With the start of September, I thought it a good idea to breathe life back into my blog and give you a more behind-the-scenes approach to my life. One of the questions I get asked a lot is how I manage to juggle my job, two small children, and writing. The answer? I have a very patient husband. I thought it would be fun to start this renewed blog with a glimpse into an ordinary day-if you can call it ordinary with two small kids.
6 am: Alarm goes off. Thank heavens I bought that Fitbit watch, at least it wakes me up gently by buzzing and a lovely 'look alive' message. Seriously though, at 6 am? Sadist. I stab the spot where it goes off, slip out of bed and tiptoe to the bathroom, praying to anyone who listens my son won't wake up. Please, don't wake up. (My level of awake depends on how well I slept that night. It differs. Drastically).
6.15 am: After my shower, I get dressed while tenaciously avoiding the mirror until I really must have a look at it. I slap on some make-up (nothing too difficult, who has time for that at this hour of day?)
6.30 am: I go downstairs, prepare breakfast and lunch, and pack my bag for work. Do I have all the books? Keys? Mask? Pens? Anything and everything else that I need? (Sometimes I manage to pack my bag the night before. I'd say that's about the first two weeks of work.
6.45 am: I crawl into my car, silently wishing I had made that cup of coffee I thought I didn't need, stick the jack plug in my phone, open Spotify and put on music that will see me through my 45-minute drive. An audio book might be fine too, if I have the mental capacity to actually focus on it. Every morning is a surprise!
7.30-7.45 am: Depending on how bad traffic was, I arrive at work. Let the Hunger Games begin! (This schedule is based on how it's going to look like this year). I put on my mask, get out of the car, grab my bag (and probably two more), close my car, check it at least three times to make sure I locked it, and make my way to the school building. With a bit of luck, the doors open. If I'm unlucky, I have to wait for the janitor to arrive (really, what idiot arrives at school that early. Yeah, me. It's a choice between at work early or stuck in traffic jams...)
7.45 am - 3.00 pm (based on which day it is): Work. Work. Work. Work. During which time I do my best to impart the grammatical rules of the English language on unsuspecting students, hope they actually caught on what I've been explaining for the past ten minutes, wait patiently for the board to lower so I can write on it (why is everyone so darn tall!), stuff lunch in my face in the few minutes that I have (students always want to talk to you during lunch), make them read out loud, discuss some irregular verbs and tell the the homework for next lesson. Such happy faces! Do I have a meeting today? Better check if I do!
3.00 pm: Woooohoooo, I've been released! Ahem, I get to go home. I decide to leave my bag with coursebooks at school; it's not as if I'll be doing much at home. Plus, didn't I have double copies? I love having double copies. Anyway, I get in my car, tear off the mask and drive home to either music or an audio book (depending on how much noise I can still handle).
3.45ish pm: I arrive home, toss my bag inside and close the front door behind me. Time to get the Hellspawn (euh, kids). The walk is quite nice, depending on the weather. It's not too far off unless it's raining; it seems to take forever then.
4 pm - 4.15 pm: I cajole the kids into walking home with me. Depending on his mood, my son may or may not decide to have a tantrum in the middle of the road (never gets old). My daughter runs ahead of us; I drag my son to his feet and tow him along. By the time we get home, I'm ready for a nap.
4.15 pm: The kids usually start playing or get to watch some tv at this time. They're tired. I'm tired. We all need a bit of rest at this point. I get some things done that need to be done. I don't much like doing household chores, but it's got to be done, right? Shame those leprechauns haven't found my house yet. Anyway, I either do something that must be done, or I do something to settle down. I grab a painting or a diamond painting, put on headphones and music (I see a trend here, you too?) and let the day sort of fade away. Despite popular belief, teaching is a very active hands-on job too.
6 pm: Dinnertime! Thank my lucky starts hubs is the one who does the cooking.
6.45 - 7 pm: Get the kids ready for bed (bath or shower), get them in their PJs. You know the drill. It all depends on how well they listen (which is terribly bad in some cases)
7 - 7.30 pm: Usually the time where the kids get into bed. It tends to vary (see the previous comments about listening). We read a book, have a romp, sing bedtime songs and have long cuddles before they go to sleep (or we hope they do). Once they are finally done... hallelujah, me time!
7.30 - 9pm: This is my time. Time to write, time to wind down, time for a glass of wine, more music, and a book, whichever I feel like. In the past, I've neglected this time but during my burnout, I have learned the value of time to relax, me-time, selfcare, whatever you want to call it. Granted, I will have to see how well it works now school has started again.
9 - 9.30 pm: Time to get ready for bed, crawl under the covers and hope Sandman grabs me before 10pm, or the next morning will be painful.
This school year, I'm back to working Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Last year, we (my employer and I) learned that I'm no good working at the end of the week. This is my daily schedule, but throughout that time, every day, I have to deal with my Fibromyalgia. Although I was diagnosed over twelve years ago, I still tend to overstep my boundaries and pretend nothing is wrong. Towards the end of the week, however, my energy is low, and it is very hard to maintain my job. I'm grateful my employer has seen this too and that my job is quite flexible in that regard.
*Kara S. Weaver is the pen name under which I publish my books. Due to the nature of my job and the fact I don't want to have to hold back on creativity in my books, I decided not to use my real name on here.