounds cool and all, but then I need to go to the bathroom 17 times a day.

Minus 10 minutes

  • Stay informed! Read/watch the news to be sure you are abreast of the current events. Look at multiple sources to avoid biases on any given issue. Try to make sure your information intake is keeping you both informed and well-rounded. Learn the latest in politics, fashion, pop culture, the environment, your local community, nutrition, events happening that your family can do together, etc.

Minus 30 minutes

  • Read: I know you just read the news for 30 minutes, but this is different. This is to stretch your imagination. This is for fun! It is proven that reading for 30-60 minutes a day can improve sleep, increase intelligence, improve empathy and so much more.

Minus 45 minutes

  • Journal/write: Get those creative juices flowing! Or, spend some time with a gratitude journal to improve happiness.

Minus 15 minutes

  • Quality time: Spending quality one-on-one time with each child can improve their self-worth and help limit outbursts. Be sure to connect, individually, with each child daily for at least 10 minutes.

Minus 20 minutes

  • Quality time part 2: Don’t forget your partner! They want some focused attention, too.

Minus 30 minutes

  • Quality time part 3: It’s good for you to connect with other moms, friends, and family on a daily basis. A quick phone call can make such a difference.

Minus 30 minutes

Time check: 8 hours to go!

  • Coffee: This is exhausting, so let’s make some coffee or tea. And reheat it 12 times.

Minus 5 minutes

  • Pick up kids from school.

Minus 30 minutes

  • Stop everything you’re doing and break up sibling squabbles repeatedly.

Minus 10 minutes

  • Stop everything you’re doing and comfort hurt child (physically or otherwise)

Minus 10 minutes

  • Plan and execute engaging activity for toddler

Minus 30 minutes

  • Clean up giant mess from aforementioned activity

Minus 15 minutes

  • Since we are cleaning, let’s clean the one thing we’ve had on our list for 3 weeks.

Minus 30 minutes

  • Arbitrary to-do list item: find a creative way to plan a quarantine birthday, order groceries, switch out clothes for next season and/or size, make doctor/dentist/specialist appointments, pay bills, research vacation spots, find a thoughtful birthday present for mother-in-law, register kids for extracurricular activities, meal plan… shall I go on?

Minus 45 minutes

  • Random act of kindness: It makes us feel good to do good things for others.

Minus 5 minutes

  • Bedtime routine: We all know how this goes. Super quick, super easy. I sincerely hope you can sense my sarcasm.

Minus 45 minutes

  • Put kid(s) to bed again because even though they peed 10 minutes ago, they HAVE TO GO AGAIN. Or need their water refilled. Or they can’t find their favorite stuffed animal. Or they need tissues. Or they have an idea they need you to hear. Or they are scared of the dark. Or they heard a noise. Or they want to know if tomorrow is their birthday.

Minus 15 minutes (if you’re lucky)

Time check: 4 hours left!

Yes! We’ve done it! With time to spare.

Wait, you have a newborn?

Minus 5 hours for changing diapers, feedings, cleaning bottles, holding them while they sleep, tummy time, sleep training, etc.


Minus additional 3 hours

Trying to work from home?

Minus 8 hours (or at least this is what your boss thinks)

Going to work?

Minus 1 hour for commute time

Do your kids have extracurricular activities? Time to put on your chauffeur hat.

Minus 1 hour (This feels generous. Probably more like two)

Do your kids have homework that they need help with?

Minus 1 hour

Do you have class and/or homework?

Minus 2 hours

And we’re at negative 17 hours.

Moms, you’re superheroes. I don’t know how we do it, but we’re doing it. Sometimes we thrive and sometimes we just barely survive, but we’re doing it.

Oh, wait. Did you get your 10,000 steps in or do you need to march in place while you binge-watch Bridgerton?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here