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Alera Owens with husband and son

How Educational Consultant Alera Owens Spends Her Monday

from infant swim classes to Zoom tutoring and more

Alera Owens is a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom who has retooled her career as an educational consultant, serving families who have chosen to homeschool during COVID-19. Owens’ home base is Arlington, where she lives with her husband Jeremy, a petroleum engineer, and their 5-month-old son, Elliott. When she’s not tutoring and sharing her expertise via Zoom, Owens’ time is all about baby feedings, baby babble and “Baby Shark.”

4:05AM My eyes open after hearing 5-month-old Elliott chatting to himself in his crib. I glance at the monitor to see him giggling and grabbing for his toes. It is actually pretty cute until I remember it’s 4 in the morning…

4:45AM Elliott dozes back to sleep, and I try to do the same.

6AM Jeremy wakes up and gets ready for work.

6:30AM Jeremy heads off to work while I roll out of bed and grab some tea. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, so Tazo tea in the morning is my jam.

6:45AM Elliott senses Mom is up and starts to whimper.

7AM During feeding No. 1, I open my Bible app on my phone and begin reading—but Elliott has other plans and decides he is going to be a wiggle worm. I’ll try again later.

7:30AM We both get dressed: a onesie for Elliott and leggings for Mama. Oh, the perks of the quarantine life.

8AM Playtime while I try and finish my tea and morning reading. Neither gets accomplished.

9AM Elliott goes down for a nap. I head downstairs to get our bag ready for swim class and decide to go ahead and change myself. As I dig through my swimsuit drawer, I giggle thinking about how there always seems to be that one mom who wears a bikini to Mommy-and-me swim class. (Insert eye roll.)

9:03AM I panic, realizing my only one-piece is missing … so I swallow hard and realize I am that mom today. Sorry, swim mates!

10AM Elliott’s awake in time for his mid-morning feed.

10:30AM Change Elliott for swim class and head for the car, only to remember the pool’s all-important two-diaper rule. I unbuckle E and head for the changing table to add a second swim diaper, but these spandex rash guards are no match for a wiggly 5-month-old. Finally, 10 minutes later, we are ready to go.

10:56AM Arrive to swim class with four minutes to spare. (I call that a mom win for a Monday!)

11AM We sing, splash and paddle our way through class. Elliott’s a serious one, but today he finally decides to crack a smile!

11:30AM We dry off and head toward home—but first, Starbucks. “I’ll take a grande chai latte, and let’s add a butter croissant too, please!” I realize I have not eaten anything all day. Whoops!

12PM Elliott is down for a nap, and I prepare for a virtual tutoring session. Today I am working with a sweet second grader on reading comprehension.

12:30PM The Zoom call with my student is going great until I hear Elliott start to stir on the monitor.

12:45PM I say a silent prayer, hoping Elliott can last 15 more minutes before a full-fledged meltdown occurs!

1PM Log off Zoom and breathe a sigh of relief that Elliott made it through my tutoring session. These are the times I am very thankful for his newfound skills, like bubble blowing, that help keep him occupied. Time to feed time again.

1:30PM I grab some lunch; this consists of last night’s leftovers.

2PM How can I make the next two hours zoom by? Today, we decide to try our hand at painting in a bag. All you need is a gallon-size bag, washable paint and a piece of cardstock. Put a few dabs of paint onto the cardstock and seal it inside the baggie. I tape the bag onto a hard surface and let baby go to town! Thank you, Pinterest—Elliott loved it. And I loved that it was mess-free.

3:30PM Elliott goes down for his last nap of the day, and I make a spinach-and-apple smoothie.

4PM I check my email and find I have a new client interested in tutoring for her kindergarten son. I know times are so tricky for parents right now, and I quickly reply with my consulting packages.

4:15PM Short naps are the death of me. I feed Elliott and search the freezer for something to make for dinner.

5PM Mad dash to clean the house before the hubby gets home … I mean, I promise I was productive today.

6PM Jeremy arrives home from work! I start dinner. On the menu tonight is stuffed salmon, zucchini and mashed potatoes.

6:30PM Dinner is served. Elliott tries out rice cereal again. Thankfully, Elliott is getting more in his mouth today!

6:50PM Bathtime and bedtime stories. Elliott’s favorite story right now is Bedtime by Elizabeth Verdick. He listens attentively as we read.

7PM Jeremy takes Elliott upstairs and gives him a bottle for his last feeding. He also handles putting Elliott down to sleep, so I get a much-needed hour to unwind (and pump, of course).

7:45PM I decide to do a quick 30-minute workout since I haven’t had a chance to get moving today. My favorite online workouts are Heather Robertson’s free sessions on YouTube. Once Elliott’s play yard is cleared from the scene, I get to squatting!

8:30PM Shower.

8:50PM Quality time with the hubby. We are both exhausted, so we grab a glass of wine and catch up on the latest episode of Renovation Island.

11PM I pump one last time before heading to bed.

11:30PM My head hits the pillow and I quickly drift off to sleep.

11:59PM Eyes open. Wait, is that Elliott I hear?

Fast Facts 

What she’s reading Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford
Destination of choice We had a big trip planned for Banff, Canada, but we have to reschedule due to COVID.
Where she goes for retail therapy Madewell
Restaurant she frequents with her family Prince Lebanese (a local Arlington favorite)
Favorite date night spot Since COVID, we’ve had to get creative. My favorite spots have been right in our home. We’ve had mini golf in our backyard and a cook-off to see who can create the best dessert with items in our kitchen.
Beverage of choice Green tea
Go-to recipe Tacos. (They aren’t just for Tuesdays!)
No. 1 item on her bucket list To live in a foreign country for a few months
Top playlist Lukas Graham Radio
What she does when life gets stressful Have quiet time praying and reflecting
Hobbies Dance. I love teaching and choreographing for dance studios in my area.
She wishes she had more time to Work out
Looking forward to Fall and winter weather
Favorite gift to give friends Mixy, a mix of herbs and spices to help create perfect drinks and cocktails
Celebrity mom she admires Angelina Jolie
If she had to change careers, she’d be an Event planner
Hostess tip Never skimp on the food!

Photo courtesy of Melanie Timmmons of Dimples and Dumplins Photography.