The Washington Post

A working parent’s day

Paola and Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg and their children, Maia, 1 1/2, left, and Camilo, 4 1/2. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

●6:45 a.m.: Simon, Paola and the kids wake up and start getting ready for day care and work. The couple share duties such as getting the kids fed (oatmeal and a banana for Maia and fruit for Camilo) and out the door, working their own showers and preparations for the day into the mix.

●8 a.m.: Simon leaves the house and drops the kids at day care, about three minutes away, before heading to the Legal Aid Justice Center office in Falls Church. He usually arrives by 8:30 a.m. When he has leave earlier to get to court, Paola drops the kids off. Paola commutes to Arlington, where she is a counselor in the county’s domestic violence intervention program.

●4 p.m.: Simon leaves work and goes home to prepare dinner. He gets everything ready to go so the family can eat as soon as he brings the kids home from day care. If the kids don’t eat by 5:30 p.m., he said, much screaming ensues. Once dinner is ready, he picks the kids up, usually around 5 p.m. Paola gets home between 5 and 6, depending on when she is able to break away from work, which is about a 25-minute commute from their house.

●5 to 5:30 p.m.: The family sits down to dinner. On Fridays, Simon’s parents come over and bring dinner with them. Because Simon does the cooking, Paola handles most of the dinner cleanup.

●6 p.m.: Simon or Paola may have a class to attend, or an occasional work obligation. Otherwise, they’re at home hanging out with the kids in the evenings.

●7:30 to 7:45: Either Simon or Paola puts Maia to bed while the other spends time with Camilo, who gets to watch a 10-minute video on YouTube. If Simon is home alone in the evening, Camilo will watch a slightly longer cartoon while Simon puts Maia to bed. Usually, by the time they get her bathed and into her pajamas, Simon said, she just wants to get into her crib and go to sleep.

●8:30 to 8:45: After books and cuddle time, Camilo goes to bed. Simon used to have to stay in the room on the floor until Camilo fell asleep, but they are trying to break that habit, so Simon stays in the room only every other night. After the kids are in bed, Simon and Paola relax by watching telenovelas on TV. A current favorite is “Metastasis,” which is a Colombian remake of “Breaking Bad.”

●10 to 10:30 p.m.: Simon and Paola go to bed.

Mari-Jane Williams



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