One Day at a Time: Single Mom, Two Kids, Two Jobs

Join Katie as she takes over our Instagram account (stlmomsblog) on Tuesday, November 20!

I’m a full-custody, full-time, high school teacher trying to make ends meet with a side teaching job one night a week. Other women often tell me they don’t know how I do it all. But, like everyone else, I’m just doing what I have to to stay happy and sane. 

Starting the Day

5:50 am: Alarm. No thank you. Snooze.

5:59 am: Alarm again. Nope. Stay under the covers, scroll through the news.

6:08 am: Alarm. Fiiiiiiiiine. Yell to my kids that it’s time to get up and get dressed. They ignore meCan’t blame them. Take a shower.

6:15 am: Kiss the kids. Remind them they’ll have to go to school in their pjs if they don’t get up now.

6:20 am: Seriously kids, get out of bed and go eat breakfast. Don’t cuss. Get myself ready for work. Mental to-do list: Start dishwasher, make grocery list, write letter of recommendation, create Thanksgiving Evite, pay bills online. Turn off lights upstairs. Why is every single one on? Grab kids’ library books and head downstairs to investigate the screaming/laughing.

6:40 am: Find kids in kitchen, shoeless and breakfast-less, and try to figure out what they’ve been doing for 10 minutes. Play fighting. That’s what they’ve been doing. Who needs boys? The kids make their own breakfasts while I do the rest. Thank goodness we pre-packed our lunches. Make my smoothie, double-check kids’ lunch boxes, , and clean up the kitchen so the babysitter doesn’t judge my mess. I forgot to plan dinner. Check for frozen pizza so the babysitter can feed the kids tonight.

7:10 am: Rush to grab backpack, shoulder bag with books for night class, lunch box, water cup, green smoothie, earrings I forgot to put on upstairs, work badge, and car keys, and get kids out the door. Do I have time and money to stop at Starbucks if I use mobile order? Sigh. Not today. 

7:25 am: Drop kids at Adventure Club. Answer for the 1000th time that they have to go early because I have to work. Feel guilty.

7:30 am: Make a pot of coffee at work. Check Bumble. This is what it’s come to. Mentally review today’s lesson plans.

7:50 am:  First period begins. Good morning darlings! I love starting my day with these kiddosTime to change the world.

10:31 am: Bathroom break. Grade papers. Revise lesson plans. More coffee. Make the flu shot appointment I keep forgetting. Why are these earrings still in my pocket?! Put them on.

11:25 am: 32 rushed minutes to catch up with colleagues, talk about our students, or meet with counselors and principals. Use the bathroom. Quickly text my hairstylist to schedule an appointment.

12:03 pm: Next class enters. Kids are pretty awesome. Panic. Did I give the babysitter the schedule/house key/Adventure Club badge/dinner plans? Change the world.

2:45 pm: Finally reply to texts to coordinate girls night, carpools to birthday parties, and share funny memes. Spend 10 minutes swiping right or left. Maybe I need to re-join MatchTweak lesson plans for night class. I definitely forgot to pack dinner.

4:45 pm: Drive through Starbucks for an iced-quad espresso and protein box. Use rewards for the protein box. The price is outrageous. I will use my Instant Pot to meal prep next week.

Shift #Two: The Evening

5:30 pm: Teach night class. Try to keep it interesting. 4 hours is a long time even when you love it. Maybe we’ll end early. Someone would have called if my kids didn’t get picked up, right? I’m sure it’s fine, my babysitter is awesome.

6:45 pm: Sneak a text to the sitter reminding her to have the kids call their dad.

8:00 pm: Feel both relieved and guilty that I’m not putting my kids to bed. Feel guilty that I feel relieved.

9:00 pm: Realize I don’t have cash for the babysitter and take a detour to the bank. Why doesn’t everyone have Venmo? Squeeze in a 10 minute call to an old friend.

9:30 pm: Check on my babies and kiss them goodnight. Don’t wake them up to talk about our days. Have a glass of wine while I fold two weeks’ worth of laundry and watch The Handmaid’s Tale. Or a Hallmark holiday movie. I have to buy a real tree this year because that’s where every girl meets her true love.

10:30 pm: Read latest YA novel.

10:45: Should I go prep lunches or just wake up 10 minutes earlier. Decide to do neither and scroll through Pinterest instead. Maybe Tinder. These are my options?

11:00 pm: If I don’t go to sleep now I will be even angrier at 5:55 tomorrow, and nobody needs to see that. Lights out.


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