5:25 AM: Alarm goes off. I usually hit the snooze without even waking up.

5:35 AM: Alarm goes off. This time I wake up, hit the snooze, close my eyes, and seriously debate the cleanliness of my hair. I also attempt to visualize the school lunch menu that is pinned to my kitchen bulletin board. Did the girls want lunch today? Or am I making it? Crap.

5:45 AM: Alarm goes off and I haul myself out of bed. I again debate the cleanliness of my hair this time in front of the bathroom mirror while squinting since I forgot to bring in my glasses and my eyes are not yet ready for my contact lenses. Shower and, every couple of days, wash my hair.

6:00 AM: Wander downstairs and assess the lunch situation. Yes, I know. I should make the lunches the night before. I don’t. I never will. It’s just not going to happen. Worst case scenario I throw something together for myself, make and pack three kid lunches, and make some sandwiches for my husband (yes, I know, he could make his own lunch but I’m there and the stuff is out so…he’s a lucky man).

6:15 AM: Look at the sink filled with last night’s dinner dishes and pans, curse myself for not cleaning up the night before, and head back upstairs to begin drying my very long, very thick hair. On those blissful mornings when I decided my hair was not dirty enough for the effort, I clean out the sink, check my emails and my calendar, and do a quick Facebook scan.

6:35 AM: Wake up my older children, ignore the groans and whines, then go back to my hair (yep, it takes about 30 minutes to blow out my hair).

6:40-7:00 AM: Freak out time. Iron whatever needs to be ironed for me or for the girls, get dressed, wake up the littlest and get her dressed. Argue with at least one child about available clothing options. Get called a horrible mother for not washing something that was thrown in the dirty laundry pile YESTERDAY. Get all three downstairs, sign random things the girls put in front of me that I missed while going through because I forgot to go through their folders, remind them all to eat, remind the oldest to feed the littlest, kiss them all, run back upstairs to say good-bye to my now showering husband, and I’m out the door. My darling husband takes over from here and gets THEM all out the door and to their daily destination.

7:02 AM: Spend some time with some of my favorite women—the coffee people. They know my name, they know my order, they always have a smile for me, and they give me my well-earned large coffee in exchange for under $3.00.

7:05 AM-7:30: Commute time. Ahhhhh…..glorious, music pumping, no one yelling at me, no one needs me, commute time. I also use this time (at stop lights of course) to put on some make-up and to check my emails and calendar if I didn’t have a chance earlier. On more than one occasion I have said a prayer of thanks to calendar alerts for those 7:45 am meetings I had forgotten about.

7:30-2:45: Work at a job that I love (most days).

2:45-3:15: Commute home to login remotely to my second job. Yes I have a second job. I receive a teacher’s salary. Enough said. I usually call my husband during this commute and spend at least part of this time catching up with his day. I also may use this time to check in with the goddess (my mother) who has picked up my children from school and is preparing them for afternoon activities and getting homework done. I almost always grab a cup of coffee along the way.

3:30-7:30: First, I assess the work that must be completed for my second job. Most of it is not time sensitive and I’ll push it off until later in the evening. On the rare occasions that it is time sensitive I’ll spend my afternoon getting it done, relying on my mother to help me with my kids’ afternoon commitments. If, however, I can push the work and IF my kids’ commitments are a little later in the afternoon/evening, I’ll grab a 30 minute run either outside or at the gym. I MUST take advantage of this time at least a few times a week. It’s essential to my mental health and overall well-being.

The rest of the afternoon and early evening is spent picking up, dropping off, and picking up my children at their various lessons and practices. Some seasons are busier than others depending on the sport being played. Soccer is our biggest nemesis and my girls all play fall and spring soccer. I’ve discovered that as the girls have gotten older the demands on our time (and my gas tank) have increased exponentially.

At some point in between the taxi service I squeeze in dinner prep and cooking and we eventually all eat. Confession: We do not eat a family dinner around the table during the week. My husband usually works until at least 7 and my children are often out at different times finishing up a practice. So we eat when we can. It is what it is. I also squeeze in a basic pick-up of the house, maybe throw in a load of laundry, and help at least one child with some homework because it didn’t get done at my mother’s before lessons/practices started.

7:30 PM: Assess the cleanliness of my children and decide who needs to shower/bathe. Greet my husband and watch him heat up his dinner and plop himself in front of the TV until bed. Now…to be fair…he works a very physical job outside and he usually does this for ten or eleven hours a day. He’s filthy and tired so he sits while I do the evening routine. It is a battle I do not pick. But…I often want to just sit too as I’m usually mentally exhausted so this tends to be the hardest part of my day. I must maintain patience and stamina as I get my three tired kids bathed and in bed (while usually negotiating peace between them at least twice).

8:30 PM: Sit with husband in front of the TV. If I have work to finish my laptop joins us and I plow through it. Get up and put the laundry I threw into the wash while making dinner into the dryer. Sit. Get up and put away anything perishable in the kitchen and stack dishes/pans in the sink. Sit. Get up and convince someone to PLEASE just go to bed. Sit.

10:00 PM: Wander back upstairs, briefly consider ironing my clothes for tomorrow, reject the idea, and bed.