Being a working mom is hard, and it can often feel like "a day late and a dollar short" is the best case scenario: missed deadlines, forgotten dry cleaning, and never, ever seeing friends. But we don't have to reinvent the wheel to figure out a better way through. Just look around at all the super successful moms kicking ass on a daily basis.
This Is How I Do It is a new day-in-the-life series featuring some of these impressive women, who juggle big careers and families with grace and humor. Their stories won't literally do your laundry and pack your kids' lunches while you answer email, but they offer an honest peek at how someone else gets her life together every day.
Dia Simms, 42, is the president of Combs Enterprises. She and her husband, Keith, have a four-year-old daughter.
No two days are the same. I live in Baltimore, commute to the Combs Enterprises headquarters near Times Square in NYC, and spend time in the L.A. offices where Sean Combs is based. Here’s a sample of a day last week when I flew out to L.A. for meetings and the Billboard Women in Hollywood event.
6:00 a.m. Wake up at home in Baltimore. Usually my daughter wakes me up. Check email and scroll through my breaking news alerts to see what’s happened while I’ve been asleep.
6:15 a.m. Get my daughter breakfast and ready for the day while also getting myself ready and packing the rest of my suitcase to travel out to L.A. Eat a quick breakfast of egg whites and turkey bacon.
6:45 a.m. Good thing about living in Baltimore is the airport is a close drive from home. Leave to catch an 8 a.m. flight to LAX, while my husband finishes up at home and takes my daughter to preschool.
8:00 a.m. Every morning, I text Sean Combs a snapshot of what I’m doing that day: who I’m meeting with, where we are on a specific deal, important calls I have scheduled, when he and I need to talk, etc.
8:30 a.m. Long flight to L.A., but I get to add three hours to my day with the time change! On the plane, I’ll listen to a movie while I work; catching up on emails or prepping for a speech. And I stay hydrated with AQUAhydrate!
11:00 a.m. Go straight from the airport to an all-team meeting at our TV network, Revolt. On the way, I’ll call Sean to touch base with him. We talk about 15 times a day.
1:00 p.m. Stop by the AQUAhyrdrate “game changers” set in Culver City, where they’re shooting content for social. I want to see how our ideas are translating to screen. I pick up a green smoothie on the way there.
1:45 p.m. I find out I need to go to London in a few days, so on the way over to the Combs Enterprises office for a wine and spirits strategy meeting with Sean, I pick up a dress for the event.
3:30 p.m. On the way back to the office, DJ Kaled calls to go over his contract.
4:00 p.m. Eat a grilled chicken salad at my desk while smelling about 15 different fragrance options for the next Sean John fragrance launch. I FaceTime my daughter to see how her day was.
4:20 p.m. Sean calls; he’s more active later in the afternoon, so that’s when we usually have in-depth conversations.
5:00 p.m. Conference call with Wes Moore, CEO at Robin Hood. I’m hoping to work together with them and our Harlem Capital Prep School.
7:30 p.m. Order in dinner and eat it at my desk; usually salmon or turkey burger. I always order for whomever is left in the office this late!
8:00-10:00 p.m. The quietest time in the office where I can catch up on emails and finish everything on my list I didn’t get to. I usually talk with Sean a lot during this time.
10:30 p.m. Hotel, finally! I relax; sometimes I get a little help from Ciroc Vodka, and watch Shameless while setting up emails for the next day.
12:00 a.m. Finally…sleep.
My current passion project: I’m on the board for Thread, a Baltimore non-for-profit. It’s an organization that works to desegregate the city and focuses on creating family units for underperforming high school kids who don’t have a high chance of graduating. The organization provides these kids with a family of committed volunteers outside of the classroom to help foster them; drive them to class, help them with their homework, motivate them. Thread has taken graduation rates from 25% to 90%, and it’s really changing the fabric of Baltimore.
The best part of my day: Seeing my daughter…and husband Keith
The one thing I wish I didn't have to do: Wasting time! I wish we could just get to the point. I don’t love small talk, and I don’t like tolerating “mansplaining!” Just be efficient and listen, so we can get out of this meeting and onto the next!
The one thing I always worry about: The health of my family. My daughter went through a series of seizures when she was 2, and they say it they were just these strange one-offs. I’m still paranoid about it. I also worry about my mom who has progressive multiple sclerosis.
The secret to being a successful working mother is: Focus on the moment you’re in.
The one thing I would tell other working moms: This shit is hard, take a minute to treat yourself and take care of you.
Becoming a mother changed this thing about me: I cry more easily now.
Who helps raise your kids? Tell us about your village: I’m incredibly blessed with the base I have. My amazing nanny, my husband, my sister-in-law, my parents, my in-laws; my dope group of friends. I’ve had these five amazing girlfriends since I was little, and they would literally do anything for me.