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A Day in the Life (Again)

November 8, 2014

I always enjoy reading “day in the life” posts, but the ones I read are often from the perspective of the stay-at-home or work-at-home mom.  I was listening to a Fresh Air interview with Amy Poehler the other day, and she said something that really resonated with me when she discussed the pressures that come with being a working mother (she started on “Parks and Rec” only a few months after giving birth to her first son):

There’s not enough, in my opinion—not enough working mothers who talk about who they leaned on and how they got through that difficult time; there’s this thing where nobody likes to talk about how difficult things are; everybody likes to talk about how easy it is, or can be if you do x,y, and z.  But it’s difficult to be away from your baby, and to be working hard and also want to be working. 

This whole working mother thing is so tricky.  I thought maybe it would get easier this year—Lila is in school five days a week, from 9 to 1.  This corresponds well with my teaching schedule, but somehow I *still* feel so rushed on many days.  It’s been a real challenge, especially during this first semester, to figure out the schedule balance—who’s dropping her off, who’s picking her up, my classes, Ryan’s classes, meetings that one or sometimes both of us have to attend…whew. 

And I’m still terrified that I’m going to forget her at school one day:

It hasn’t happened yet, but I just know it’s coming.

Anyway, I figured I’d do a day-in-the-life post detailing what our days look like right now so that at least the other mothers and fathers who are out there dealing with the same kind of crazy days that we are won’t feel like they’re alone in the mayhem.

6:15—Lila wakes up.  I know this because I can hear screams of “I LOVE GASTON! I LOVE KRISTOFF! I LOVE FLYNN RIDER, HE IS MY FRIEND!” over the monitor.  I’m not even really sure why we use the monitor anymore.  I know when Lila is awake.  Anyone within a 100 foot radius of our house knows when Lila is awake.

I let Lila “talk” a little more (“I’M AWAKE! MOM, DAD, I’M AWAKE! I’M BEAUTIFUL!”), and go downstairs to make a cup of coffee:

photo 2 (25)

(Oh, right, writing—I should probably do that again eventually…)

The whole world seems a little brighter.  I go back upstairs and read with Lila until about 7, when we head downstairs for breakfast.

7:00—Ryan is awake now too, and makes breakfast for Lila (a waffle with peanut butter and a banana).  He also makes her lunch while we’re waiting for the waffle.  We’ve all become pretty good at multi-tasking.


I end up eating breakfast as well—the same exact thing, actually.  Peanut butter waffle and banana.  We talk about what Lila might do in school today (learn about turkeys).  We talk about Frozen (apparently Kristoff and Lila are engaged to be married).  Lila tells me she wants a dress and a necklace and a bracelet and a crown for Christmas.  Good luck, kid.

Around 7:30, I take Ella and Emma out for a walk.  Ryan and Lila (and Baxter) head upstairs for Lila’s bath.

photo 3 (20)photo 4 (17)

I’m happy to get out with them.  We walk for about a half hour.  It’s always nice to get a walk in in the morning, especially because I don’t usually get a real workout in on days that I teach.

When I get home, Lila is still in the bathtub, playing.  I pick out her outfit for the day and hop in the shower.  Ryan and I are pretty good about sharing tasks and delegating, but choosing Lila’s outfit generally falls to me.  I think we’re all still recovering a little from the time he took her to the farmer’s market in just a t-shirt and no pants.  #neverforget

Ryan dresses Lila, I dress myself, and we’re out the door (me and Lila, that is), by 8:50. 

9:05—I drop Lila off at school and head up to school myself.  I get some more coffee and grade and answer e-mails in my office until 10:20, when my first class starts.

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10:20-12: 30—I teach my composition classes.  My students are still calling me Webdog, three months in.  Good times.

12:30—I wolf down a microwave lunch:  Annie’s tofu breakfast scramble.  It was the only thing I could grab from our freezer on my way out the door.

photo 3 (19)

It’s actually pretty tasty.  Good not great, as Dwight would say.

12:45—I meet with a student I’m doing an independent study with.  “You still haven’t turned in your pantoum!” I chastise.  I tell him that the poems that are the hardest to write are the ones that are the most worth writing.  I tell him that MFA programs are good for the soul.  I have become some sort of creative writing instructor cliché.

Also at 12:45, Ryan leaves to pick Lila up from school.

When my meeting is over, I head home as well.  It’s a good 25 minute drive from campus back to our house, but I don’t teach again until 5:30, and the thought of staying on campus ALL day and not seeing Lila again until 7:00 is just no good.  So I drive home.

When I get home around 2, Lila is napping.  This is good—naps have been a total crapshoot since she started school.  I have a few hours to kill, so I read and comment on my students’ short stories, and then I close my eyes for a twenty minute power nap.  It helps—I wake up feeling refreshed.

4:00—I’m heading out the door to go back up to campus when Lila finally wakes up.  I get one extra-sweet cuddle out of her before I leave:

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4:30—Back up at school.  I answer more e-mails, grade, and putter around until my class starts at 5:30.

5:30-6:55—teaching.  We workshop short stories, and I worry that we’re too harsh on one.  I ask the student to stay after class to make sure that he feels okay with the way that workshop went.  “Oh yeah, that was great!” he says without a hint of sarcasm.  Sometimes the students are tougher than you think.

While I teach, Ryan sends me a picture to show me what he and Lila are up to.  Apparently they’re trying to decide who looks better in a pink cape:

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It might be a toss-up.

7:25—I get home again.  Lila and Ryan are reading the Berenstein Bears trick-or-treating book, which she is still obsessed with despite Halloween being over.  It’s time for bed, but she pulls the “ONE MORE BOOK!” trick, so I read it to her one more time while Ryan finishes dinner:


7:35—Lila goes to sleep.  Ryan and I settle down for some chili, enjoyed while watching The League:

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9:00—I’m beat.  We head upstairs to read, and it’s probably only 9:20 before my eyes are closing.  Good. Night.

So there it is—my day in a nutshell.

(Please tell me you get this joke.)

Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually more laid-back because I don’t teach on those days.  Plus, I get to spend much more time with Lila on those days because Ryan teaches all afternoon and evening.  So those days are more fun…and sometimes more stressful in a different way. Winking smile 

It’s not always easy, but we make it work.  But only because Tim Gunn tells us to.

xx, Happy weekend!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2014 12:39 am

    I always think its interesting to see how couples handle the kid (s). I work half time at my “day job”, so I am pretty much 100% in charge of Kaylin’s well being (with Josh randomly pitching in here and there). It works well for us, but I know it totally wouldn’t for others. You guys seem to give her a great mix!

    • November 8, 2014 12:44 am

      It’s funny– I was re-reading this post to proofread for errors (English teacher nerd!), and I thought to myself, “Wow– Ryan really does a LOT of the childcare!” I guess I’ve always known that, but sometimes it doesn’t really hit you until you see it in hour-by-hour increments like this, you know? On Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s much more my area, but yeah, MWF it’s kind of all on him. And the thing is, he really LIKES it– sometimes I think he actually likes it more than (and is better at it) than me.

      Anyway, you’re right– it’s all about finding what works for you. Finding that balance can be tough in the first few years.

  2. November 8, 2014 1:46 am

    That Amy’s meal is delicious.

  3. ginger635 permalink
    November 9, 2014 1:40 pm

    I’m so proud of both my girls and their husbands! You all do such a great job of parenting, and your kids reflect it. It’s hard to keep all those balls in the air, but you seem to do it with more ease than I ever did! I enjoy these “day in the life” posts.

  4. Preethi permalink
    November 13, 2014 6:10 pm

    i never comment but i just wanted to say that i love your blog, sense of humor, writing style (and taste in tv)! =] i can definitely empathize about life getting busy but i really enjoy reading whenever you post. so, thanks!

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