#MakingTime: A Day in the Life of a District Attorney And Mom of 2 Under 4

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April 13, 2024 at 7:26PM UTC

Women can do anything — but not everything. As the largest online career community for women, we at Fairygodboss realize that balance is a myth, and that picking what to prioritize when everything feels important on a day-to-day basis isn't always easy. In the #MakingTime series, women share with us how, for one day, they chose to spend their most precious resource: time.


Who: Sonia Satchell

What: Deputy District Attorney, Domestic Violence Unit

Where: Greater Sacramento area


5:00 a.m.

My alarm goes off. Depending on our court schedules (my husband and I work for the same office), I’m up right at 5 a.m.  If not I’ll lay in bed, grab my phone to check the day, and read the news quickly.

5:30 a.m.

By now, I’m really hating myself if I’m not already out of bed. I head to the shower, and start trying to get some make up done before the kids wake up.  At 6 AM, my husband wakes up our 4 year old, Eva, and brings her into our bed, so she can finish waking up and just chat with us.  

6:30 a.m.

I’m getting Eva dressed and rushed downstairs for breakfast. At 6:45 a.m., I go and wake up our 18 month old, William, change him and get him dressed for the day, get him his morning milk.  By 7 a.m., both kids are in the kitchen sort of eating and running around.  I pull some protein out of the freezer dinner, either my husband or I (really lately him) will figure out what to do with at some point during the day. I brush Eva’s hair and collect her backpack, while my husband finishes packing up all our lunches and I finish trying to get Eva to eat something before school. 

7:15 a.m.

Eva, my husband and I are hustling out the door.  Baby William gets some kisses as he stays home with my mother in law.

8:00 a.m.

We are pulling into our office.  Depending on court schedules, either my husband or I will take Eva to school.  No matter what, I’m at my desk by 8:30 a.m. and start my job.  I am a Deputy District Attorney and currently assigned to the Domestic Violence unit; I am the Intake deputy. I literally read every single police report that involves domestic violence that happened within Sacramento County.  Tuesdays are heavy filing days, as they include everyone who was arrested over the weekend. In between trying to eat some yogurt or fruit for breakfast, I’m reading police reports straight until 11:15 a.m., when I must turn in all my decisions as to whether or not to press charges for those suspects who are on for arraignment in the afternoon.  Once I meet my deadline, I switch to reading warrants.  Warrants are those people who are suspected of committing crimes but not arrested on scene. Again, I make the decision whether or not to press charges and issue the warrant. I do this until noon. 

12:00 p.m.

We have a pretty long lunches at the DA’s office, from noon to 1:30 – it’s the court schedule we follow but they are mostly working lunches.  Everyone in the DV unit gathers and we talk about what has gone on during the day, what’s coming up this afternoon, and see if there is anything a team member needs.  If a teammate is in trial, we check in to see what they need, strategize on witnesses or any other issue that has come up during trial. It really is mostly a time for us to organize ourselves for the second half of the day.  Or if it is a particularly quiet day, I use it to run errands that need to be done without kids in tow. 

1:30 p.m.

 By 1:30 p.m., I’m back in my office meeting with officers, reviewing warrants, returning phone calls or preparing trainings.  At 4:45 p.m., I’m out the door to pick up my daughter from school.  

5:30 p.m.

We are usually home by 5:30 p.m. When I walk through the door, I take about 15 -20 minutes to just play with my son who I’ve missed all day.  Eva is also playing with us, and both are screaming and running around. I’m trying to pick up toys or put things away while I’m playing with them around the house. By 6:50 p.m., my husband has prepped William’s dinner (usually some version of reheated dinner from the night before) and I strap him into his high chair to feed him dinner.  By 6:20 he’s normally done eating, he gets to run around for another 10 minutes with his sister, but he’s usually deliriously tired at this point.  

6:30 p.m.

At 6:30, I take him to get ready for a bed.  Some nights that includes a bath, but we always book, have some milk, brush his teeth and down to sleep.  He’s a pretty good sleeper so I’m done with everything by 7 p.m.  I then spend some one-on-one time with Eva, until about 7:15 p.m. when my husband takes her upstairs for a bath. I then go change for the gym.  At 7:45 pm, I kiss her goodbye and I’m out the door for my 8 p.m. Orange Theory workout, which I LOVE! I’m usually back home at 9:15 p.m.  My husband has had Eva in bed by 7:45 PM, and he’s normally cooked something (yes, he’s the best).  We eat dinner together, watch some TV, and maybe I’ll read some more warrants. 

11:00 p.m.

By 11 p.m. we are in bed, ready to do some version on this the next day. They are long days, and I don’t sleep as much as I probably should but, I’m very lucky to have a husband who is on the front lines with me. 


Interested in contributing to Fairygodboss' #MakingTime series? Email [email protected] with "#MakingTime" in the subject line.

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