ellie's The Mommy Diaries: Doing the Dang Thing

ellie presents: the mommy diaries Doing the Dang Thing by Dana Martin

Welcome to ellie’s The Mommy Diaries, where we hear from moms who are juggling the agony and the ecstasy of life, work, relationships, and parenting. In each installment, we ask a mom to share what’s going on in her world.

This installment of the Mommy Diaries comes from Dana Martin. Dana is a wife, boymom x2, entrepreneur, and dreamer. She actively pursues photography, modeling, blogging, and running a lifestyle apparel company founded on the principle of integrity.

She can be found at @danamartin__ and the Dana Martin website.


6:00am: Alarm goes off. Snooze goes on.

6:30am: Second alarm goes off. Snooze goes back on.

6:45am: Awake to 4-year-old Big Brother poking me on the cheek and whispering loudly, “Mom! Mom! It’s time to get up,” as my husband remains peacefully asleep.

7:00am: Saunter downstairs and pour a cup of coffee (such a wonderful part of my day). Pull out my journal and scribble down a couple of thoughts. My New Year’s resolution of journaling has been going surprisingly well. Cheers to that!

7:10am: Briefly check email and Instagram to get an idea of what’s on the docket for the day.

7:15am: Head back upstairs to wake up Baby Brother (he’s 2, but he’s still a baby to me) and Husband.

7:45am: Arrive back downstairs after what feels like five years of getting children dressed. Quickly make some oatmeal for the kids, give Husband a quick smooch, and run back upstairs to throw on some leggings and a hat. Athleisure has been the best trend of this century.

8:00am: I hop in the car with the kids to take Big Brother to school and my husband leaves for work. Our soundtrack is the classic Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. It’s a little early for Post Malone and Swae Lee but it’s better than the whining had I refused.

9:15am: Return home with Baby Brother. Squeeze in a quick workout that includes toddler-as-weight squats and hip thrusts. Yes, even I impress myself sometimes.

9:45am: Turn on a TV show for Baby Brother in my room while I quickly shower and answer a few emails.

10:15am: Husband calls and needs a contract sent over to his builder. I quickly write one up and email it back to him. Our main income is our construction company and I often fill in as the company’s unofficial secretary. My personal side gigs include lifestyle photography, modeling, and running a small t-shirt company dedicated to promoting integrity. #DoRightNotEasy

11am: After a few puzzles and letter games with Baby Brother, we head to the post office to drop off some packages for our t-shirt company. I think I put on the same leggings I was wearing earlier, but who knows? [Sometimes I  question if we have too many side hustles, but I really enjoy everything we do.]

11:45am: Time for Big Brother’s school pickup. His teacher informs me that he firmly asked to be called Peter Parker during attendance and was tearful when she declined.

12:15pm: Lunchtime back at home.

1:00pm: QUIET TIME. Bless up! Put Baby Brother down with no fuss and explain to Big Brother that while he does not have to sleep,  he does need to be quiet for an hour in his room. Meanwhile,  I sit down at my computer and toggle between emails, Instagram, and editing a recent newborn/family photo session.

1:15pm: Call Husband and inform him we need a third baby. He’s not convinced. I’ll keep working on it. Despite all that we have going on, it’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that my “baby days” are rapidly approaching a close. Baby Brother has just started potty training and Big Brother is 4 with a 14 year old’s attitude. I don’t feel ready to be done with the days filled with late night feedings, sticky hands wrapped around my fingers, and those sleepy swaddled cuddles. I know Husband’s reservations are due to my constant struggle between balancing motherhood and big career dreams. He gently reminds me, “Sometimes, you can’t have it all at once.” But I definitely feel like I can.

1:20pm: I feel like someone is watching me work and as I turn around, notice Big Brother peering into my room. I distinctly remember doing this same thing to my own mother as she folded laundry and watched “Guiding Light” when I was a kid, so I guess it runs in the family. Inform him he still has 40 minutes left in his room and suggest reading some books.

2:00pm: Quiet time is over and snack time commences. I put my phone away until 3:30 to have uninterrupted time with the kids (another New Year’s resolution).

3:30pm: The kids get free playtime while I fold laundry and tidy up a little. I am totally committed to being at home with the kids most of the time but truly dread the cleaning it requires. Especially living with all boys.

4:00pm: I call my Stepmom to confirm she can watch the kids tomorrow morning so I can go to a photoshoot. Every day is different!

5:00pm: Husband arrives home covered in cement. Fanfare commences from the kids. Nothing is better than seeing the three of them together, and I’m proud of the family we are building. I start dinner while Husband showers and hangs out with the kids.

6:00pm: Dinnertime! Pesto pasta with chicken. Nothing crazy, but it gets the job done with very little objection from the tiny dictators.

7:00pm: After dinner cleanup, it’s bath time for the kids. Husband stays downstairs to tie up loose ends from work on his computer. During bath time, I wash my makeup brushes and finish folding laundry in the bathroom. (Tell me I’m not the only one who feels like she’s swimming in laundry...)

7:45pm: Jammies, tooth brushing, and books. We snuggle up in our bed as a family and read. The best part of the day! We read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie for the gazillionth time, but I don’t mind because the kids still get excited about it.

8:00pm: Big Brother in bed. He’s our early riser and Baby Brother is the night owl. Every night Big Brother requests I tell him a story and snuggle with him and it’s the best way to connect with just him. On the nights I feel too tired, I try to remember that I won’t get this time back… so snuggles always.

8:15pm: Baby Brother in bed. He gets special time to connect with Husband while I hang out with Big Brother so it seems to work out well.

8:30pm: Internally high five myself because we survived another day and the kids are asleep. Head back into my room to finish up a little more photo editing.

9:15pm: Husband walks into the bedroom and turns on Netflix. That’s typically my cue to get ready for bed and hop in with him. Binge watch a few episodes of You, snuggle, and talk about life. I forget how much I like him sometimes.

10:30pm: Bedtime. Husband is a bit of an insomniac so heads downstairs until he’s tired.

3:30am: Hear footsteps in the hallway and Big Brother appears next to me. I pull him into bed for a minute and he eventually puts himself back to bed in his room. Husband has made his way back into our bed at some point.

4:25am: Repeat of 3:30am but with Little Brother. Our queen bed is starting to feel a little cramped and I am questioning why we didn’t go with the king.


6:30am: My alarm goes off. I turn over to squeeze Husband but find Big Brother instead. I have zero idea how that happened.  Get out of bed and find Husband sleeping in Big Brother’s bed. Hmm...will investigate this later.

6:45am: Hop in the shower because I have a shoot for my modeling portfolio today.

7:00am: Kids awake. Husband awake. Coffee made. These days I’m grateful for  the entrepreneur life because it allows us to be relatively flexible with each other’s schedules. Maybe we can practice making a third baby later.

7:30am: I head out the door while husband waits for my Stepmom to arrive so he can go to work. Thank you for family that helps out! It takes a village.

7:45am: Drive through Starbucks (am I addicted to coffee?) and head to Denver, which is about an hour from our house. Surprisingly, I feel differently about Post Malone in the morning when I’m in the car by myself.

8:30am: Arrive to hair and makeup studio. Work with an amazing woman who gives me so much advice on life, career, and love while simultaneously working magic on my face and the 4-years-of-no-sleep bags under my eyes. I love her. I hope she will be my friend forever. I always feel so alive after meeting a like-minded, supportive woman.

10am: Arrive at photography studio. This shoot has been scheduled for a while and it's designed to feel more “high fashion.” My inner 12-year-old, who hung Vogue pictures on her wall, is freaking out!! Call Stepmom in between outfits in the bathroom just to make sure the kids are doing ok. They are of course eating way too much sugar but having a great time.

12pm: Wrap the shoot and head back up north to get the kids.

1pm: Pick up the kids from Stepmom at our meeting spot. They are so happy to see me, which is honestly the best feeling in the entire world!

2pm: Arrive back home. Baby Brother fell asleep in the car so I use my Ninja-Mom moves to get him from car to bed without waking.

2:30pm: Hear Baby Brother in his room rustling around while hanging out with Big Brother. He’s usually loud when he wakes up, so something’s up.

2:31pm: Crack open Baby Brother’s door to find him running his trains through what appears to be piles of mud on his dresser. Remember how I mentioned he had just started potty training? Take a wild guess on what the mud actually was… and how many surfaces and walls it was on…  

2:32pm: Debate laughing or crying. Do I take a picture? These are the parenting moments that nobody prepares you for.

2:34pm: Baby Brother in the tub followed by dealing with the atrocious mess that he was very proud of. He really felt creative. Send help.

3pm: Post clean-up, we head to the grocery store because we are Always. Out. Of. Milk. Grab a few things for dinner and then head back home.

4pm: Take a break while the boys color at the table. I’m pooped (haha…. see what I did there?) I sit down on our big comfy family room chair and realize that despite it all, we are doing the dang thing. Marriage, family, career building. Moms rule.