Editorial: Balancing a hectic schedule

I have three, no — wait — four calendars on the go at all times. One in my bag, my fridge, my phone and one that floats around all willy-nilly. Each day is separated into five categories; kids, work, school/homework, ex’s work schedule, and elusive free time. Subsequently, my brain is also subdivided into those same five categories. I am fueled by coffee and bagels on the go —– plain, toasted with butter if you are asking! Here’s what an average day looks like:

6 a.m.: Alarm goes off, coffee steams and I wander through my cold house in search of a mug to help wake me up. I check the fridge to make sure I’ve got the right schedule for the day ahead before making my way up to my office to do some editing.

7 a.m.: First signs of life come from my oldest finding his way into my room and whispering something about being sick (he’s not) and asking if he can play on the iPad (he can’t). This wakes up my middle child who forever wakes up ready to rock.

8 a.m.: My youngest wakes up in a fit of hunger. We all wrangle our way downstairs and spill into the kitchen in a flurry of breakfast, making lunch and left shoe finding panic.

9 a.m.: Forever late getting my oldest to school, we pull up in the bus loading zone in a tuck-and-roll situation. If it’s a weekday, then it’s time to drop the kids off at their dad’s house and get back home to get ready for school, answer emails and maybe shower.

11 a.m.: Throw the audiotape version of the book I was supposed to read before class today on the radio and continue to half listen and half mentally go over today’s to-do list. The daily hour and a half drives make for a quiet panic-induced ride to school when forgotten things that were on my to-do list suddenly reappear in my mind. I cross my fingers there will be a parking spot when I get there!

5 – 8:30 p.m.: It’s family time! Time to drive home, pick up the kids so my ex can go to work and make dinner. I’m not much of a cook (sorry kids!) anything that comes in a box is my specialty! Dance parties, dinner, baths, and cartoons end our night.

9 p.m.: Time to work! More coffee and back in my office. Editing, deadlines, essay writing. I split my screen into the homework side and the editing side and bounce between the two all night while Netflix plays Gilmore Girls in the background for the 2329078398th time.

1 a.m. – 3 a.m.: finish work, crawl into bed and wait to do it all again the next day!

Look, I know I’m not the first person to go back to school with a job and kids and I won’t be the last but, man, learning to juggle has not been a smooth ride! Things get lost in the shuffle all the time! But, I love it. I’m happier than I’ve been in years, this has been my favorite fall yet, I’m excited to wake up and do all that craziness!

So, what I’m really saying is, if you have kids, work and school and want to grab coffee sometime in that elusive free time part of the calendar — I want to know you!

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