I was recently poking around online for possible blog topics and found a suggestion for doing an entry that chronicles a day in my life. I had to chuckle at that one. My routine is so cobbled together right now that no one day would ever give a reader an accurate depiction of my routine. For that, you would need a week. So here we have it, a week in the life of Joyce. In case you wondered.
Monday…Up at 6 a.m. (or so) …shower, blow-dry, start the makeup, feed the cat, drink the coffee, and generally tip-toe around so as not to wake the 2-year-old. Wake up the six-year-old by 7:10 a.m., who will typically protest and cling to the covers because he detests school. After much coaxing, he will put on the clothes that I have laid out for him, and then come down the stairs for his breakfast. The husband starts stirring around this time, and will almost always get up to help me make sure that the boy’s backpack is in order, help put his shoes on, and so forth. Once he is out the door – the bus comes right to our driveway at 7:40 – I finish getting ready, pack my breakfast and lunch, and dress. I am supposed to be to work by 8:00, but lately that has turned into 8:40, which my very understanding boss shrugs off.
My husband does not go to work until 11 a.m. most days, so he is home with our girl in the mornings. On Mondays, my mother comes to my house to watch our girl once he goes to work.
On Mondays I leave work by 5:15 p.m. to make it home – a quick drive – in time to take my boy to his 5:45 karate class. My mother has gotten him dressed in his uniform by the time I get home, has shoes on both of the kids, and has fed them some kind of snack.
At about 6:30 we get home from karate. I feed the kids a quick dinner, and I might have a bowl of Raisin Bran. Around this time I will do a little homework with the boy – an activity to which he is radically opposed, so there are usually tears or other outbursts. Following that, I bathe them one at a time, and about the time I have them clean and bathed and back in the living room watching cartoons, my husband arrives…so about 8:30 or 9 p.m.
After my husband spends a little time with the children, I get them to bed. The boy prefers I read him a story and then linger until he falls off to sleep, and I oblige. When he is asleep, I get up and do my last few chores – setting up the coffee, washing dishes, making my lunch for the next day. Then I’m off to bed…preferably by 10:30, but sometimes at 11.
Tuesday…Up around 6 a.m., doing the morning routine. Get the boy off to school, myself off to work. This is the day that my girl goes to spend the day with my in-laws, and my boy goes to after-school care. Typically, either my mother-in-law will go to pick up my son from after-school care in the late afternoon, or I will when I get off work, and then I will go to eat dinner with my in-laws.
I get home with the kids around 7 p.m., when we commence with the evening scramble of bath, homework, and bed.
Wednesday…Up at 6 a.m., doing the morning routine. On Wednesdays my mother comes again to my house. Karate class is at 5:15 on Wednesday evenings, so she takes the kids, and I join them as soon as I can get away from work. We get home at about 6 p.m. and do that bath, homework and bed thing.
Thursday…Morning routine, followed by my daughter going again to my in-laws’ for the day. The evening is a repeat of Tuesday, where either I or my mother-in-law pick up my son, and we then have dinner together. We go home for our evening routine, and then…bed. By Thursday evenings, I am usually very, very tired.
Friday…This is where my week starts to relax a bit. I work flex hours at work, meaning I skip the lunch hour, eating instead at my desk as I work, so that I can be off most Fridays. I get up and get my son on the bus, and my husband leaves for work around 8 a.m. on this day. This leaves me to play with my daughter, straighten up the house, maybe go out for groceries. When she goes down for her nap, I may do a bit of cleaning and take a short nap myself. I greet my son when he gets off the bus and try to have dinner waiting when my husband gets home…finally, a family meal!
Saturday…We try to keep these as free as we possibly can. Often my husband and I will play “pass the kids” … one will watch the children while the other goes to do something. I might go shopping or take my son to the library. He might work in the yard to go to Home Depot. We keep it leisurely.
Sunday…Church in the morning, lunch out with the in-laws, then home for a quick nap and then it’s a scurry to finish laundry, make a large Sunday dinner, and prep lunch foods for the next week. Hubs and I might get an hour to sit on the couch and watch TV. Then it’s bedtime, because on Monday, I hit the ground running.
As chaotic as this schedule may seem, it’s all I’ve known for several years. I’m tired a lot, but at the same time I recognize that I have it better than most working mothers. My daughter has never been to day care. We have a tremendous amount of help from our parents. My job is flexible. The things I think are problems are really just inconveniences.
Some day maybe I will miss all this. Today, I feel blessed.