A Day With Madame Architect Assistant Editor, Amy Stone
By Amy Stone
My schedule has been changing recently! I’ve got from working full-time to working part-time and now getting back into my final year of graduate school at Georgia Tech for my M.Arch. August starts a new schedule: kids in school and me in work and school.
6:00am: Up and at it. I like to be up and ready before London (7) and Jay (5) wake up. A lot of my day inspiration and goal setting happens while I’m showering and getting dressed. Lorrin and I will both wake up the kids and help get them prepped for school. Jay is usually cheerful and chatty as soon as he’s awake. London sleeps like a rock and needs a slower warm-up in the morning. I’d say Lorrin and London’s morning temperaments match, so Jay and I usually buddy up.
8:00am: Lunches packed. Shoes are on. Wilbur, our happy dog, is fed. Lorrin and I take turns driving kids to school. Our morning drive includes some bits of their favorite music, hilarious conversation, and sometimes great questions about all sorts of things - our kids are at the best age. If we’re really ahead of schedule, we’ll stop for a donut on the way to school. Once they are dropped off, I make my way to work or school and usually call friends or family in the morning. I’ll check in with my dad about how he and mom are doing or I’ll leave a Marco Polo with friends – such a great way to keep in contact with those you love who aren’t nearby.
9:00am: By now I’m either at work in my office or at campus for school. Everyday is different and I’m happy with that. The days vary a lot during the week but my classes are always the anchors of the day. I prefer to study or quietly and quickly get work done in the morning, that’s always been my most productive time. Wherever I am, I’m sure to have a Diet Coke as I study or work. Later in the morning, I’ll catch-up with co-workers on projects or other happenings. If I’m at campus, I’ll typically hibernate my desk to work for a few hours. On good weather days and if my work is flexible enough, I try to explore new spaces to study - a rooftop lounge or a garden area on Tech’s green campus.
12:00pm: Lunch, guaranteed. I’m always starving by this time. I like to walk out for lunch. Campus is really active around lunch time and I love to get out with some fellow students. If I’m at work, I’ll go out with a few of my co-workers, really fantastic people, or maybe meet up with Lorrin who works just down the street. We’re lucky to be so close. I feel like lunchtime is a moment of luxury for a working mom to have a moment to herself. I try to take advantage of it, even if it’s quick. It’s also a great time to network. My week usually doesn’t include much time for evenings out with friends, so I try to connect with people while I can at lunch.
1:00pm: I feel like this is the start of my second workday within the day. I need a mental shift from what I’ve been doing in the morning. If I’m at work, I’ll switch to school or vice versa. Studio takes up a big chunk of my week and usually the afternoons are the best time to get things done. I like to try to keep my head down during studio and churn through projects. I’m not quite as sharp in the afternoons and I try to plan around that inevitable energy drop around 3pm.
4:00-5:00pm: Except for studio days that run until around 6:30 or 7:00, this is the time I head out and get ready for my third phase of the day: home. I’ll drive home and tune into podcasts or music or I’ll call friends again. Driving time is usually my mental transition time. I’ll pick up kids from after care and then it’s time for home. Wilbur is always happy to see us. We have a few activities in the week for kids but we try to keep home time flexible. Our days are so structured, we all need some downtime when we get home.
6:30pm Dinner and bedtime routine take over. Lorrin comes home sometime after 6:30. The next two hours are a mix of dinner, clean-up, bath-time, and bed-time routines. Besides the kids evening routine, our evenings are pretty fluid. Once bath time starts, it’s clockwork: bath, pajamas, brush-hair-brush-teeth-take-vitamins, and then it’s reading time our bed. We’ll cuddle and listen to a song together, say prayers, and then tuck kids into bed. The regularity of this routine reconnects us and recharges us, or it does for me at least. We always count on it.
8:30pm Kids are in bed. Lorrin and I spend some time relaxing and chatting. I’m guaranteed to have some looming list of things I need to work on. I’m also guaranteed to be gauging my energy levels and deciding what I want to get to and what I want to let slide. If I have a deadline, I’ll usually power through whatever is at hand: studio-work, class-work, work-work, or (endless) general house to-do’s.
10:30pm I’m done for the day. Even if I want to keep working, my energy inevitably powers down at 10:30. If I’m really lucky, Lorrin may have baked a batch of our favorite chocolate chip cookies. We might watch an episode of a show together or spend some time scrolling our way into nothingness. I’m out by 11:00: AC blasting, fan on, and rolled up in my down comforter with my phone charging under my pillow with an alarm set for the morning. This is my happy place.