A Day in the Life


Twelve hours with APW's Editor-in-Chief

by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

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A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

7:11 AM

We recently sleep trained our kid to sleep till 6 a.m., which is just about the best thing that ever happened to us. I get up with the baby in the morning and feed him, but David takes him for music time for a while after that. I've been night parent for twenty months (plus nine months, if you think about it) so this is part of our trade off. When I get up, the kiddo and I normally listen to music and read some books, and generally check in and enjoy each other.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

7:19 AM

Because I'm on the West Coast and I'm in Internet publishing, I wake up already behind. Our first post goes up at 4:30 a.m. our time, and I often don't get to my desk till 9 or 10. So in the morning rush I normally try to take a few minutes to check in, look at email, eyeball the post and comments, and if I'm lucky get a picture on APW's Instagram account. I'm not always lucky.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

7:34 AM

I spent a few years working at an investment bank, where I had to be out the door at a hellish 5:25 a.m. That was years of leaving before it was light, or before David was up, and it was really depressing. The minute my schedule changed I vowed that we'd always eat breakfast together, and we've stuck to that. David normally makes something awesome, like muffins or pancakes or oatmeal, and we read the paper and engage in running commentary on the news. I figure we're less than a year away from the kiddo having opinions about what's going on in the world.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

8:03 AM

Once David leaves, we have what we call "Mama-baby time." I feel so lucky to have it, after years of corporate hours. That time is our secret sauce to making being a working mom (and working baby) pretty smooth.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

8:57 AM

We try, at least on nice mornings, to carve time out for a walk. Days that I'm particularly slammed, or have a shoot or a bunch of meetings, it doesn't happen, but it's a pretty regular thing. We got a wagon, but not surprisingly he's more into pushing it than riding in it. Poetic justice, getting a tiny CEO in training. We've got some regular stops, including all the houses on the street with dogs, a great hiding spot, and a blackberry bush.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

9:20 AM

When I had a baby, one of my friends told me I should make sure to glamorize daycare drop off. She pointed to all the bloggers and Instagramers who post pictures of their kids at photo shoots, even though all of us who work photo shoots know that kids are usually on the set for thirty minutes tops, unless there's a nanny there. In my early twenties I really bought into this myth that you could have this perfect creative career while your kids played at your feet, till I realized it doesn't exactly work that way with tiny kids. You can work while your kid naps, you can sneak in work in the few minutes or seconds they're busy with something, you can parent days and work nights, or you can get childcare. Daycare is one of the best decisions we ever made as parents, even if some days it is sad to leave him. But then art like this shows up in your diaper bag, and you remember what a blast he's having at his OWN job, and that makes it better.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

10:42 AM

I know you've seen a million blog-glamorous desks, but let's be for real for a second: I work in my kitchen. This was supposed to be the breakfast nook, but I took it over. I'm actually super grateful for my little office space. I forget it's the kitchen, because my back is to it, and I just see windows with lovely high up views (like half the houses in Oakland, ours is built into a hill). We moved here from San Francisco because I couldn't handle working at the kitchen table and having to clean everything up every night. I needed an office and file cabinets and the works. Every time we randomly go to an open house of some huge beautiful place, it never has half as good a space for an office. Since I spend my day here, I've decided I can't leave till I have a work space just as nice. Maybe next time with a childproof door, though.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

10:46 AM

Take any picture of me working at the computer, and multiply it by eight hours, and that's more or less my average day. I fit in the gym a few times a week (not enough, but I'm doing my best balancing things), and have a smattering of meetings and appointments throughout my week. In this picture, I guarantee you that I'm working on Instagram.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

1:54 PM

On this particular day, I got to go into San Francisco for a meeting with the fantastic Lisa of Zelma Rose. I have a policy that because I opted to hire a team instead of giving myself a raise, I always take everyone out to a nice lunch if we're having a meeting. Nice meals with nice people, that is my raise.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

1:59 PM

Lisa has this amazing merchandise line with everything from pocket squares and more, to these crazy amazing hand-stitched necklaces. But she also does business consulting, and today we were talking Instagram strategy. Just in case you thought online publishing came together with natural ease, rest assured. It's just meant to look that way.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

4:36 PM

Lunch is over, back to work. I spend a lot of my time working as an editor these days, and another chunk working as a business owner. Here I'm moderating comments and working on edits for probably six pieces at once. Currently, it's a rare day that I get to sit down and really write, but the whole team is working to carve out more time for that. Oh, and I'm pretty sure we all want to go to the gym more.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

5:35 PM

Daycare pickup. It's the part of the day I hurtle toward, because it's the hard stop in my tornado of work, and it always comes before I'm ready. But it's also, without a doubt, the best part of the day.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

6:08 PM

We get home before David does (don't get me started about how hard it is for men in America to get the flex time needed to keep a family running, and how that means women have to pick up the slack). So we hang out, play records, color, and eat snacks. It's a little crankier than the morning, because everyone is more tired, but there is more dancing.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

6:58 PM

David makes dinner every night. I keep expressing interest in learning more about cooking (when I lived alone I was okay, but I was far from brilliant). But David points out that the fact that he cooks is about the only thing helping to balance the scales of domestic labor in our household. There have been tons of studies done about how couples frequently revert to more traditional roles after they have kids. And while biology indisputably plays a role if you give birth to your kids, I had no idea how much of that had to do with inflexible societal structures. Our roles are currently a lot more traditional than we're comfortable with, but American work life isn't giving us a ton of options right now.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

7:55 PM

After I do my part getting the kiddo to bed, I normally check in on work. I don't work a ton at night, if all is going well. But I usually do quality control on the next morning's posts, and possibly try to wade through a little more of the giant stack of unanswered email.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

8:13 PM

Around about 8:00, we try to collapse on the couch for an hour or so to watch one of our (many, many) TV shows. As two ex-theatre professionals, we're pretty serious about good TV. Sometimes I work on needlepoint, sometimes we have a drink, but this is our couple time. Then bed. Early.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

Since I started reading APW at the ripe age of twenty-one, I’ve been using this site as a virtual big sister, helping me transition from one life stage to the next, both in my marriage and my career. I didn’t grow up with a lot of married role models, so I’m constantly looking online for examples of lives being led in a way that resonates with how I envision my future self. But it’s hard to do that in a way that doesn’t lead to comparing your insides to other people’s outsides. Which is why, the more curated our online lives become (thanks Pinterest and Instagram!) the more important it is to look behind the curtain and see what’s going on in the daily lives of the women I admire.

When Blurb asked if we wanted to partner up to make photo books using their software, I knew I wanted to shoot a day-in-the-life style photo essay featuring APW’s Editor-in-Chief, Meg. I was inspired by a New York Mag article Meg posted in Happy Hour a few months ago featuring images of Jemima Kirke as she goes about her normal daily routine. Of the essay, Meg commented, “New York Magazine’s photo essay of a day-in-the-life of Jemima Kirke really stuck with me, because it gives a not-usually-viewed image of motherhood that jives far more with who I am. Even if I don’t tattoo my Shabbat guests.” What I learned photographing a day in Meg’s life is very similar to what she got from the Vulture article with Jemima Kirke: we are more alike in the minutiae of our daily lives than we are different.

Perhaps most importantly, what I realized is that this is what marriage is really all about. While the wedding industry wants us to believe that a wedding is the most important day of our lives, it really, truly, is just one day. When it’s all over, what we’re left with is the day-to-day slog with the ones we love the most. Which, when you step back and look at it from the outside, is maybe more special, in its own way. And certainly more special than anything that ends up on Instagram, or Facebook, or even in an essay on your favorite wedding website. Maybe that’s the real point. What matters is not what we put online for everyone to see. What matters is both the intention to connect with each other when we share, and also the ways we protect the moments that matter. (For Meg, I know she’ll put the unedited, long form version of this photo essay in a book, and keep it on the shelf for her family and her future.)

While I wanted to use Meg as the example for this project, what I really wanted to do was kick-start a mini-movement within the APW community to value the day-to-day. I want us to remind ourselves that no matter how impossible wedding planning seems, or how unsure we are about our jobs, our homes, or our desire to have kids/not have kids, there’s always breakfast, lunch, dinner, errands, chores, and hanging out. That’s what anchors us. And in the end, that’s what makes a life.

Now it’s your turn! share your day in the life photos on Instagram, by hashtagging your images with #DayInTheLife (don’t forget to tag @APracticalWedding and @blurb_books). Or use Blurb to create your own #dayInTheLife book and share the Digital version of the finished product with us.

A Day in the Life | A Practical Wedding

THIS POST WAS SPONSORED BY BLURB. APWERS GET 20% OFF YOUR BLURB ORDER WHEN YOU USE THE CODE PRACTICAL AT CHECKOUT!* THANKS BLURB FOR HELPING MAKE THE APW MISSION POSSIBLE!

*Offer valid through September 15, 2014 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for first time customers purchasing printed books only. No minimum purchase required. 20% discount is applied toward your product total with a maximum discount of $75 off. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • Louise

    Beautiful pictures, Maddie! And I agree– its lovely to have virtual role models who are wiling to share a bit of their lives. Thanks, Meg!

  • laura

    Love this post. Very interesting and such an insight. x

  • ruth

    Thanks for sharing – I needed to see this today. I’d been getting really down on daily life lately, which sometimes just feels like an endless to-do list (we just moved.) I think it has been scaring me, because it feels like the honeymoon phase of marriage is over – I haven’t been feeling the same attraction I used to feel for my hubby, maybe because we’re both so stressed. And we don’t even have a baby yet. I really appreciate seeing that even the most succesful people’s lives are filled with minutia and mundanity too. I lobed what maddie said, it’s easy to look at the currated lives people post on facebook – with their hot hubbies and their homecooked meals and their perfectly adorable children – and feel really bad about yourself!

    • Meg Keene

      If it helps at all, the marriage stuff you’re experiencing is perfectly normal. The staff was just having a HUGE email chain about it, we’re going to do an open thread soon. No one talks about this stuff most.

      And yeah, most of my life is just sitting at the computer, too busy to get up and even eat, working on a never ending to-do list, a good chunk of which I’d rather not do. Like bookkeeping, currently, which I won’t even get to today, because I have to pound out a bunch of not so creative content and content edits :) Which is what it is, and I’m grateful as shit for it. But work is still… work. You know? It’s not a magic Instagram life.

      • SarahG

        There was a great piece on This American Life, I think, about “dream jobs”. They interviewed an astronaut (classic kid dream job) and he said that due to budget cuts, most astronauts go up into space once in their entire careers. When Ira asked what does he do every day if he’s not doing that, he said “Email. Meetings.” It was a tremendous relief to me that even the coolest possibly job in the universe consists mostly of email and meetings.

        • Meg Keene

          OMG. I remember that. It was a very “Oh, right.” moment. He was like “I’m a government employee?”

          • SarahG

            Hahaha YES (as a government employee myself). I forgot that part :) I always tell myself every job has at least 20% things you are not interested in doing. If you can keep it to 20%, you are doing amazing and should probably hold onto that job forever. Hell, if you can keep it to 40% you should probably hang on forever.

        • Bsquillo

          I’ve been mulling over the whole “dream job” thing a lot recently. As someone who works in the arts, a lot of people who don’t work in the arts will comment things like, “oh, but you must LOVE what you do.” Which is absolutely true, but doesn’t mean that my work isn’t WORK.

          When I was growing up, I always heard this quote: “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’m starting to think that quote is bullsh*t. I love what I do, but it DEFINITELY feels like work most days. And I would rather be watching Netflix with my husband and napping than doing most of the day-to-day elements of my job almost 100% of the time.

          • Violet

            Yeah, I think I’ve pretty much got my “dream job” (although that is a flexible concept to me, it’s not like I always wanted to do this ONE THING and will always want to do exactly this, but yeah, it’s a good fit for right now). But ummm, yeah, it’s still work. I still need vacations, appreciate Fridays/weekends, etc. I madly appreciate my job, but still, it’s my job. Not my life.

          • http://kara-tanoue.blogspot.com/ Kara T

            Amen to this. I definitely have my “dream job” at the moment- I love what I’m doing, I work with an awesome team, I have great benefits and a super flexible work schedule, etc. But at the end of the day, it is so nice to go home.

          • Meg Keene

            Back when I was at Manhattan Theatre Club one of my awesome co-workers (we were in Development, she wrote grants) was like “They keep acting like it’s super cool to underpay me because isn’t it GREAT that I get to work in THEATRE.But they’re missing that it’s work. And I’d rather be sitting on my couch watching netflix. I’m not doing this for free.”

            And yeah. That job was work. Sometimes damn boring work, actually. Which… is the uniting factor of most lives, I think. It doesn’t mean we’re not lucky if we’re doing something we care about, but it’s still work.

          • Bsquillo

            Whew, Development. Major props to anyone who successfully does that, because it’s a damn hard job, but SO crucial. Also, I’m pretty sure they purposely make grant applications insanely boring to weed out people.

          • joanna b.n.

            In fact, I’ve felt as though I’m lucky to have been able to work at something I care about in most of my jobs, since it’d be all the more hard to be motivated to do the work work if it wasn’t a passion.

      • Ruth

        Yay! I really look forward to that open thread! I don’t know what happened, but this suddenly hit about a year and half into marriage – for the past couple of years I’ve been so head over heels for my partner, and now it’s like – babe – why do you suddenly look so fat and bald and old to me? The thing is, he hasn’t changed. It’s just the change in perspective. I find myself annoyed constantly and just finding marriage really, really HARD. Would love to talk to with other APWers about this – because I feel like if I voice these feelings to friends or family, they’ll think that something is wrong with our marriage, that it’s in trouble – but it’s NOT. I adore him, and there’s no one else on the planet I’d rather be with. It’s just… HARD.

        • Lauren from NH

          Oh I think these conversations are sooo important! I have been working a little on a pre engaged post (can’t decide if it’s any good yet) because I think we don’t get to see enough models of getting through the hard stuff. And that this or that deficiency or miscommunication doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. I think I have been way too hard on myself sometimes thinking maybe we don’t have what it takes, when with a more clear head I know it’s growing pains, some bad habits and some crummy situations which are all temporary.

          • Meg Keene

            Yeah, I’ve been thinking a lot about that, vis a vis the site. It’s hard to figure out how to talk about going through rough patches, without people concluding you’re getting a divorce. And oddly, often those two concepts aren’t even a little related. I think maybe we just need to have a conversation about why it’s so hard to talk about. Because if we can’t talk about the hard parts, we can’t normalize the experience, and then people don’t get that EVERRYYYYY marriage goes through them. EVERY. ONE. Even (particularly?) the long married happy ones that we idolize. I mean, how do you think they stayed married a long time? As my mom always says, by not getting a divorce ;)

            (Not that divorces are bad!)

          • Lauren from NH

            Right. Being the one furthest along relationship-wise among my friends I am trying to share more honestly about the shit we go though. Idea being that when they love someone to pieces but it is hard as fuck, they don’t feel like a failure or if they do, they know they can come to me and there will be zero judgement. Especially with facebook and distant friends we don’t see as often as we’d like, it can be so easy to gloss over the gory parts or not even mention them.

          • egerth

            I’m totally with you on the riding waves piece! I’m six years into my relationship, which is the first long-term relationship I’ve had, and I feel like the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you have to have faith and trust your heart that how you’re feeling now is not how you’ll always feel. We’ve had stretches where we’re alternately both sick and tired and suddenly the desire is not there. And then we’ll go on vacation and it’s romantic and we have time to connect again and all of that comes back. It wasn’t us; it was just life.

            To me, it’s not just that we gloss this stuff over with distant friends, it’s that if I tell someone that something isn’t making me actively happy right now, then we’re reflexively obligated to talk about how to fix it. But maybe there’s nothing to fix! My job is mostly good but it’s still work, my relationship is amazing but has ebbs and flows, and I am very fortunate in many ways but I’m not happy all the time. I find it can be really hard me to turn off the “I must fix it” reflex, especially when well-meaning and supportive friends and family have that reflex, too. Often what I really need to hear is: be patient.

          • joanna b.n.

            At a childhood friend’s wedding recently, he gave us the hugest compliment by saying that because we had been honest with him about how we’ve had to work through things in our marriage, it allowed him to feel confident enough to make the lifelong(ish) commitment to get married. Because now he knew that it did involve work, but that that was ok.

          • Alison O

            I don’t remember if it was on APW or part of a New York Times article about a long married couple or somewhere else, but I always think of hearing this couple who said something along the lines of “we’ve been married for 36 years and we’ve been happily married 32″. In the same vein, and again I don’t remember if I heard it here elsewhere, when you’re with somebody such a long time often you end up not talking about just the good and bad days of your relationship but the good and bad YEARS. You shouldn’t necessarily be too scared off of the smaller bumps in the road because it’s possible to weather really big/long ones.

          • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

            THANK YOU.

        • SarahG

          Oh man. I totally know what you mean. We’re 39 days from our wedding, been together 3 years, and suddenly lately I just have no interest in having sex with him. I have like zero ability to put effort into our sex life. I feel terrible about it. What I keep telling myself is that long term relationships are about riding the waves, not drowning in them — there’s ebb now but there will be flow later. I’ll let you know how that works. Internet hugs.

          • ruth

            Thanks for the internet hugs! Appreciated :) It’s so weird – when we have sex, it’s actually really good, but it’s hard to get into that mood in the first place, it’s like effort, as you say. It’s not a lack of satisfaction, it’s like a lack of desire. I look at couples who are married for like 10, 20, 30, 40 years, and I wonder, how do handle the sex thing? Nobody talks about this! Except on APW – thank goodness for that :)

          • SarahG

            “It’s not a lack of satisfaction, it’s a lack of desire”…. exactly. One book I’ve been reading, that you might like, and that has made me feel a bit more at ease is Mating in Captivity by Ester Perel. It’s all about her work with couples in long term relationships and how sex works/doesn’t work for them. Hang in there :)

          • http://TxtingMrDarcy.wordpress.com/ Brooke

            Jumping on the bandwagon to agree that what you’re feeilng is OK. I read an article on APW the other day that really spoke to me on this exact point! (http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/08/settling-happiness-paradox/) Just because the heady rush of the initial crazy desire for your partner is starting to fade doesn’t mean that you should be worried. If anything, sex starts to get better because you know that you’re making an effort to keep that connection with each other.
            I love that we can all get REAL with each other here, without worrying about adding a filter to everything.

          • Meg Keene

            They work at it. Ten year vet here, and I think it’s just that simple. They work at it, and sometimes it’s better and sometimes it’s worse.

          • Grace from England

            I imagine this is a relationship-long issue that never really goes away, since you’ll never want each other exactly the same amount at the same time, there’s always compromise.

            I used to have major anxiety about this. We’ve been together over 5 years, and for health reasons we went through phases of me having basically no libido (chemical menopause – seriously). Once I got out of that, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that if we weren’t doing it it must be my responsibility some how (possibly from years of hearing that women are for sexual pleasure and that if you’re not putting out, your partner will either cheat or leave you – lovely). Talking about it definitely helps, even if it’s just so you can both say you don’t feel like it right now for whatever reason, but that it doesn’t relate to your love or attraction for each other. The desire always returns eventually… So far!

          • Violet

            Waves. Ebbs and flows. Definitely. We’re nine years in, and that’s the way it goes. The only constant is our desire to always be improving our relationship, knowing that sometimes we reap more rewards for our efforts than at other times.

          • Meg Keene

            Oh yeah. We’re 10 years in and yeah. ALSO, you’re 39 days from your wedding. Sex lives do not exactly thrive on stress.

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            Or exhaustion. After the wedding, I just wanted to sleep. And quit my job. :) Post wedding blues are a thing, man.

          • SarahG

            Yes! Thank you both. Wedding is just kind of taking over, and not in a fun way (mostly). I would love to come up with a more stimulating over-dinner topic than “your mom’s friend RSVPed no, can you let her know?” but for the love of Zeus my brain, it is mush. Never mind the rest of me.

    • pajamafishadventures

      Not married yet, but Man and I have moved three times in the past 8 months (Cross-country AND in with my parents) and by the time we settled into our current place I simultaneously wanted someone else to do all the unpacking and also to never see or speak to another person (even Man) ever again. It’s a special kind of hell and a special kind of stress. While I hate making generalizations about other peoples’ relationships, getting settled in may not be a cure-all for stress but then sense of peace that follows is great.

      • lottie

        Yeah just wanted to chime in on the moving-is-really-hard-so-give-yourself-a-break train. I recently moved and was being really hard on myself for not getting more done, but damn, it’s tiring. Even when you hire people to do the literal heavy lifting, the unpacking is all yours and can go on forever. It’s just not pleasant, even if you like your new space. So, yeah, don’t deny the role moving stress plays.

      • ruth

        Thanks! It’s true, moving is so much more stressful than I think the culture gives it credit for, and I’ve been downplaying that. Even when you only move like 40 minutes away – it still messes with everything. So thank you; it’s a good reminder that life will not always be this insane.

        • JDrives

          I keep hearing that moving is a top 3 life stressor along with divorce and death of a loved one. Having trouble nailing down a source but man, having just moved, it sure does ring of truth!

          • Violet

            Yeah, it ranks lower when you take into account unplanned life events (typically losses, but include incarceration and being laid off/fired), but as for pre-planned life events, it is WAY up there! (Plus, there are many ways to measure stress, so I’m sure there is a study out there that found it third; the Holmes and Rahe body of work is just one of the more well-known ones.) Everyone who is moving deserves some major compassion!
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmes_and_Rahe_stress_scale

        • Violet

          Seriously, moving is so disruptive, if you possibly can, give yourselves a little grace during this time.

      • Class of 1980

        Currently in the process of moving and it sucks. Oh God, the alternating states of panic and elation are hard to manage.

        And it’s exhausting trying to talk myself out of a melt down all the time.

  • Lauren

    Anyone else having problems with the Pinterest box cutting off the captions?

    • Lauren

      Just solved my own problem, which had to happen instantly after pressing post ;)

  • Alexa

    I recently started a tumblr about this, actually. Based on several APW posts and my own response to my wedding pictures, I was getting SO frustrated with how things appeared on social media and how life really is. I actually just started it the other day so there are limited posts, but here it is if anyone wants to check it out: http://theantiinstalife.tumblr.com/

    • Lauren from NH

      I know that feeling. It felt like a lot of pressure after college to have made it. Even now I can get a little blue when the school year starts and ends because I get thinking about what my peers have accomplished (some who have gone on to grad school) in the passing year compared with my life. I see photos of their weddings, travel, posts about studying for this or that and it can get in your head a little. I think it connects back really well to the post on contentment and settling from last week. When this feeling of inadequacy creeps in I try to redirect and congratulate myself on all of the accomplishments, large and small, personal and professional, that I have made. It adds up to a lot when you are willing to give yourself credit for all the personal growth and little steps to adulthood.

      And to circle back to your point about perfect staged photos, I think we need to celebrate the mundane and the mess more. Not blog chic mess, true mess and not judge ourselves for not really giving two fucks about cleaning it up. I really want to throw away and shake off value systems that devalue us. I want to embrace the stretch marks, the scratches on the kitchen table, the burnt bacon, the broken nails, and the occasional unkind word. I think we are wasting more time than ever in self judgement and pursuit of perfection, when in reality most of the moments when I have been the most perfectly happy were hardly picture perfect at all. And when you look back at old photos you aren’t looking for beauty or perfection, you are looking for connection, for happiness. So I really want to waste less time on perfection and “waste” more time on joy, in the moment, unconscious joy.

      (Wow my thoughts really ran away with me there.)

      • Alexa

        I really appreciate both your points. Its SO important to keep your head on your shoulders and everything in context when looking at people’s photos online. Someone may be traveling to an exotic location, but that doesn’t mean that their lives are perfect right now.

        Celebrating the mundane and even the not so great is important. That is what makes up the majority of life, and if we can only celebrate the sporadic moments in between, I think we’re bound to be disappointed with our lives. Also, great things can lead from the mundane or the not special. I met my husband after being ditched by friends at a party, while he was standing in front of a water fountain. The entire night was shitty/mundane/not Facebook worthy, but it still lead to amazing things.

    • http://thesixthletter.wordpress.com/ Liz

      Really loving this tumblr – thanks for putting it together. I’ve been wanting to do the same thing for awhile actually!!

      I feel like bloggers get it bad on both ends sometimes; when they present a “too perfect” life, they are blasted for not being real. When they are real, they are blasted for being “too messy” or “too emotional” or “too” whatever the case may be. It’s a tough balance and I appreciate those that try to present an accurate picture.

      • Alexa

        Thanks, I’m so glad you liked it! I had been wanting to do it forever, and finally pulled the trigger earlier this week. I don’t have a lot of experience with bloggers, but I can see how it would be a tough balance to reach.

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      I love your tumblr. What’s funny, I was doing my 28 days of selfies project and by the end, I was so tired of trying to make myself look presentable rather than imperfect. And with stopping that, I stopped posting to Instagram, stopped taking pictures of the real life and the filtered life, and stopped seeing life as worthy of taking pictures at all. Hmmm… I need to process that.
      Earlier I wanted to take a picture of my sandwich, because it was so good, and I talked myself out of it because how stupid. But I guess, it wasn’t stupid to me, no matter how imperfectly staged, so why not love it.

      • Alexa

        I’m so glad you liked it! If you have pictures that you think would work, please send them to me!

        I’ve become so frustrated by how I value pictures as facebook worthy or not that I’ve come close to wanting to shut down my Facebook account, or am self-conscience if a picture will get enough likes that I won’t post it. I still have a tendency to post “perfect pictures” on Facebook or Instagram, but I’m trying to be better about it.

        • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

          I don’t even do facebook. Instagram is separate enough from people I actually know that it feels like a semi-safe space. Is it odd that I feel safer with internet strangers than people I know?

          • Alexa

            Haha I don’t think it’s odd. There’s a sort of safety in anonymity.

          • Kara

            I definitely don’t think it’s odd! I’ve never joined facebook, twitter, or anything else like social media…nor will I. However, I have no qualms about commenting here!

  • msditz

    What a wonderful way to start my day-to-day slog! I really appreciate the idea of us being “we are more alike in the minutiae of our daily lives than we are different.” I have a 4 month old and am the first of my friends to have a kid and I can get stuck in thinking that my life is so drastically different than everyone around me and feeling like an outsider, but seeing these photos and reading this post reminds me that everyone has a day to get through — with a 4 month old, a 2 year old, teenagers, a husband, a wife, a cat, whatever! We all have breakfast and lunch and meetings and all of that. I am not alone :-)

    • Meg Keene

      Nope. I’d like to see your day. Not too many of my friends have kids either.

      • msditz

        I so love this idea becoming a real thing on APW! The lives of other people are so interesting to me (in a more This American Life way, not so much a Kardashian way). I would love to see other people’s lives and am totally down to share mine! Although I think I would love to document a day that I work, since I teach 3rd grade part time. More people need to be aware of what teachers do all day (its not just recess and fingerpaint, people)

        • Meg Keene

          Like the working 12 hours a day plus nights plus standing all day part? I swear, teaching being so hard is part of why my mom had to retire on early disability. It’s HARDDDDDD. I would love to see that documented.

          • msditz

            Oh man when I went on maternity leave I took the entire month before my due date, and I can’t tell you how many people responded, “really?? the WHOLE month?” Ummmm…yeah! Its kind of hard to effectively talk to 7 year olds when you can’t bend over and your feet are swollen as all get out. Once the school year gets back into the swing of things I will be documenting the sh*t out of my day!

    • lottie

      It’s me and the dog right now, and I promise most of my day is spent sitting in front of the computer not getting enough done, interrupted by walking/feeding the dog, running errands, and occasionally exercising. The dog is definitely not a child, but the minutiae of my life is not exciting. And I am very guilty of lazy-girl dinner (see: a head of steamed broccoli or chips + guac (avocadoes are sort-of healthy, right?), or cereal or eggs or boring salad) because mustering the energy to cook a decent meal for just myself happens maybe twice a week. If I’m lucky. In a way it’s “easy” but it’s also less than ideal. Anyways, minutiae = meh.

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        avocados are totally healthy.

  • Eh

    “don’t get me started about how hard it is for men in America to get the flex time needed to keep a family running, and how that means women have to pick up the slack” – UGH

    My husband and I are talking about children but this part absolutely frustrates me. His job is a bit better (in some ways) than it was four months ago (when he was the only manager and his staff called him constantly when he wasn’t at work). But in the last four months he hasn’t had a weekend off or had two days off in a row, for that matter, without booking vacation (ridiculous new policy at work). This schedule is leading him to be constantly exhausted, he misses out on family events, and, since I work regular office hours, we rarely see each other (except after I get home on his days off, and in the mornings on weekends before he goes to work). I cringe to think of what it will be like when we have children.

    Meg has talked about balancing domestic labour in the past and that’s one of the things that has been great for our marriage. My husband does most of the cleaning and he cooks supper once a week (since he works mostly afternoons he’s usually not home for supper, except for on his days off). He is also in charge of paying and monitoring the utility bills (all the account and payment information is put into a spreadsheet we both have access to). I cook the rest of the time, I buy most of the food, I do most of the laundry, and I make sure the house is not a total mess (my husband cleans but he doesn’t tidy things or dust). Teaching him how to clean and giving up some of the tasks I was used to doing since I lived on my own for years has really helped balance the domestic labour.

    • Gina

      Oh girl, I feel you. My husband has a very similar schedule. I work more than full time, and I still work way less than him. It is truly hard to “balance” things at home when it’s like that.

      There is no easy way out. In my husband’s field, he would have to work 5-10 years to cut back to 50 hours a week. That’s not feasible for kids, so he is switching careers at the end of the month and taking a significant pay cut so we can have kids (even with daycare, it would have been impossible before). Oh yeah, and so we can have a normal marriage where we actually see each other. And that INFURIATES me, that he actually has to switch fields entirely in order to work a normal amount. But this is our only solution.

      • Eh

        My husband doesn’t work in the field he went to school for (a major local employer of people in his field went bankrupt so there is tons of experienced people without jobs so entry-level people are having a hard time getting in). If he was in that field his schedule would probably be better so his parents are always bugging him to find a job in his field (not to mention that he went to school for it, but before his most recent stint in college he actually went to school for what he is doing now). My husband is scheduled to work at least 44 hours a week with the expectation that he be constantly on-call and that he come in early or stay late (he doesn’t get as many calls as he used to but he has to come in early or stay late almost every day so he works well over 50 hours a week). All of his family lives in the town he grew up in (i.e., everyone can easily drop in and visit when ever they want) but we live an hour away. So between the distance and his schedule his parents feel that they never see him (he points out that he never sees me and we live together). Every time we make the effort to see them (just the way things worked out we have seen them the last two weekend) his mother always whines about how she never sees my husband (I make an effort to visit them when he’s not available because we were accused of excluding and avoiding the family). We found out on Saturday that his uncle is getting married in October. When we left Sunday his mother asked if the next time she would see my husband if it would be at his uncle’s wedding (ummm well he hasn’t even had a chance to book the day off yet so who knows if he can even go – and it’s two months away, we hope to see them before that as there are a couple of family events between now and then).

    • Meg Keene

      Just yeah, SUPPORT. Our situation is different, but I really feel you on the problems, and it’s just… it’s hard. I have friends who opted out of daycare by arranging their schedules so someone was always home with the baby, which basically meant they were always one on one with a tiny child, and almost never together and DEAR GOD, it would kill me. I think we all have to know our limits, and that is beyond what I could cope with and stay a nice person.

      • Eh

        We are planning on having our children in daycare but not full-time. If our children were in daycare full-time my husband would rarely see them (part-time daycare costs almost the same as full-time so this is not a cost savings measure). It’s a trade-off for us. We still won’t see much of each other, but at least we both get to see our children (we’ll see howthis works when we actually have children). It should be interesting though – since we live in Canada and we get a full year of maternity/parental leave my husband is going to take six months off work when we have kids (I’m taking the first six months and he’s taking the second six months).

  • Hannah B

    this has me seriously considering getting up at the same time as my husband just so I can eat breakfast with him. maybe I’ll start once we actually have a table to eat at together :)

    • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

      We don’t have a table, but we’ve been trying to do this for a few years. We have a little built in bar that divides our tiny kitchen from our living room, so we eat there or on our living room couch. Sometimes it’s easier than others, and there was a several month stretch where we rarely ate breakfast together. A big challenge is that I’m a night person and HATE getting up in the morning, and he’s an early riser, so I was constantly oversleeping and missing breakfast. But when we are able to make it work, it really makes a difference. It makes it feel like we are being intentionally connected, which changes my outlook during the day.

      • Hannah B

        I think you’re a ny-er too, right? Either which way, yeah, we currently eat on TV trays at the couch. Our latest radical move is to eat dinner on the couch, off the TV trays, but without turning on the TV during the meal. Not rocket science, but it makes a difference to simply eat together. I work a retail-esque job where I sometimes am not home for dinner, so I think adding breakfast might be a nice, intentionally-together thing to do, as you say, even though I , too, love sleeping in.

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

          We are NYCers, so space is limited. We prioritized working spaces over eating spaces, so we turned our unneeded second bedroom (optimistic real estate speak, since it’s fairly small and doesn’t have a closet) into our shared office space, and space to store DVDs, comic books, art books, and collectibles. We could have put a kitchen table there, but instead we eat at the bar or on the couch.

        • Meg Keene

          We ate breakfast together in NY. We lived a few blocks away, but I was at his place about 65% of the time. We had a table shoved into the corner of the living room. Farther out in Brooklyn, so our space was all lux like that ;)

          • M.

            Hello from my tiny dining table shoved into a corner of my Brooklyn living room!

            I always try to get up with my husband, make breakfast while he showers, hang out a bit, and then go back to sleep when he goes to work (I work from home), or get my day started and nap later. The breakfast time is key, or else we both feel all off that we haven’t seen each other til 7pm.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        Dammit, now I want to start. Except Michael leaves for work at 6:30 in the morning… ZzZzZz

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

          Maybe I’m just biased because we had breakfast together for the first time in ages, and it was so nice. I am the WORST person to get out of bed a on a normal day. (When I was a teenager, my dad used to throw water on me in the morning to wake me up. And not small amounts.I did not improve with age in that respect.) But on the occasion that I get up a little earlier, shake off the morning confusion/misplaced anger, and sit down for a shared meal, it does make the day nicer.

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

            We tend to eat some form of breakfast together, too. I like to make muffins or quickbreads at the start of the week so we have something to grab and eat while we catch up on the news online or discuss what is happening during the day.

          • Breakfast!

            I’m so envious of these kinds of posts- in our house these kinds of mornings just don’t happen. He wakes up, rolls into the shower and out the door. I’m working on conversations about how we might change things, but it’s really hard. His morning routine didn’t really change when we moved in together. I thought it was frustrating, but didn’t really know how to address it. It’s been two years and my morning routine now mirrors his. I’d like things to be different, but sometimes he doesn’t get home until 10 pm, so it’s really hard to get into a routine. But, we’re taking baby steps and hopefully one day we’ll get there.

          • KC

            I’d note briefly that some people are just Not Morning People; some period of time after they wake up merely exists for functional purposes and for them to exist through, and then their brain and social side wakes up later. (I am one of these, generally – trying to get me to be social and cheerful within a certain time of wake-up is just not going to happen; it isn’t. Leave me alone while my engine chug-chug-sputter-chugs its way awake.) So, if morning “togetherness” is not a thing, see if there’s a different piece of time you can carve out, or some extremely small ritual you can add to your mornings (that doesn’t require a brain), or a long-distance lunchtime text meetup, or some weekendy thing, or whatever your creativity can come up with and your schedules (both functional schedules and “emotional” schedules) can work with.

            Anyway, your relationship is not Doomed if you never eat breakfast together. :-)

          • joanna b.n.

            Yes, we are in this boat. We have learned that it is actually better if we DON’T try to have breakfast together, because it breaks his work stride from getting going, and I end up wanting to talk talk talk and he’s all “where am I? who are you? why are there so many words?” which too many times ended in meltdowns, which is no way to start the day. so. We skip breakfast together and do many many other things together. But it’s super fun to see pictures of what others do who are both moderately awake at the breakfast hour!!!

          • KC

            Yesss. “Why are there so many words?”

            We ran into difficulty in the first couple of years of our marriage because I tend to talk last thing before falling asleep (getting the “stack” of what’s in my head off and out so there’s quiet in there), and my husband has already turned off his brain. So if I mention “and so and so invited us to such and such next week” and he says “oh, sure”, he *will not remember anything about it* the next day. It took us a little while to figure out what was going on (because he just has no memory of this), but… yeah. You learn. You grow. You work at it and figure out what works in each “season”. It works.

          • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

            Also in this boat. We’re only semi-morning people, and then neither of us is particularly good at eating breakfast. (I should maybe eat breakfast, but I don’t. Never really have.)

            But we make a point of sitting down at the table for dinner, and/or cooking together. It’s not every night, but it’s most of them. That’s our togetherness ritual. And just-got-home-from-work cuddling.

            What *is* really nice is that I deal with the dog/make the coffee on weekday mornings, and then Bryan pays me back by doing it on the weekends and letting me sleep in until 9. :D

          • MC

            Ha! Fiance and I do eat breakfast together almost every day, but I am way more of a morning person than he is, and I have learned to be silent for the first 10-15 minutes he is awake, or else he tends to look at me and say, “WHY are you talking so much??” It is much easier to give him a lil’ grace period before I start telling him all the details of my most vivid dreams.

          • Breakfast!

            Thanks KC. All good points. No, I agree with you, I don’t think our relationship is doomed by any means.But look at them sitting at the table with coffee and newspapers! Grown-ups! I want to be a grown up! (Sometimes…I also don’t want to do the dishes.) It’s just kind of an ironic outcome because the point of the post is – Look, this shit takes work to pull off! And yet, Meg and David have managed to make it look so effortless.

          • Alison O

            I literally sleep sometimes for 5-6 hours after my partner has gotten up. I almost always sleep at least 2 hours later than he. And I don’t wake up when he gets up or makes various getting ready/leaving noises. Granted, he has a long-ish commute and his job is on the early side, and I don’t work right now and sleep quite late because….I’m a night owl, and I can. :)

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

            It took us until last year to get into this routine, until then I would eat breakfast after he left for work due to weird schedule stuff on our part and my husband wasn’t a breakfast eater. It took a bit of effort to make breakfast happen (and a few trips to the coffee shop with the good pastries) but we do breakfast together 4 of the 7 days per week or so.

        • Meg Keene

          David got up with me when I left for work at 6:30 (or 7? My hours were 6-6, and then… 7:30-2:30 I think. Which was PERFECT for building a business because I worked for me 3:30-7:30). However. Our rule is we always go to bed at the same time too. It’s pretty hard and fast. Read in bed, go to bed together. If you don’t do that, it’s nearly impossible to wake up at the same time.

    • Lauren from NH

      My student boss as an RA in college told me his family always had real breakfast together, like pancakes and eggs real breakfast. It sounds wonderful but establishing that routine would be wicked challenging since my pillow is very persuasive.

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      One of the things I treasure most is having coffee with my husband in the morning. Often times we don’t even talk very much, but it is still the best time of my day.

      • Hannah B

        i got up this morning and had coffee and made breakfast! it was nice. we talked too much and he’s now ten minutes behind, but it was a nice way to start the day. we’ll see how I feel at the end of the day! :)

    • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

      I think reading about the family breakfasts was my favorite part of this post! Eric and I get up at the same time each day even though I don’t have to be to work until like 90 minutes later than he does. And we get up earlier than we need to do so we have time to make breakfast, watch some of the Today Show, and just kind of putter around. I love it SO MUCH. Breakfasts and mornings FTW!

  • Erin

    Maddie – these photos are great! I especially love the under the table photo centered on the baby’s feet. I think there’s something really poignant there that I don’t quite have the words for because I need to get back to work. But I love APW and think you, Meg, the rest of the staff and interns (not to mention the feedback in the comments section – Hello!) provide daily inspiration and wonderful thoughts to ponder. Thanks for the behind scene look at all the hard work involved.
    And Meg, when are you going to write a book about starting/running your own business?

    • Meg Keene

      One day I think! I’ve been thinking about it recently.

      • KC

        Please do! I recommend “The Boss of You” to basically all my friends looking to start a business (it was helpful to me – especially helpful for the section that boils down to “Charge what you’re worth, already! C’mon.”), but I’d really like more out there to send people to…

        • Meg Keene

          I read a few books before I (ha, I almost wrote graduated. I meant quit my corporate job). And I found a lot of them REALLY unhelpful. Lots of them were 90% about finding a good idea. And as I said to David while throwing the book across the room “If you don’t have an idea already for a business, it’s pretty hard to talk about having a business.” IE, you can’t really help someone think up a good IDEA, I want a conversation about actually working for yourself or running a company. (#girlboss, btw, was great. Not what I would write exactly, but just super great.)

          • KC

            I’ll have to read #girlboss. (It, um, wasn’t out yet when I was starting my business; The Boss of You came out as I was transitioning from basically being a single-big-client freelancer working for people I’d already known to actually negotiating things with people who were not so much interested in my best interests) (true story: my first freelancing gig [with the people I already knew] took about 1/10 as much time to do as they had estimated [which is not normal, by the way; in my field, about 90% of the time, things take longer than estimated... or *way* longer than estimated]. I reported this “oops, finished it too fast” with the assumption that we’d reduce the lump-sum payment for the work… and they responded with “eh, I’m sure you have some startup costs; it’s worth it to us to have you working for us.” Most negotiations do not go that way!)

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        You know we’ll rock that to the top of the best sellers list too, right?

  • honeycomehome

    The only thing harder than men getting flex time, is women getting it.

    It might not seem that way in your situation, Meg, since you are able to be more flexible with an online business you run yourself and law is a notoriously rigid and family-punishing field. And of course America is horrible about flex time or family balance, over all. But I don’t think it is actually true that it’s worse for men than women.

    • WTF?

      Yup, new research shows that it is easier for men:

      http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/19/flextime-men-women.html

      Not that this is a less sexist situation to be in…

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah, that’s awful and not surprising.

    • Meg Keene

      It may actually depend on the profession. AKA, I think this has more to do with the profession David’s in than anything, he already technically has a flex schedule if he gets his hours in. But it’s harder for men to be looked at partner track if they’re working from home, etc.

      • WTF?

        But is it harder for men to be looked at partner track if they work from home than it is for women? I seriously doubt it. I think either a man or a woman who is looking to go partner track gives up flexibility and time at home. The only difference is probably that a woman who has a kid may have already been bumped from the partner track whether or not she requests a more flexible schedule.

        • Meg Keene

          I don’t think this is a point worth getting in a argument about, frankly. That’s our experience and it might not be yours and that’s fine. Blessedly, where David works there are tons of female partners and associates with kids, and they’re all taken perfectly seriously. He’s lucky to have a great job after graduating into a really shitty economy, and we’re grateful for it every day. But that doesn’t mean that he always has the flex time that’s helpful to family. We live in a VERY work driven culture, and that can be really hard on families of all sorts, and just humans of all sorts.

          Again, it’s just not something I want to have an argument about. Experiences on this sort of thing really differ, not all jobs all the same, not all careers are the same, not all firms are the same, not all bosses are the same, the way different people experience things are not the same, it’s not worth fighting about. At the end of the day the work culture in America is pretty troubled, from the way I look at it. But I’m not interested in arguing over the minuta.

          • WTF?

            I’m not interested in arguing either, but I am interested in discussing it because it’s an important issue. And I certainly don’t dispute the particulars of your experience, but your statement in the post — “Don’t get me started about how hard it is for men in America to get the flex time needed to keep a family running, and how that means women have to pick up the slack” — made is sound like you were making a more general statement about our society than talking specifically about your family.

            In any case, I agree that work culture in this country is thoroughly fucked. Before I had a kid, I had an 100-hr work week job and alternately loved and hated it. Now I have a 45-hr work week and I am bored bored bored at work. Most of my coworkers stay later than me, and maybe they are less bored because they get more interesting work. I don’t know if that is fair or not — I would probably be kinda pissed if I was in their place and the person that left earlier than me got the more interesting stuff. It just gets back to the old situation that, regardless of gender, we make choices about our time and jobs and families, and whatever those choices are, we should own them.

          • Meg Keene

            I agree to a point. But the point I don’t agree on is that we just have to own things because that’s how it is by default. I think it’s AWFUL that we’re in a work culture that you get less interesting work because you work 45 hours a week. 45 hours a week is the norm in SO MANY countries. 100 hour works weeks are pretty inhumane, and the fact that’s what’s considered “what it takes” in a lot of jobs is awful.

            As for men having flex time issues, I don’t think that’s only specific to us. I know plenty of people with similar issues. That said, that doesn’t preclude flex time being a huge issue (or statistically a bigger issue) for women. There are still plenty of men in that other huge not quite majority percent struggling. Also, this is one of the things that pushes women out of the workforce, which is another HUGE issue, one we’ve discussed before here, and will discuss for forever. But we mostly do discuss women and work issues here (and hell, in pop culture) and I’m finding that men have some MASSIVE issues that are being ignored, because they’re maybe not as big as the issues women are experiencing. I think in general, till men have more flexibility to support, women are going to be held back too.

            Those are my most broad strokes thoughts on the big picture issue, but you know, it’s super complex.

          • WTF?

            I say we should own them because we are all working under the same constraints of a shitty work culture and — as ever — your personal choices on how to deal with that are yours to make, but they don’t happen in a vacuum and they affect the shape of that society. To be specific, what if every partner-track attorney at David’s firm said, “Hey — fuck this! I’m smart and good at my job and I’m going to spend the hours between 9am and 5pm being smart and good at it and that is all.” Would none of them make partner? Now obviously that is not going to happen, but someone needs to be the person that tries that first if things are ever are going to change (although I would recommend different wording to anyone that wants to try it).

            Also, this is absolutely not a judgment on NOT staging that protest, because there are all kinds of good reasons not to. But at minimum, I think we should understand when we are playing into a system that we think is fucked.

          • lottie

            I’ve definitely seen the challenge of men getting flex time play out among my friends with kids, and the ways that ultimately burdens women. I think it’s fair to ask whether it’s the specific workplace (that is, would everyone there have difficulty getting flex time or just one gender) making it more difficult or not.

            Either way, I wish there was a way to have a conversation about work culture that let everyone express their frustrations and then let everyone work together to find solutions that work for the people involved. Because one size fits all solutions don’t work everywhere. I mean, no hospital or newspaper can run without people on the night shift/night desk and no school or bakery can run without people there early in the morning and no grocery store is going to survive without multiple shifts, so the way to make those spaces more equitable are not the same as the way to make a bank or government office or a university more equitable. And I think we need to be able to have frank discussions about the ways burdens are distributed — what is the best way to create good maternity/paternity leave policies without dumping the work on everyone else (at the very least, it seems to me one solution is to hire more people so the work is spread around!) because that’s a surefire way to create resentment. And what are the best ways to make sure everyone is pulling their weight and getting equally boring and equally interesting projects to do? To me these are the types of fundamental questions that have to be addressed before we can build a better work culture that benefits everyone.

          • Alyssa M

            Your post really made me think about what our situation will be if I keep this job after having kids. And that whole, it depends on industry/workplace, thing really fits. Because my experiences have always been similar to Meg’s. But that was because most of the mother’s in my life were teachers or SAHMs or worked from home. They often chose those careers and took pay cuts just FOR the flexibility.

            I’m one of those essential to the business running night shift employees. I don’t have really any flex time at all. It takes a serious emergency and waking my boss up to come in and cover for me to leave (it’s happened once in three years) My partner on the other hand works an 8-5 professional job with “family” sick leave actually intended for things like taking your kid to the doctor and the ability to occasionally work from home in case childcare falls through or your kid is sick.

            It’s pretty shocking for me to realize this… because it’s so outside of my experience…

        • Alison O

          Yeah, I think that last sentence is onto something.

          • Meg Keene

            I actually think that’s why it’s important to talk about (IE, that’s why I called it out in the piece). We have two options, to be like “Well, I guess this is what we signed up for, because this is what it means to be employed in X field in America and want to do a good job, so I’m not even going to mention that the system is rigged.” Or being like “Hey, the system is fucking rigged.”

            Because I think a lot of us know perfectly well we are playing into a system that’s fucked, but reality is reality, and we often don’t have a shit ton of options. Opting out is great in theory (and some people are good at it in practice, bless them). But for the majority of people, bills have to be paid, and you do actually want to do well at whatever you do, and you get the job you get (often “buying into the system” just means a more ideal job isn’t on offer, or you have to pay your huge student loans, or fill in the blank), and you have to play by the rules. Deciding you’re going to opt out of the rules just gets you fired, most of the time. That’s HOW the game is rigged.

            AKA, I don’t think we can blame workers for buying into a system that they think is fucked. To me this becomes a hell of a lot clearer when you look at people who aren’t, say, lawyers. Migrant farm workers know the system they’re in is fucked, but most of them don’t have the option to stage some sort of protest. We don’t have to urge them to just accept responsibility for buying into a fucked system. You can’t always change a system. You can’t always stage a protest that looses you your job. You can’t always make a statement that means you don’t move ahead. But you can at least, be willing to point out that the game is rigged, and to think about that, and to try to figure out what a realistic solution might be.

          • Alison O

            Yeah, the main line of thought that came out of this particular thread of discussion for me was around the dynamics of privilege in all of this. The privilege to be able to opt out. The privilege to be able to speak up, whether by virtue of being in a job or field that won’t punish you for it, or because you have the privilege to be able to risk your job, reputation, what have you. I think it’s really important for the people who have those privileges to be vocal because they’re the ones that can. That is not to say that someone with that privilege will necessarily be able to speak accurately on behalf of or in the deepest interests of people with less because of their own cultural blind spots and whatnot–that is to say, I think the least empowered people should be given the platform to drive change for themselves whenever possible–but the burden of sticking one’s neck out should not rest with the people who have the most to lose, and certainly victim blaming helps nothing.

          • Meg Keene

            Yeah. I think that’s exactly right. That’s also one of the reasons I feel like we should be having the conversation on APW, where we’re not going to lose jobs.

            Lower level professional employees who need jobs clearly have plenty of privilege, but really may not have the privilege to speak up/ threaten their employment/ career, etc. (When I was working 12 hour days at the investment bank, if I’d said anything about it I would have been fired, and I was supporting two people so that was not an option. Continuing in a shitty system was my only option with a massive recession and no other jobs.) Also, often the problems are actually small issues that turn into big hurdles. IE, the way men talk to each other in professional settings creates posturing issues (you must appear to be a particular thing to get advanced). That’s not something you want to lose a job over, but a conversation we should all be having.

    • jashshea

      “The authors also imply an absence of trust between managers and women requesting flexibility. Because the female gender is associated so strongly with family care, even ambitious women seeking flex-time to advance their careers are suspected of hiding the true reason for the request or deemed less deserving of development opportunities because they might later choose to work fewer hours or opt out. ”

      ARRRRGGGH. I want to punch a wall.

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah. Right. GROSS. The whole thing is gross.

        The flip side of sexism for men is also gross. Sexism is just SO FUCKING BAD for everybody, at the end of the day.

  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    Maddie, can you just come to New York and photograph my life sometime? That would be the best thing in the universe.

    • Lauren from NH

      Umm if she’s coming to the East Coast it had better be because she is coming to DC to photograph my little family in our adorable (read tiny) apartment. Really Maddie, your work is amazing, so much beautiful human imperfection in your photos.

      • http://TxtingMrDarcy.wordpress.com/ Brooke

        I will volunteer to be the stop in the middle in the podunk small-town in PA. There are cows. ;-)

        • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

          Maddie’s Day In The Life World Tour, dates TBD

          ;)

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            I’m in. ;)

          • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

            Just sayin, I make a mean pumpkin cheesecake, and Chris makes a damn good eggplant parm (his grandfather owned an Italian restaurant for years). For when you need to fuel up after your world tour.

          • Meg Keene

            Maddie’s going to be TIRED.

  • H

    Yay! I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that your work day involves you at home in your dining room. As I work at home in my dining room this afternoon, I’ll be clinking boss-mugs with you in my mind.

    • Meg Keene

      Clink! All day.

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

    My “office” is a nook in our dining room, so I like knowing yours is in your kitchen. I can be in with my spouse when he has work to bring home, or with the cats when Allen is traveling (which works, mostly, but two of them like to sit on the keyboard, which makes some things difficult), and it keeps me from isolating myself when I have things I need to work on at night, or before going to work in the morning.

  • JDrives

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Meg. I feel privileged to get a peek into your daily life. And great job on the photos, Maddie!

  • pajamafishadventures

    Already bought my Blurb book (ok well three): two FB albums with travel photos and a Christmas present for my mom of recent family/vacation photos and as someone who is frequently stumped by the internet I just want to assure anyone with reservations that their software is SO EASY. When you make a FB album they IMPORT YOUR COMMENTS.
    Do not fear Blurb, Blurb is actually your friend.

    • honeycomehome

      They do? That’s kind of cool! I’d love to see how that looks formatted out. (I poked around the website but didn’t see how it worked.)

      • pajamafishadventures

        When I get the books I’ll try to remember to post some pictures of what the finish product looks like in one of the open threads!

      • Meg Keene

        Here is my Instagram Blurb book, which I didn’t have a chance to shoot for the last post, because it came a little late. It’s actually by FAR my favorite of the books I made, because it just captures the day to day of our lives the best. It doesn’t have captions, but it uses more the same program as the FB books. I did this in softcover, and it cost $32. Boom.

        • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

          I love it!

    • http://TxtingMrDarcy.wordpress.com/ Brooke

      THIS is super intriguing to me! We still haven’t put together our photobooks of our honeymoon and recent trip to Scotland because I can’t get myself to sit in front of the computer for long enough to agonize about them.. I get half done and then overwhelmed by the prospect of having another 300 photos to sort through.

      • pajamafishadventures

        Yeah, I’m not the best photographer so it was pretty easy picking which photos to use but I almost didn’t go through with it because I didn’t want to dig around trying to find out the captions for places (especially the pictures for a 2008 trip to Russia… like I remember the names of all the random churches!) so it was super comforting that Blurb just kinda assigned everything a page and transferred my captions. I can’t wait to make more!

        • Meg Keene

          Yeah, I really liked that when I did my IG book. I was like… OK AND DONE. I went through and deleted a few things, and then it was over.

      • Meg Keene

        HONEYMOON IN SCOTLAND! Yeah, make a photo book of that. You’ll want it later. Maybe I’ll go get my honeymoon in Scotland album right now and look at it.

        The problem is, if you don’t do it now, when will you do it? And then you end up with digital photos rotting away and corrupting on your hard drive, and later you want them and can’t even find them and DON’T BE LIKE ME. The photos of my 20s are a cautionary tale.

      • Ally

        OMG you guys! Thank you for the first anniversary “paper” gift idea!!! Genius.

        • Meg Keene

          Oh yeah! And album was totally my paper gift to David.

  • Bets

    Beautiful photo essay! And I’ve used Blurb often for gifts and portfolios, they’re great.

  • Grace from England

    I love this. Since my most recent life setback (having to retake my final year of medical school – ugh) I’ve been trying to appreciate the day-to-day more. A cup of tea with my partner in the evening as we sit and watch netflix, the bedtime snuggle, even having a damn shower. It’s so easy to get sucked into the glamour of Pinterest and forget to really enjoy simple pleasures. It’s also great to see real women juggle their small pleasures with their work.

    I’d really love to see one of these for each of the APW team!

    • Meg Keene

      Our goal was to do one for everyone in the team, and that proved… harder than expected. (I mean, the rest were self documenting, we’re not crazy, but even still.)

  • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

    Love this! I find that I am drawn more and more to photo sessions that are “day in the life” like this, in the home, just people doing their thing in their normal way, photographed beautifully. Sometimes I think about how I would love to have more of a day in the life record of my days in high school, in college, when I first moved in with my now husband, etc. How amazing will it be to look back on these one day with your grown child(ren)?!

    • Meg Keene

      HIGH SCHOOL. YES.

    • Alison O

      For a year or two in high school I recorded the highlights of my day on a calendar every single day. Anything that wasn’t taken for granted (e.g. “went to school”). I haven’t looked at it in a long time, but for years after I could look back at a given day and remember it vividly just thanks to the brief timeline. Of course, with the hormones coursing through one’s veins, a lot of boring normal stuff for high schoolers is SO EXCITING AND VIVID AND THAT IS WHY WE HAVE TO TALK SO LOUDLY ALL THE TIME.

      ETA: and I could regain a little bit of that vivid living feeling reading the calendar :)

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah, I have all the journals too.

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        In a particularly dramatic display of teenage emotion, after a particularly dramatic breakup (which was filled with it’s own dramatic teenage moments), I BURNED my journals! And many letters and cards. In a bonfire in my backyard! I regretted it at the time because my mom grounded me for the potential fire hazard. (My dad is an ex volunteer fire fighter, so no one in my family takes such things lightly.) I regret it now because all that beautiful, exaggerated, dramatic teen angst is gone forever!

        I had a wonderful English teacher in high school who had all the seniors write letters to our future selves, and she promised to give them all to us at our high school reunion. I don’t necessarily want to go to my reunion, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to read that letter. The person who wrote it is the complete opposite of who I am now in so many ways, and it will be so interesting to hear from her.

        • Alison O

          Oh man, bummer not to have access to the journals now, but also, I feel like you achieved the platonic form of beautiful teen angst with that bonfire. And then the juxtaposition of your inner drama with the very mundane, practical, dorky reason your parents grounded you for it. What does a distraught romantic soul care for preserving worldly possessions like…anything flammable?? The details of the day to day of your adolescence may be gone, but all the essentials are encapsulated perfectly right here.

  • Jessica

    This morning I read the 3rd paragraph out loud to my friend who is staying with me and we were both really moved. Thank you for having this important perspective–I love APW’s thoughtfulness on issues like wedding vs/and marriage. I doubt there would be another wedding website I would visit so much after the wedding was already planned!

  • Lacey Williams

    I’m doing this @lacey_will on Instagram today if anyone wants to see. I work from home full time with two cats while my husband goes to school. We’ve been married 4 months and moved across the country 2 months ago, so our daily married life is a lot different than our daily engaged life (when we both worked out of the home in another city). The #DayInTheLife hashtag is a popular hashtag, but I’m not seeing a lot of other users tagging APW or Blurb, so I’m not sure if anyone else is doing this!

  • phdiva

    There are too many fantastic things to say about this. Can there be a DayInTheLife series from people of many life/career stages?? There’s such a need for this type of honest daily break-down from admirable ladies!

    • Meg Keene

      I REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT THIS TO BE A THING. By the way ;) After we did it, just because of where I am in my life, I wanted to see it from about a zillion mothers. I’m starting to realize that the media presents a pretty homogenized image of motherhood, one I don’t often feel like I fit into, but (half? most?) of the adult women in the world are mothers, so there is infinite variety, but we’re all tied to the same stuff. Feeding our kids, feeding ourselves, etc, etc.

      But I agree, I also want to see it from women in all life and career stages, and honestly that would fit in our APW content. The trick is, there needs to be a way to self document. Doing this with Maddie was exhausting (for everyone) and would be ungodly expensive to try to replicate a bunch of times. Paying a photographer for 12 hours plus editing? Aiyiyi. Apparently she shot MORE than she does at a wedding.

      So, anyway. Totally into peoples thoughts on how to make this a thing in any sort of sustainable way.

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

        I know there are self-timer apps for the iPhone that could probably come in handy for this sort of documentation – and maybe one of those mini tripod thingies? I like doing day in the life from personal POVs but there is so much behind the camera it doesn’t show so figuring out how this would work for anyone without necessarily having to hire a photographer would be awesome. :-)

        • Victwa

          Yeesss. However, it’s really quite difficult to take a timed shot while driving kids to daycare/school. :-)

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

            Oh yes, I agree. :-)

          • Meg Keene

            Ha. Though as we learned doing this, the picture that tells the story isn’t always the action shot. We did that intentionally, because I like to give my kid some privacy, but it’s not like I’m the only person who wants to give their kids or family privacy on the internet, so I’m sure lots of people would do it that way too. Anyway, the photo of the art at daycare drop off tells as much of a story as driving. More, really. I had a driving photo and I cut it, because it was boring.

          • Victwa

            Weeelllll, but I think that’s kind of the point if someone (ok, me) is trying to portray life as it is, right? I mean, my comment was joking because personally, trying to set up a timer while driving sounds more dangerous than texting, but here’s a fact of my life as a working mom/stepmom/partner/wife/whatehaveyou– pickup and drop offs are a BIG part of the fabric of our family’s lives. Yesterday I was going to have a nice 20 minutes to journal to myself, perhaps even meditate for 5 minutes, when my husband called because he had gotten stuck in traffic. So then I went to pick up the younger two kiddos. No journaling, no meditation. But I talked about the 2nd day of school with the 3rd grader. And then we picked up the two year old, and talked in the car on the way home about eating goldfish, and how we were going to eat chicken for dinner. Not interesting footage, but SO a part of what my life is. (And while I’m pretty happy with my life, lots of it is, as has been said before, NOT INTERESTING.)

          • Meg Keene

            Noooo, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I think all of that is really interesting. I mean, hi, what do you think my life looks like? THAT. That’s what’s interesting hearing about. What I meant is that YES, you can’t take a photo while you’re driving, but that PHOTO isn’t necessarily the most interesting way to tell the story anyway. The photo that might be more interesting is a picture of your third graders shoe in his car seat, or his goldfish. That photo is one you can self document, and it actually tell us a lot more about the story than a photo of driving might.

            Obviously as you can tell from this, pickups and drop offs are a big part of my life (I do all of them). I just didn’t use a photo of my hands on the steering wheel, I used one of daycare art, because it told more of MY story, just like a picture of goldfish might tell more of yours.

            I think the trick of these is to not pass judgement on whether or not our lives, or part of our lives, are interesting. What’s interesting is documenting them, and sharing them, and seeing how we’re alike and different.

          • Alison O

            Yeah, when I first started thinking about this idea after reading the earlier parts of the thread, I thought I’d do very, very few photos that showed *me* (logistics issues, privacy issues, etc.), although it is a good opportunity for an #apwselfiereprise here and there. I’d show things like a photo of strawberries and cinnamon-sugar toast as I eat my fifth piece while I procrastinate doing the things on my to do list like making my dollar-cost-averaging ROTH investment automatic so I don’t forget every single month, etc.

            I think it would take concerted effort on the part of the documenter to take creative and beautiful shots (and on the part of editors to be discerning, as always)–otherwise yeah, you could end up with boring lives PLUS boring photos, which I think would be a no go. But I want a reason to take more photos, and this would be a good incentive. I’d probably mix up Instagram-y stuff with my DSLR.

            I sorta think it would be fun to get an “assignment” of times that I “check in” and take stock (and a photo) of what I’m doing at that point in the day. I think it would be an interesting exercise in finding the “moment” in any moment arbitrarily (that someone else has assigned or I’ve chosen randomly ahead of time somehow), rather than putting a lot of mental effort into identifying or creating the “best” or “right” or “most interesting/representative” moments to share.

            I agree, it’s not about the lives being interesting or not, it’s finding the interest in any life, both in the content itself and the variation in how people perceive and portray their lives.

            #apwDITL

          • Victwa

            Well, to be clear, I actually think not interesting is not bad. I mean, meditation is just sitting, with as few thoughts going through one’s head as possible. That sounds like it could be excessively uninteresting. And yet– it’s excruciatingly hard! (At least, for me, it is.) This is pretty much what I mean about life– breakfast, drop off, work, lunch, work, run, kid pickup, dinner, kid cleaning, kid bedtime, possible communication with partner, bed. Uninteresting and yet also excruciatingly difficult at times!

            A very good friend moved in with his long-time girlfriend after a long (years) time of long-distance relationship. He was shocked to discover that, in fact, living with someone could be boring. I am personally convinced that one of the things necessary in a long-term partnership/marriage is that you find someone you can do boring, uninteresting things with (like fold laundry) and be content.

          • Lauren from NH

            Totally the last part.

          • Alison O

            Yeah, my comments were in response to Meg’s comments alone, rather than on her comments as responses to your comments (i.e. mine didn’t have anything to do with your comments, just in case it felt like a critique somehow). But looking back at what you said above her response, it does spark some other thoughts. In some sense, your doing this very typical kid chauffeuring bc husband is tied up is seemingly not interesting, as opposed to, I’M A SNIPER AND I KILLED A DICTATOR TODAY (or I got a promotion, or finished a sewing project, etc., marginally ostensibly “interesting” stuff). What this line of thought leads me to, however, is that typical/usual/ordinary/common is not necessarily the enemy of interesting, and it’s all in the eye of the beholder anyway. I’m interested in family life, not so much violence and dictators. I would much rather watch your life on the news–no irony. Also one illustration of this is people tend to be interested in the boring shit their own kids/partners/etc. do, simply bc they are their people. e.g. Random child brushing his teeth–>not interesting. My toddler brushing his teeth–>so awesome! “Interesting” is inevitably a moving target.

            I can get a lot of interesting images in my head when I think of you leaving your house, putting down your notebook when you realize your personal time of journaling and meditation is lost, to go get your kids. I see an open notebook with the date and a cut-off sentence–>what happened at this moment/interruption? Or an image of a text message from husband saying he’s gonna be late. Or your kids thrilled face when she is surprised by you picking her up vs. dad. It’s actually a pretty meaty situation to me. The push and pull of competing commitments. The disappointment of loss of personal time potentially juxtaposed with the joy of seeing your kids though you weren’t planning on it at that time, etc. To me it’s like macro photography–if you zoom in close enough, basically anything can be interesting and/or beautiful.

            I meditate, too. I actually think it can be super interesting because you have the meta process of noting the thoughts that are swirling about on their own and then letting them go. And you have to avoid the rabbit hole of thoughts about those thoughts (“why am I thinking about XYZ??”). It’s stimulating in an uncommon way…the whole falling awake vs. falling asleep thing.

            And a final thought that occurs right now– just because I can make basically anything interesting by analyzing (English major problem I guess), I’m not trying to suggest it *feels* interesting or otherwise enriching, etc. in the moment, and is anything other than hard, like you say. But then what an interesting exercise to make yourself dig into these times and figure out how to share them with others, too.

          • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

            “it’s not about the lives being interesting or not, it’s finding the interest in any life,” EXACTLY!!!!

          • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

            I think it is interesting. I think this is the problem with having to self document, we don’t necessarily find our own lives interesting. Perhaps the only way around it is to take a bunch of pictures, interesting or not, and then have someone else determine what is actually interesting to readers/viewers.

          • Meg Keene

            Actually, having to go through the process of documenting made my own life… more interesting to me. Because I was like “Oh, this is what I do every day.” It really made you notice. Plus the idea of having it later to look back on (thanks Blurb) was really powerful to me. So often the shot I can’t stop staring at is some random test shot I took with our apartment as it was in one moment in 2009 in the background, not the pretty fancy shot I ended up taking. This lets me put basically a whole book of the first kind of image together, and if that’s not interesting to me in 10 years, I don’t know what will be.

          • KC

            Yes. An enormous amount of the time, the thing I find interesting much later is what is in the background of pictures, not the Main Thing the pictures are focused on. (exception for people photos sometimes, though.)

      • phdiva

        Agreed, the logistics of the photos will be a challenge. The series could rely on shots by non-professonal friends or relatives (e.g. taken on weekends and staged to accurately portray one’s weekday activities), which obviously loses something but may be a trade-off worth taking. The aesthetics of subsequent posts would likely pale in comparison to Maddie’s gorgeous shots!

      • Grace from England

        The photos are wonderful, but honestly the timeline and the text are, at least for me, a huge amount of the value. So maybe APW staff/readers/anyone could submit day-in-the life posts with their own selfies/amateur photographs with more of a focus on what they write about how their day looks than on the photographs, which I’m sure would still add value even though they may not be as beautiful as Maddie’s professional shots.

        • Meg Keene

          Oh yeah. I don’t actually think the beauty of the photos is really of particular value to the storytelling. I mean, it’s nice and stuff (thank you Maddie!) But I mostly just want to see what people’s lives and timelines look like, in a somewhat visual way. If people think they could self document (which is a little complex) maybe we should do it.

          • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

            For people interested, I’ll be trying it live(ish) via Instagram tomorrow: @you_love_lucy

            I already tend towards wordiness in my captions, so if I have enough to say (very likely) then I’ll probably format it into a post for my on blog later on, so it has a nice place to live on the internet.

          • Emily

            This might be the final straw that makes me get an IG account.

          • Stacey H.

            yeah…it might make me start to use mine.

          • Alison O

            If others who are less Instagram savvy, like I am… when I searched you_love_lucy I got two people (you_love_lucy and you_love_lucyy) that didn’t appear to be the right accounts. When I just searched “you love lucy”, I came across the right account, which shows up as youlovelucy to me (no spaces or underscores).

          • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

            That’s actually my bad. I forget that I have underscores in it only on Twitter. So it should be @youlovelucy :)

          • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

            NICE! Looking forward to it.

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          So I actually gave myself the challenge of self-documenting, and it turned out that it made the process really interesting for me. When documenting Meg, I was trying to think “How are we going to tell this story?” and also, “What kind of story are we even telling?” But ultimately the story is Meg’s, so my job was really just to take compelling photos and hope that they make you feel something when you read the captions.

          On the other hand, when I was documenting my own life, it was much more introspective, in that all I had to think was, “What do I want to say here? What’s the caption going to be?” Not that one method is better or worse, but just that they were different processes, and each one I think has its benefits and drawbacks.

          I mean, granted I have the benefit of being a pro photographer and having to do tell stories in photos all the time. BUT. I’m starting to think that NOT having a professional photographer around is actually kind of a cool element in doing this.

          I’m also playing along on my personal IG @eyesandhart. Though not necessarily live, because I wanted to do it on my fancy camera. :)

          (Oh and using my pro camera meant no front-facing images, which I think made the project even MORE interesting. 99% of the way I document my life right now is in front-facing selfies. Having to treat myself like a subject was a cool experiment.

      • http://www.meanestlook.com/ Sara Downey Robinson

        You should issue a challenge on Instagram of of the people you want to do it. Make it all hashtaggy / crossovery

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        This is a really, amazingly fantastic idea. I would love to see it. I volunteer to help get it off the ground too.

      • Caroline

        For self-documenting, is this something you would want to see submitted in a similar blurb book format? I’d be up for self-documenting, but probably not interested in instagramming it. I might do it with a private instagram though.

        • Meg Keene

          Totally.

      • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

        So, here’s an example of self-documenting that I really liked: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/02/real-life-wednesday-a-not-so-typical-day/

        I’ve also seen a blog post (that I cannot, for the life of me, find) where the person took a photo of her desk or like what was in front of her every hour at the same time for the day? I liked that too.

    • Emily

      I love this idea!

  • joanna b.n.

    Thank you, again, for opening up your life to us. I appreciate the risk you take in doing that, and (as you can see by other comments), we all benefit so much when you do.

  • Caitlin_DD

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Maddie, I so relate to you. I found this site at 21 as well, and it has shaped me as a feminist and a woman. I think many people owe a lot to Meg, so this is such a treat… to see that we aren’t missing the magic formula. It’s hard work.

  • http://underalteration.blogspot.co.uk/ elle

    I love this – all of it – so much. I hope there’s more of this to come on APW because it’s fascinating. And this photo essay in particular is beautiful. Great work, Maddie!

    But – Lisa’s amazing Boss necklace – where on earth can I get me one of those?!

    • Meg Keene

      I think it was… Forever 21.

  • Emilie

    Can I just second this: “Since I started reading APW at the ripe
    age of twenty-one, I’ve been using this site as a virtual big sister,
    helping me transition from one life stage to the next….”

    Just. Yes.

    • Caroline

      Indeed. I think I was 19 or 20… and I’ve definitely used it the same way (speaking now as a 24 year old married lady)

      • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

        hey me too! :)

  • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

    I love this photo essay. But I do think even my real life would look a lot prettier if I had Maddie taking pictures of it. Meg, your real life still looks awesome and lovely and amazing. Maybe it’s because I don’t sugarcoat the hard work involved in your success, but I love the insight anyway.

    • Meg Keene

      Your life would look LOVELY with Maddie taking the pictures, trust me.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        <3 <3 <3. Flatterers.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    I read this during nap #1 today. And then while we were crawling around on the floor (and queen sized air mattress I left up from our weekend guests because, hello, air mattress!) after lunch I was trying to figure out how to do it for my days. I already take at least one (ten) photos of my little one’s day every day, I’d just need to figure out how to expand the view and take them of the broader perspective. I might start by writing down a typical day so I know what shots I need to try to figure out how to get. My days all blur together right now but I’m sure some day I’ll look back and want to remember them in more detail.

    I think “Day in the Life” would be a great new series on APW. Sure a “day in the life” on a wedding day is a lot of fun, but doing it on a marriage day can have a lot of meaning too.

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    so jealous of that beautiful early bed time. our schedule is always changing, but im hoping when we have a baby that will make it a little more routine, but who knows. i have night classes two nights of the week and my wife gets home around 9 every other night. it makes it hard for us to be disciplined and get a good night’s sleep because our “us” hanging out/tv/nightcap time doesn’t start till way later.and then we have to get up early…

    • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

      AND i’m confused, is your office really in your house? for some reason i thought you had posted pictures of some cool room with exposed brick a lot that was part of the “APW office”?

  • Suzy

    This is amazing. Thank you! For all that you did to not glamorize your day but just let this post be a documentary. Real life is already sweet enough (moccasins under the table, awww).

    Posts like this are why I am still reading APW although I’m not the audience for wedding-related prettiness anymore (4th anniversary next week, woot!) You just won’t see this literally anywhere else.

  • Jennifer Geib

    LOVE this. Thanks for sharing, Meg – you always do a great job of reminding us that you’re a REAL person with real life challenges, like the rest of us (and sneaking in some biting, super-accurate social commentary at the same time – fabulous!) I keep coming back to APW even though I got married years ago because it’s one of the only places on the internet that when I read something I don’t feel like I’m not living up to some unspoken set of ideals – either insanely perfect or harried and frustrated…life, and parenting in particular, is so full of these gorgeous little moments in the middle of chaos, and we do what we need to just to make it all work for us.

  • Laura Bennett

    Thanks for saying that daycare is one of the best decisions you’ve made–it feels like our culture doesn’t encourage us to discuss daycare as anything other than a necessary evil. (Unless you want to sell it as “school” and an “educational experience.” Which I guess it is, but everything is for a baby–they haven’t seen much of the world.)

    Our 4 month old daughter started daycare a month ago, and I LOVE IT. She’s happy; I’m happy; my husband is happy. We could afford a nanny/stay at home parent/similar options if we chose to, but there are so many reasons I prefer the daycare situation. e.g., I have no desire to be an employer; I don’t know how to find someone I trust enough that I’d leave them alone with my kid for 40 hours a week with no one else supervising the situation; at daycare, I don’t have to worry about the nanny needing vacation time/calling in sick, etc. But we don’t have a cultural narrative which permits us to admit that every situation has its tradeoffs, and for some of us, daycare is the best choice (not an economic necessity).