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Monday, Monday

October 4, 2012

When I was pregnant, I loved reading “Day in the life” posts from new moms.  Now that I’m almost six months in with a baby of my own, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what a typical day looks like, here in our world (also known as Crazyville). 

The only problem?

We don’t really have a typical day.  Because Ryan and I are both working, and are on different teaching schedules, and even our class schedules differ depending on the day, our days and weeks can be pretty crazy—things change from week to week, and day to day…and hour to hour, really.  Here’s what it breaks down to:

I teach on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 to 12:30 (composition), and also on Monday nights from 5:30 to 8:30 (creative writing).  Ryan teaches on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and on Tuesday evenings as well. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m really glad I chose to keep teaching.  Despite my complaints about it (and trust me—if you’re friends with me on Facebook, you know this—I complain about it A LOT), I really do enjoy it.  I might poke fun at the ineptitude of some of my students (for example: one of my students e-mailed me after getting her essay back and said that she didn’t understand my comments—did “strong!” mean that the sentence was good, or that it needed to be changed?), but the reality is that, for the most part, they’re pretty great.  During the fall semester especially, everyone seems excited to be in college, excited to take on new challenges, and (cheesy as this sounds), excited to learn.

Spring semester?  Not so much.  But we’ll worry about that in a few months.

So.  Where was I? 

Right.  A day in the life.  Most of the “day in the life” posts I’ve read are from the perspective of a stay at home mom, or a mom who does work, but works largely from home.  I thought it might be nice to shake things up a bit and show you my perspective as a mother who works outside of the home.

So…submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: “The Tale of the Manic Monday!!!” *cue horror organ music* 

Any Are You Afraid of the Dark fans out there? No? Moving on.

5:00—I hear Lila stirring.  It’s Ryan’s turn to wake up with her—we alternate, based on our teaching days.  He gets up to tend to Lila, and I go back to sleep for about another hour and a half.

6:30—I wake up.  Ryan and Lila are passed out in bed together (she often goes back to sleep after her early-morning wakeup, but rarely will do it in the crib, so we usually just snuggle in bed for that last hour in the early morning), but Lila is stirring.  I head to the kitchen to make coffee and breakfast.

7:00-7:30—I eat breakfast, toss back a Big Gulp-sized amount of coffee, and take in a few snuggles with my girl before getting ready for school:


Mondays always feel really, really long to me, so I try to spend as much time cuddling with Lila as possible before I have to head to work.   Clearly, she loves this:



Get off me, Mom, geez!!!

You know how you develop voices for your pets?  Turns out you do that for babies as well, and we’ve settled on a sort of Napoleon Dynamite/Daria hybrid for Lila.  I think it suits her.

Lila and I go to the nursery so that I can dress her before I hop in the shower:



This should take 2 minutes, but because someone has decided that she hates clothes and would rather crawl around her crib, it takes about 10.  I blame this on karma: apparently I was notoriously difficult to put socks on as a child.  Now the universe has rewarded me with a child who kicks and flips and crawls and cries when we try to (gasp) put her in a freakin’ onesie.

But I forgive her. How could I stay mad at this face?


Around 7:30, I tear myself away to go shower and get ready.  My new short(er) haircut means that I can do this in about 30 minutes, and by 8:00, I’m out the door (with wet hair.  Meh, it’ll dry before I have to teach).

I get to campus around 8:15, and get to work grading papers—my students turned in a batch of rough drafts on Monday, which means that I should have about 70 essays to comment on.  Luckily, some of them didn’t do the assignment, so I only have about 60—yay, slackers! Thanks for making my life easier!  See ya again next semester.

I grade until 9:05, when it’s time to go teach my classes. 

9:10-12:25—Teaching.  Teaching.  Teaching.  Answering stupid questions.  Answering questions I’ve already answered 20 times.  Scolding college students (COLLEGE STUDENTS) for calling women “chicks” (totally un-ironically) during our discussion of whether or not men and boys are failing in today’s society.  Teaching.  Teaching.  Answering stupid questions.


12:30—I met with our department head to talk about the possibility of teaching two creative writing classes in the spring.  I’m already slated to teach a poetry workshop, but the person who was going to teach fiction has taken another job, so it’s up for grabs.  I grab it. 

This means I’ll be teaching two night classes next semester, which will probably, frankly, suck, but it’s worth it to have another creative writing class (instead of a third section of comp).

1:00—I rush back to my office to cram in lunch and some more grading before I head home to release the nanny.  Jessie, our nanny (and my student!), comes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 to 2. 

I discover that someone has taken a big bite out of my apple:


…and find the culprit next door:


Yep.  Ryan and I have offices right next to each other.  Cute, right?  NERDY COUPLE ALERT!

Luckily, the apple is big enough to share:


I grade until 1:45, and then head home to my baby girl.  Normally, I’d try to take a small nap during this time, but my computer battery has decided to die on me, so Ryan, Lila and I take a family trip to Best Buy.



At least one of us was happy to be there.

At 4:00, we return home and I start to prepare to head back up to campus.  I review the short stories we’ll be talking about, look over my students’ own stories for workshop, and make a big mug of tea.  Coffee at this late in the day would keep me up, so tea it is.

Usually at this point, I’m pretty wiped.  But, I tend to get a second wind.  Which is good, because I have three hours of teaching ahead of me.

5:30-8:20—Teach.  Talk about plot.  Talk about characters.  Show, don’t tell.  Write what you know.   Yada, yada, yada.  We spend a lot of time discussing a story that started out as a vampire sex scene.  We ask, “Have you earned this?”  The answer is almost always no.

Ryan texts me pictures of Lila while I teach.  He feeds her dinner and she goes down around 7:30:


8:30—I return home.


It’s late.  I’m tired.  I’m hungry.  I need wine.  I warm up a bowl of sweet potato black bean chili, pour myself a big glass of wine,  and settle into the couch to watch How I Met Your Mother. 



Ryan and I veg out on the couch for a while, decompressing from the day.  At 10, I give Lila her final feeding for the night.  And then…Bed.  For.  All. 

And, there you have it—my day in a nutshell.  Again, the funny thing is, the next day would look completely different.  Maybe I’ll do another “Day in the Life” post about the days when I don’t have to teach and stay home with Lila.  You know– a “both sides of the coin” thing.

Teaching as a new mother is hard—very, very hard.  But, I’m glad that I’m doing it.  And I think I’ll be more and more glad, the older (and more independent) she gets.  Right now, she’s SO dependent on us—but I know that, sadly, that won’t always be the case.  And I don’t want to be that mom who puts EVERYTHING into her kids, only to find that she has nothing left of herself when the kids grow up and leave.  I really do think it’s important for moms to maintain their own interests, and goals, and passions, apart from raising children. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Have a great one!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. ginger635 permalink
    October 4, 2012 2:26 pm

    Whew – now I’m tired and would go take a nap, but I’ve got to get on the road – looking forward to seeing you this afternoon!

  2. October 4, 2012 3:07 pm

    I liked reading this, especially since you’re a working mom and if I ever have kids, I will be too. And yes, totally watched Are You Afraid of the Dark?

    • October 6, 2012 10:47 pm

      It’s been hard, but again– I definitely think I made the right choice. I think some moms were made to stay home with their kids, but I’m not sure I’m one of them! 😉

  3. October 4, 2012 3:08 pm

    Anna, I really enjoyed reading this! I’m always so interested in how people spend their days. While I’m not a mom (yet!), I especially enjoy seeing “daily life” posts of moms – but most are from ones who stay at home. It’s nice to see the other side – a working home – find balance!

  4. October 4, 2012 3:11 pm

    wes hasn’t started crawling yet but i’m kind of OK with that because he’s already trying to roll off of his changing table the second i take his diaper off. once he starts crawling i’ll have to start changing him on the floor. or just let him go naked. whatever 🙂

  5. Catherine Overend permalink
    October 4, 2012 3:46 pm

    are you afraid of the dark reference. genius! loved it!

  6. October 4, 2012 3:54 pm

    Thanks for this great post, Anna! I’m always wondering how all these great bloggers “do it all,” and day in the life posts give me a little peek inside. Also, selfishly, I’m super-interested in your views on teaching, so I was glad to get a glimpse into that, too. I start teaching my first college-level class next semester, and I’m both terrified and incredibly excited.

    • October 6, 2012 10:50 pm

      You’ll love teaching, I bet. When I started at Purdue, I had NO idea that by “TA,” they meant, “You’ll be teaching a composition class all on your own.” It took me a while to get comfortable in the classroom, but I really love it now, and I LOVE all of the freedom that teaching on the college level affords you.

  7. October 4, 2012 5:27 pm

    Whew! What a jam-packed day!! I really liked what you said at the end about maintaining your own identity, interests & goals, but obviously it’s not easy to fit it all in – you’re a rockstar girl!!

  8. October 4, 2012 9:15 pm

    I think you guys are awesome! What an incredible team you all are!

  9. October 4, 2012 9:42 pm

    What a day! Lila looks so happy and well adjusted – you guys must be doing something (or, likely, LOTS of things) right!

  10. October 4, 2012 11:45 pm

    Take it from me, don’t give everything up. I did 10 years ago when I became a mom and now that my oldest is 10 and my youngest is almost 5, I’m trying to figure out who the hell I am.

  11. October 5, 2012 10:55 am

    Wow, what a day you both have (or I should say, all three of you!). Lila is getting cuter every day. I can’t believe it. Reading your posts makes me very excited to have a little one of my own!

  12. October 8, 2012 4:38 am

    What a day and schedule! It’s so awesome that you and Ryan work together so well to balance the load. Adorable pics, but ugh, so sorry about your time at Best Buy – not fun after a long day.

  13. October 9, 2012 1:56 pm

    I love posts like this and seriously don’t know how you do it! I can barely function with 4 classes of my own, practicums, teaching 2 classes and working….I can’t even imagine taking care of a human! (says the person currently procrastinating reading by reading blogs ;)). You guys are awesome.


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