- Raising children in New York City’s Upper West Side isn’t easy, Emily Prawda-Weiss told Business Insider (and she spoke from experience).
- Prawda-Weiss manages her household and takes care of her kids while her husband works for a Wall Street bank.
- Despite the hustle and bustle, NYC has some perks: Prawda-Weiss takes her kids to the theatre and surrounds them with cultural diversity. She also gets to attend networking sessions and panels exclusive to the area.
- Here’s a day in the life of a mum on the Upper West Side.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Being a mum is a tough job.
While many assume going to work means sitting at a desk all day, mums need to take care of managing the household, caring for their kids, cleaning the home – and often on top of a career.
Emily Prawda-Weiss knows the challenges of raising children as a working mum first hand. Prawda-Weiss resides in New York City’s Upper West Side, one of the busiest (and most expensive) neighbourhoods in the country. Since her husband works at a bank during the day, Prawda-Weiss gets her girls ready for school and works from home for Big City Mums, a website for expectant mothers.
Prawda-Weiss, who grew up in Brooklyn, feels comfortable with the commotion in New York City: she juggles much of the cooking, housework, and caretaking, while working from home full-time in the country’s most populous city.
“No matter what, a mum is working hard because of the emotional labour she takes with her day-to-day, because she has to manage a family and manage a household as well,” Prawda-Weiss said in an interview with Business Insider.
Here’s what the life of a mum on NYC’s Upper West Side is actually like.
Emily Prawda-Weiss lives in the Upper West Side with her husband, Andrew, and her daughters, Delilah and Sylvie. She works from home as a partnership coordinator for Big City Mums.
Sylvie and Delilah are 8 and 10, respectively. They attend different schools on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side. Andrew works at a Wall Street bank from 9 am to 6 pm most days.
Each morning, Prawda-Weiss wakes up at 6:30 am to make breakfast for her two daughters.
Sometimes, she’ll go to a Barry’s Bootcamp in the morning through ClassPass. She says her workout classes give her energy for the rest of the day. She tries to go three times a week.
Prawda-Weiss also remembers to defrost the meat for meal prep in the afternoon. The mum does all the cooking by herself. She doesn’t have a nanny, but gets help from her parents and her mother-in-law during the week.
Once they have eaten breakfast, the girls get ready, brush their teeth, and wash their face before heading out the door at 7:20 am. Prawda-Weiss sometimes goes over spelling and homework assignments on their way to school.
The mum walks her kids to the bus stop each morning. She and her husband don’t own a car, so they rely on public transportation or rental vehicles when they want to travel outside the city.
Prawda-Weiss and the girls wait for separate buses, which come near the edge of Central Park. Sometimes they continue to go over homework assignments before the bus comes. Other times she chats with mums who are also waiting for the bus.
After dropping her girls off, Prawda-Weiss grabs a coffee and newspaper and either sits in a Starbucks to do work, or comes back to her kitchen table.
For lunch, Prawda-Weiss typically makes herself a salad comprised of greens and beans. She refuels and finishes up work before picking up her kids. The mum also has an office space she sometimes goes to for meetings.
In her downtime, the mum also makes sure to fit in a manicure for some self care. Other forms of self care include watching shows on E!, Bravo, and Netflix.
The girls are involved in after-school activities like basketball practice and coding classes. Each Friday, they also have piano lessons from an instructor.
During the weekdays, the girls watch TV in their free time after homework and dinner.
Emily Prawda-Weiss makes dinner for her family an hour or so before her husband gets home, typically at 6 pm. The family eats together and shares what they did during the day.
Once a week, Prawda-Weiss attends an event for work or a networking session with some other mums in the area. New York City has numerous panel discussions Prawda-Weiss has the option of attending.
Other nights, Prawda-Weiss goes out with her mum friends over cocktails or other activities. Sometimes the mums, whether they have jobs or stay at home, discuss the emotional labour it takes to raise kids and manage a household in a bustling city like New York.
“The price for a full-time mum at home is really invaluable,” Prawda-Weiss told Business Insider. “How can you put a price on that when you have to manage everything at home?”
Across the country, mums are spending more time in the labour force than in the past, but also more time on childcare. Mums spend 16 more hours a week on paid work than they did 50 years ago, yet 4 more hours a week on childcare.
Source: Pew Research Center
“Some of that’s work you want to do. It’s tender; it’s lovely,” Melinda Gates recently told Business Insider, speaking about the challenges of unpaid labour. “But some of it is also the mundane of doing laundry and the dishes and packing lunch boxes.”
Source: Business Insider
At night, the family typically gets together and watches a movie or spends time in their living room. When the girls are asleep, Prawda-Weiss and her husband watch television together as a bonding activity, she said.
The best part about raising kids in New York City comes down to the diversity and culture, Prawda-Weiss says. The girls enjoy going to see plays and museums, and the mum makes sure to take them to unique parts of the city.
“It’s important. The world is massive and there’s all sorts of people living in it,” she said. “We need to expose our families to that.”
Prawda-Weiss recognises the challenges of being a working mum — but she still wouldn’t change it for a thing.
“I wouldn’t change anything,” she said. “I’m very thankful and very fortunate.”
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