Thursday, January 13, 2011

What A Day

A year or so ago, I signed up to get email newsletters from “done” by Gwyneth Paltrow. Yeah, I know, she’s got people who have people that probably do most of the stuff. But, I think it’s fun sometimes to see how the other half live, when it’s someone I like. I have always enjoyed watching Gwyneth Paltrow act, so I thought it could be interesting what she might have to say. The email newsletters come once a week or so and talk about places she goes, foods she likes, things to do, etc. Mostly just a “oooh, how interesting” moment for me but once in a while I get an idea or info that is helpful (and a recipe I might try one day).

This morning’s email was a day in the life of a working mom from two of her friends and herself. As a working mom, I thought maybe they would offer a helpful hint or idea of something I could do different. Well, I came away feeling - that’s not reality or at least not for the average mom who can’t afford a nanny, personal trainer or get home before 6 pm. Which is often my complaint when I look at my life now and wish I could do better - yeah, if only I had a nanny, personal trainer and could get home before 6 pm!

So, as I tried to put it out of my mind and work. I was annoyed and wanted to email them a real day in the life of an average mom but then I figured who would really care... Since I couldn’t get it out of my head I decided to put it on my ever neglected blog that I figure no one reads that often anyway. Once out of my head, maybe I will get on with my day.

So, a typical day starts up and in the shower at 6 am! Then washed, dressed, hair dried and out of the bathroom by 6:30 to send James in and give Daphne (the cat) her insulin shot and feed her. Then listen to the monitors and gather last minute items together to start our day while James gets dressed. Pull out a frozen meal (thank you so much Mom!) to defrost for dinner, grab my bag, granola bar and drink and hit the road by 6:50 am!

If I don’t need to stop for gas, it’s a 45+ minute drive through traffic, side streets, and highway to my office downtown. Along the way, I eat my granola bar, make note of the gas prices and pray! Once parked at the office I rush in to start my computer, check emails, ebay and facebook (just to see what Melissa is up to) and then start work! A normal day is spent juggling the various print jobs that need revisions, proofs and to be sent off to press while taking phone calls, answering emails and photo request and sometimes running a proof across campus. The past few months have been working on the 2011 catalog (text changes, fixing hyphens and word flow, placing photos etc) and sifting in changes to a lunch invite and program, starting a new issue of the alumni newsletter, working on a conference booklet and changes to other items to finish up that project.

Lunch break consists of putting together a sandwich (I found it too hard to do every night so I just take the fixings for the week and deal with it at the office), checking email, doing some surveys to try to get extra cash, internet shopping, working on the boy’s books (so behind on that) or color correcting photos to go in the books (even more behind on that one). Or, if there is shopping to do, I make a speed shopping trip to Target, Ross, Big Lots, Toys R Us or some other store close to the office. Once back at the office I have usually used up all my hour so I make the quick sandwich and eat while I work.

Then it’s an afternoon of more of the above until I leave at 4:30. Thank goodness I get a little jump on traffic and it’s a 30 minute drive to Mom’s house through the back roads to get the boys. Arriving at 5ish, I am attacked at the door most days and dragged off to play or paint or work on the computer with Evan and Nathan at the same time, while I try to find out how their day was and any news from Mom. (at least once a week I have to stop for milk at Braums on the way or once a month or so I stop for cat litter at the specialty cat store or get her prescription food from the vet - and still I get to Mom’s soon after 5). I take 30 minutes to recover from the drive and then it’s potty/diaper time, gather the toys/stuff that needs to go home and get everyone loaded in the car! By 6 we are on the road and heading to the HOV lane to survive a 20 minute bumper-to-bumper ride home. On the drive the boys and I pretend to be Star Wars or now Wild Kratts while I dodge traffic and if we are lucky Evan stays awake.

The mad dash begins when we open the garage door. Get the kids inside (Evan upstairs to bed for an hour nap if he’s asleep), unload all the stuff in the car (bags, food, etc) start the defrosted meal warming in the toaster oven. Then feed the cat and give her an insulin shot by 6:30. Get various vegetable/side dishes going, unload and reload (as I cook) the dishwasher, put together various items for Evan to eat, fix a fruit and see if Nathan wants to make his chocolate milk. If a load of laundry needs to be done (most nights it does) then I get that started too. All this while getting interrupted several times by either or both boys needing something and the cat howling at me (probably because her pan stinks). Hopefully there isn’t any cat barf to avoid and clean later. My goal is everything on the table and eating by 7 which does not always happen. Go through the great debate of what to watch and then poking both boys to remind them to eat while I gobble down my food. (somewhere in there James comes home and eats and laundry gets into the dryer)

By 7:30/7:45 we have finished eating and one of us playes with the boys while the other finishes getting dishes in and washing. Then it’s play time until 8:15 when one of us gets the bath water run, pjs out and possibly clean the now stinking litter pan. Quickly bathe, dress and teeth brush both boys. Then James and I alternate who puts which boy to bed (can’t wait until Evan’s eating enough to not have bottles and we can change this process a bit). Nathan gets three stories, the floppy cd and off to sleep. Evan gets rocked with a bottle and sometimes we lay on the spare bed together until he is asleep. On a great night, we are both down by 9:30 to fix Evan’s juice and Nathan’s lunch, fold clothes, pick up a few items, clean the litter pan, clean up any cat barf and collapse on the bed to maybe watch the weather or an old sitcom rerun. If all is well I am asleep by 10:30 or 11 pm and if we are truly blessed everyone (including the noisy cat) are able to sleep through the night!

That is my life Mon-Fri and through it all I pray a lot and try to remember Jill Briscoe’s wise words “There is an art to leaving some things undone, so that the greater things can be done.” I am always open to suggestions on ways to improve the process or find more free time.

So, if I look a little frazzled, can’t complete a sentence of conversation, don’t know the latest sports score or who’s dancing with the stars or my pants are starting to look a little tighter, it’s probably because I don’t have a nanny, personal trainer and couldn’t get home before 6 pm!

But aside from that I’m fine.

1 comment:

Meli said...

Hello, my friend!! I have missed you! You are a great writer! I felt every sigh, heard every prayer and yawned with you as I read about a day in your life. I am with you, lots and lots of prayer, hopes of finding that one day when work, traffic or "no more bottle" shifts into more time for you and your family. I admire your strength, yes strength to carry everything out each and every day. Your words reek (sp?) with love and sacrifice for your boys (and I mean daddy too ;)) Love ya...hugs!