A Day in the Life of a Milwaukee Stay-at-Home Mom: Laura Sommer

Laura Sommer always wanted to be a mom. That’s probably why she is able to handle the demands of running a household with such grace.

Day in the Life is a new series that puts Milwaukeeans under the spotlight. What’s it like to live, work and play in Milwaukee? The answer is different for everyone. But these recaps will give you an idea. Read all of our Day in the Life posts here.

In her professional career pre-motherhood, Laura Sommer worked in the hospitality and design industry. She went on to earn her Master’s in human resources and most recently worked at Marquette University before becoming a stay-at-home mom to Lizzy (5), Elyse (3) and George, a newborn.

Laura and her husband Grant hire a sitter one night a week to go out with friends to favorite spots like Nana in Shorewood, attend events or just grab dinner or drinks alone.  They also travel quite a bit in the winter to stay sane, taking advantage of family homes in both Arizona and Florida.

Here is a peek inside a typical day for one stay-at-home mom.

Laura Sommer and daughters Elyse and Lizzy.

6 a.m. – Laura wakes up and gets ready quickly – a ponytail and gym clothes.

6:30 a.m.– Lizzy wakes up, puts on her uniform for K5 at St. Monica’s in Whitefish Bay and goes downstairs for breakfast. Shortly after, Elyse wakes up. She picks out her own clothes and Laura helps her get dressed.

6:50 a.m. – Laura makes breakfast for the girls, always the same thing – oatmeal for Elyse and mini bagels and fruit for Lizzy. Laura has a cup of coffee.

7:45 a.m. – Laura and Elyse walk Lizzy about three blocks to school.

8:30 a.m. – Laura drops Elyse off at Tree of Life preschool for a half-day. Gym time for Laura at Elite in Mequon. “What working out does for me mentally is my saving grace,” she admits.

9:45 a.m. – Grocery run at Sendik’s Market and errands while she is kid-free. Several days a week, Laura is at one of the girls’ schools helping with library, lunch duty or assisting the teachers.

11:30 a.m. – Pick up Elyse at pre-school and lunch at home. Laura snacks on things while she’s preparing Elyse’s sandwich.

12-2 p.m. – Elyse naps and Laura showers, does laundry, cleans up the house and does some meal prep for dinner.

2-3 p.m. – Elyse plays around the house with her baby dolls. There are play stations on all three levels of the house so she can keep herself entertained.

3 p.m. – Laura and Elyse drive to pick up Lizzy at school.

4-5 p.m. – Activity time for Lizzy. Today is ballet class at Milwaukee Ballet — Wednesdays are violin lessons at the Milwaukee Conservatory of Music. This is also Laura’s social hour with her mom friends. They gather in the lobby and catch up while they wait for class to finish.

6 p.m. – Family dinner – “If I don’t have my act together, I make something quick for the girls and then I make something different for Grant and I to eat after they go to bed,” says Laura.

7 p.m. – Bedtime routine starts: bath, go potty, brush teeth, put on pajamas, read a book and climb in bed. When Grant is home, they divide and conquer, putting each girl to bed. As owner of Sommer’s Subaru & GMC, Grant typically works late at least twice a week.

7:30 p.m. – Laura cleans up the kitchen and packs up Lizzy’s lunch and snacks for the next day. She also responds to emails and does research on her computer – mostly related to the girls’ schools or home maintenance.

8:30-9:30 p.m. – Chill and channel surfing. Laura isn’t really tied to one TV show. She typically ends up going upstairs to listen to an audiobook.

10 p.m. – Finally, sleep!



Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.