#MakingTime: A Day In the Life Of a VP and Mom of 2 Under 2

AJ Smith

Photo courtesy of AJ Smith

April 22, 2024 at 10:54PM 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: AJ Smith
What: Vice President of Content and Financial Education at SmartAsset, mom of 1 (soon to be 2!)
Where: New York, New York


My 20-month-old son wakes up. I still optimistically set an alarm clock every night but he seems to wake up between 5 and 6am every day so there’s really no need! My husband and I usually trade off who gets up with him but I am 37 weeks pregnant and my husband has been doing more than his fair share to let me get a little extra rest. I snooze for about 15 minutes while my husband gets my son a bottle.


I check emails quickly and then we spend time playing as a family. We read books, play with blocks and then watch a cartoon.


I bathe and dress my son while my husband starts getting ready. Then my husband feeds my son breakfast while I get ready.


Normally the three of us leave for work and daycare together but as I am at the end of my pregnancy, I am working from home until the new baby comes. I walk my son and husband to the subway stop and this morning I am actually moving the car. We street park and there’s alternate side parking so I spend about 40 minutes finding a new parking spot. This is usually my husband’s job that he does at 6am but since I am home and don’t have to commute, I am giving it a go! Note: Normally my commute is about 45 minutes to an hour on the subway including dropping my son at daycare with my husband. My son goes to daycare around the corner from my husband’s office and about 15 minutes from my office.


I get back to the apartment, answer a few emails, check on our website traffic numbers and prepare for my 9am meeting.


I call in for a meeting. On Wednesday mornings, our retirement team meets to chat specifically about our new product SmartAdvisor, where we match financial advisors and investors.


Responding to slack messages and emails.


I call in for a weekly meeting with our VP of Marketing to talk about projects that impact both of our teams.


We are hiring for a few positions on my team and I have arranged for an interview in the office this morning. Three people met the candidate in person from 10am to 11am and I now call in to chat with her as well.


A quick call to my mom.


I make a quick lunch of black beans and cheese. I eat while responding to emails


Reviewing items the editorial and PR teams need tech work for and updating some documents to prepare for my afternoon meetings.


I call in for a meeting with the leads of our Product team to discuss any upcoming needs for my team.


I call in for our bi-weekly sprint meeting where the team leads at the company plan out the tech work that will be done over the next two weeks (in this case 3 weeks b/c it includes the holiday July 4th week).


I call in for a meeting with our Director of Public Relations. We announced a fundraising round this week so we have a lot to discuss! We had exclusive coverage in TechCrunch on Tuesday and our press release went out this (Wednesday) morning. We talk about coverage so far and the rest of the plan going forward.


A quick call to my husband to check in mid-day.


I call in for a meeting with one of my Senior Editors. This is a weekly check-in where we talk about ongoing projects and progress.


We finish our meeting early so we bring in the other two people who met with the candidate today to discuss whether we want to continue with the hiring process.


I review a past study in preparation for my 4pm media interview.


One of our Senior Public Relations Associates calls me to connect me to a reporter for a media interview on one of our studies (I serve as the company spokesperson). I answer questions for a local Dallas reporter using a briefing document she has created.


A quick call to my Dad.


I grab a quick snack from the kitchen and respond to some Slack messages from coworkers on various projects.


I call in for a meeting specifically on content creation for that SmartAdvisor initiative (where we match financial advisors and investors). We look at the metrics for which types of articles are working and talk about plans for future creation.


Meet my husband and son at the subway stop and walk over to the grocery store. My husband picked my son up from daycare at 5:15pm. Note: This is usually his role as my son has to be picked up by 6pm and when I am working in the office I am usually there later than that.


We get back home and my husband unpacks the groceries while I get my son a bottle and something to eat.


My husband makes dinner while I play with my son.


We sit down to eat dinner. My son doesn’t eat much at the end of the day so we try to eat quickly before he is ready to run out of the kitchen!


We change my son into his pajamas and he watches about 15 minutes of his favorite cartoon while I fill the humidifier in his room and turn on the noise machine (a must for a good night’s sleep!).


I put my son to bed in his crib. I check my emails and then my husband and I watch a movie.


Check my emails one last time and go to bed.


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

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