A Day in the Life

I wrote this a few months ago and forget to post it.

6:35: My alarm goes off.


6:40-7:00: I pick up S (he’s 16) and two other kids from seminary. On the way home, we talk about what they did in seminary and what school work he needs to do today, which he’ll do pretty much on his own.


7:00-8:00: I walk about four miles. I half-listen to NPR while planning my day and thinking about my writing projects.


8:00-8:15: I get cleaned up.


8:15-9:00: breakfast (toast—one piece with PB, one with jelly, and a glass of milk), email, Facebook.


9:00-9:45: I sit on the couch with N (he’s 12) and T (he’s 9.5) and read to them (today, picture books about chemistry and Jean Lafitte and part of a historical novel about escaped slaves). Usually during this time, my husband wakes up (he works from home and keeps odd [to me] hours) and says good morning. I will pop in to his home office throughout the day; I love having him here.


9:45-11:30: I assign and check math, handwriting, language arts, reading, piano, science, history, current events, etc. I also help with schoolwork as needed. When they don’t need me, I cycle laundry, do bills/paperwork, clean, waste time online, research/write, etc.


11:30: lunch. (If I were a better person, I’d make lunch for the five of us, but instead, we have a fend-for-yourself affair every day. I have leftover pasta salad. The boys eat hot dogs and macaroni and cheese which, as you may be aware, are not nutritious foods.) N does dishes.


12:00-3:00: This is Wednesday, so we go to an indoor skating arena which has a homeschool day each week. On the way over, N describes a very elaborate plan for laundering money made in the meth trade. The kids inline skate, play dodgeball, and hang out with their friends while I completely ignore them and work on my research and writing (today: reading and taking notes on a [virtual] stack of journal articles on Mark 7). On the other days of the week, we have judo, gymnastics, park day, game day, library, grocery shopping, cleaning, history co-op, friends over, book groups, etc.


3:00-5:45: We bring three friends home from skate day to hang out. So the kids do whatever it is that kids do when they have friends over. I spend some time preparing for history co-op, which I am hosting on Friday (theme: the Rosetta stone). I get another half hour or so of research in. I also put away laundry, waste time on Facebook, and make dinner. Our guests head home. I pretty much stink at the whole homemaking thing, but I do make a real dinner every night—about half the time, something I’ve never made before (thank you Pinterest). Tonight: chicken arrabbiata over spaghetti.


5:45-6:15: Dinner. T does dishes. (S will clean the kitchen at some point before bed. Theoretically.)


6:15-6:45: A little more research gets done. And dark chocolate and milk is consumed.


6:45-9:00: My husband takes the boys to scouts and mutual and then comes home. We have about an hour alone together before he has to pick them up. Then family prayer and scripture study.


9:00: I am barely awake. I’m going to read a little and then I’ll fall asleep. (Do you know what I like least about myself? I need about nine hours of sleep, every single night, to be a functional human being. I hear about these people getting by on five hours—it seems so unfair! There were several things that I wanted to get done today–including the filling out of scout camp forms, the removal of stains from kitchen cabinets, and the writing of letters to the people on my VT letter route–that did not get done.) But first, T will probably come in at some point and ask me to read him a chapter of Little House. (My husband also reads to him for about 20 minutes every night.)



Several years ago, I wrote a “day in the life” post. Blogs were a different place then; this post now seems a little too personal for this space. But I write it anyway, partially for those with young kids, especially homeschoolers, who need balm–who need to know that not every day for the rest of your life will feel like a sixteen-hour-long game of whack-a-mole. The day will come when, instead of being the only thing standing between three children on inline skates and the emergency room, you will sit off to the side, hunkered down behind your laptop, without interruption, for three solid hours. And it will be good. You will be acutely aware of the fact that these are the glory days of mothering.



5 comments for “A Day in the Life

  1. Awesome; your math lessons must be working if he’s dreaming up big, concrete schemes for the meth trade.

  2. I agree that the blogs seem like a different space now, but I’m really glad you put this up anyway, Julie! Also, I totally get you on the needing lots of sleep. Maybe I don’t need nine hours, but I resent every hour that I do need. I want to be doing something with those hours, even if it’s only fooling around on Facebook, not lying unconscious in my bed! :)

  3. I hear you on the 9 hours. I can get by on 8, and almost function on 7, but end up building big sleep deficits if I try to maintain it, by say, working out at 5 am, for too long. And I love having the children forage for themselves. Provide them healthy foods, and let them fend for themselves. Sure they choose top ramen, but that’s agency.

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