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A New Perspective: The modern day working mom

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Over the decades more and more women are entering the work force and for the professional women who wear multiple hats like being a wife and a mom - balancing all those roles can be challenging. 7 & 4's Courtney Curtis was able to track the life of a northern Michigan working mom - for roughly a week to see how it's done.

Over the decades, more and more women are entering the work force and for the professional women -- who wear multiple hats like being a wife and a mom - balancing all those roles can be challenging.

7 & 4's Courtney Curtis was able to track the life of a northern Michigan working mom - for roughly a week to see how it's done.

"Hey Courtney it's Niki," said Mother of Two, Niki Novak. " I wanted to give you a shout out of what a real morning in my house looks like."

Niki Novak sent video showing what prepping for the day in the life with two kids looks like.

"[I] got all the food prep for the baby and the breast milk for the day, Hadley's lunch, my work scattered all over the counter," said Novak.

Niki and her husband, Shawn, have 3-year-old Hadley and 7-month-old Parker.

The pair also have careers in the mix -Shawn as a mason and Niki as a hair stylist and entrepreneur.

"When I am the business owner, I am doing all of the emailing, the phone calls, the returns, the scheduling, the payroll, the taxes," said Novak. "I work pretty much all day every day."

With the couple working full time, they've chosen to send their kids to daycare.

"I just dropped the kids off at daycare and I wanted to let you know a little bit of how I'm feeling right now," said Novak. "Constantly leave with a pit in my stomach wishing that I could be with them. But they do well at daycare. The things that Hadley learns I could never provide her. I cherish the thought of being home but I know that the skills that she's learning - I'm building a great adults."

And when Niki is able to come home -- sometimes that's 11 hours later -- she makes it a priority to immediately reconnect with her family.

"Did you miss me today," asked Novak.
"Yeah," said Hadley, Novak's daughter.
"I missed you too," said Novak.
"Yeah!" said Hadley.
"How was your day?" asked Niki.
"Good," said Hadley.
"What did you do," asked Niki.
"Guess what," asked Hadley.
"What," asked Niki.
"Played in the sprinklers," exclaimed Hadley.

"It's important to have them know that even though we are away during the day that we care so much and we're there to hear about the exciting things that they do because we haven't been with them," said Novak. "And they're building experiences outside of us and that's exciting too."

And Niki says in order to invest every minute she can with their kids, sometimes the chores just have to wait.

"After dinner we leave our kitchen a mess because it's important for us to then grab the kids go upstairs play, read books, be present," said Niki. "Bath takes a long time too."

A schedule -- like the one Niki has at night with her kids -- is something counselors say is important.

"At night a simple routine of dinner, bath, books, then bed," said Sarah Hubbell, Child & Family Therapist, Mental Wellness Counseling. "Same time, every night. Or around the same time every night provides that structure, provides that schedule."

But with all the running around and care taking of others, Hubbell says mommies can sometimes forget about taking care of themselves.

"I also talk to moms about what are you doing for self-care," said Hubbell. "As working moms, we kind of forget about ourselves and so it's really important to remember even taking a five-minute shower is self-care."

And Hubbell says a job like this takes a village.

"Who do you have for support," asked Hubbell. "Who could you call on? The fact is, we all need supports.

"My children have two sets of amazing grandparents, siblings that are amazing, a circle of friends that take care of us in ways that we can't even imagine." said Novak.

And Niki's biggest teammate, her husband.

"We tackle everything together," said Novak. "One of us is always doing something with the children and I can't imagine not having him as my backing."

Hubbell also says she's seen couples who haven't gone on dates in years after getting into a routine with a family.

She says it's important to make that one-on-one time a priority and never forget to still date one another.

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