“Wednesday Evenings” aims to show there is beauty in every family’s evening, even if we need an outsider to see it. Thanks to a continued partnership with Allstate, I am flying lifestyle photographer Raquel Langworthy across the US to document the nighttime routines of 12 families in four different cities.
Amy is a 25 year-old single mom who lives with her two-year-old son Maverick and their black lab Tank near Sacramento, California. Amy left home when she was 18 but moved back in with her mother Sharon and her stepdad Mike shortly before Maverick was born, with the goal of paying off debt and saving money to buy a home.
“My mom and I didn’t get along well during my teenage years, but me becoming a mom has made us so much closer. Her and Maverick are very close, and being grandma has allowed her to have a lot more fun, whereas she was much stricter with me.”
Amy describes her evenings as “messy, tiring and joyful” and stresses how important this time is to her and her son. “Even though Maverick and I are both tired, nights are when we get to spend the most time together.”
Amy works at the same company as her mom and leaves work at 4:45 to pick up Maverick from daycare. Then they have a 30-60 minute drive home depending on traffic, which will change when Amy closes on her new home (currently under contract), located about five minutes from work.
When Amy and Maverick arrived home on the day of the shoot, they played outside with Tank and some bubbles.
When it was time to go in, Maverick had a bit of a meltdown and ended up in a timeout on the steps with Mike.
“My mom and Mike have been married since I was 11. We didn’t get along at first, but are close now. Maverick’s dad is not in the picture, so Mike is the primary male figure in Maverick’s life. He has taken that role very seriously and that is something I will always appreciate.”
After time out, Mike took Maverick outside to play while Amy changed out of her work clothes.
Then Amy joined her mom in the kitchen to make dinner. She says, “We try to attack the evening responsibilities together and eat together as a family.”
They all sit down as a family to eat dinner.
I asked Amy if she was worried about what it would be like living without them once she moves into her new home.
“I am worried that he will miss his nana and papa. We have lived with them since he was born so it will be a big adjustment for us all.”
After dinner, Sharon and Mike clean up while Amy takes Maverick upstairs to get ready for bed.
The first part of Maverick’s bedtime routine is testing out the potty.
Amy says she is just getting Maverick accustomed to using the potty, but not applying pressure.
“We have a few different types of potties in different rooms of the house. They have been there for about 6 months so they just become a regular part of our routine. Some days he loves potty time, some days he hates it, so I let him take it at his own pace.”
Then it’s time for Maverick’s bath.
Amy says her favorite part of the evening is right after bath time.
“Maverick likes to cuddle after his bath and if I hum to him, he will sing back. He does not usually cuddle so I value these few moments.
Then she changes Maverick into his pajamas and reads him a book.
“I never imagined I would be one of those parents with a strict routine, but Maverick fell into it so easily. I came to value my alone time after he was in bed, and he behaved better during the day if I kept him on his sleep schedule so it was a win-win to stick with it.”
Amy kisses Maverick good night and shuts the door at 7:30pm.
After Maverick was in bed, Amy headed to her computer to continue working from home.
“I recently took on additional responsibilities with my job to work on our web content, which allows me to do some extra work after Maverick has gone to bed. I am grateful to have an employer that values family time and quality of life for their employees, so I can support my son and still spend a lot of time with him.”
When I sent Amy the pictures from the shoot, she had finally closed on her new home. She and Maverick had moved in a few days beforehand.
“So far, Maverick is doing really well with the changes! I did realize some challenges, like I can no longer do my grocery shopping in the evening after he goes to bed since no one else will be there.”
I asked Amy what she thought of the photos.
“It really came across how much my parents were involved with our daily routine! I’m going to miss them, and miss having someone to keep Maverick occupied while I cook!”
While she kept the word “joyful” to describe her evening, she decided to swap out “messy and tiring” for “loving and structured”.
“So often we document milestones like birthdays and graduations, but these are some of my favorite pictures taken of Maverick and I, just on one random evening. I am going to cherish these small moments forever.”
I asked Amy if there is anything she would want my readers to know about being a young single mom.
“It is not for the faint of heart, but it’s rewarding and empowering. I’m also extremely lucky to have a large network of loved ones that help out. I’ve been able to accomplish things at a young age, like buying a home, that I don’t think would have occurred to me if I didn’t have my son’s future to think about. Maverick is my drive. I envy my childless friends at times when they can run away to Vegas on a whim, but I wouldn’t trade his smiles and kisses for anything.”
This post is part of the “Wednesday Evenings” series sponsored by Allstate. From bath time to bed time, every family has a special evening routine. This series aims to show the beauty in the day winding down. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most—but to guiding families to live the Good Life, every day.