An Unexpected Beginning
5AM: Alarm goes off. I drag myself out of bed and throw on the workout clothes I laid out the night before, brush my teeth, swipe on some deodorant, and head to the gym. After some quality time with the elliptical and catching up on Netflix (confession: my latest favorite show to watch while sweating it out is The Great British Baking Show), I’m back at home, pouring my first cup of coffee of the day and greeting my sleepy-eyed children by 6:15.
I’m so glad I worked the early morning workouts into my schedule, I’m less of a crazy person when I exercise, and it’s the least stressful time of day to get it done. With three kids, it’s not like I get a lot of sleep anyway!
7:30AM: I’m grabbing lunches, diapers, jackets, and herding the kids out of the door and into the van. After dropping off my littles (1.5 and 4) at daycare without incident, I head to elementary school to drop off my oldest (1st grade). He suddenly remembers that he hasn’t filled out his reading log from the night before *sigh* so I scribble down the info as he’s hopping out the door.
8:30AM: Onto my second job (I work part-time in my church’s office). As I’m literally pulling into the parking lot, I answer my ringing cell phone … I immediately turn around and head back to daycare to pick up my youngest who has already managed to have two rounds of diarrhea in the last 30 mins since I left him.
This has to be a record for the shortest day at daycare, ever! Some days my working status is more “part-time” than others, but that’s the beauty of having a flexible arrangement.
9:15AM: I get him situated with cartoons, blankets, toys, and snacks (whatever it takes!) so I can log onto my laptop and try to get some work done from home. With a fresh cup of coffee, I begin to tackle the texts/emails/messages that await me.
11:45AM: Lunch. Today, we’re having leftover lasagna, which I happily share with poopy-pants while I restart Sesame Street. I hose him down, deposit him in his crib for a nap, and spend the remainder of my lunch “break” starting the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry, fold the load from the dryer, and make a Target list.
I’m so thankful that I have a flexible job and understanding coworkers that don’t add to the stress of having a sick kid at home.
Before the Pickup Craze Begins
1PM: I finally sit back to my laptop and begin sorting and responding to the twenty emails and messages that have appeared in the last hour. In between work emails, I read the weekly elementary school newsletter and add even more activities, reminders and to-do’s to the family calendar…and realize I have less than an hour before picking up my oldest from school, so I work like mad to wrap things up for the day.
2:45PM: I shut down my laptop, wake up the youngest (oh boy!) and head to the elementary school for the first pickup. Then, it’s straight to daycare to get the preschooler. After all the shuttling, I get back home to oversee first grade homework (which tonight consists solely of reading a book to me, thank goodness) and prep dinner.
5:30PM: Everyone’s loaded back up in the minivan to drop off the oldest at soccer practice (where my husband/the coach is waiting).Then, it’s back home for the first dinner shift (toddler, preschooler, and me), and afterwards I’m cleaning up the kitchen, as my husband and oldest return for the second dinner shift.
Bedtime and Book Club
7:30PM: The bedtime ritual begins! The goal is to get all three kids bathed and in pj’s, teeth brushed, clothes laid out for tomorrow, and books read by 8. My husband and I tuck in, listen to prayers, and answer the last minute, suddenly urgent bedtime questions. Tonight, I have to be efficient, because…
8PM: Book Club! I belong to a real-deal book club, where we drink tea or wine (depending on the weather and mood), and actually read and discuss thought-provoking and relevant books. Non-fiction only, no Oprah’s Book Club bestselling fiction here!
I’m so thankful that I made the time to do this–I’ve built friendships with some smart and funny-as-hell women and used parts of my brain that haven’t seen much action since law school.
10PM: I’m back home, drop into bed, remember I haven’t laid out my workout clothes for tomorrow morning, decide I’m going to skip, lay there for ten minutes going back-and-forth changing my mind, then climb back out and pull my running shoes out of the closet. Time to get some sleep, because 5AM will come just as early tomorrow as it did today!