Vanessa Morales is a 30-year-old single mom, chiropractor and assistant professor at Parker University. She lives in Grapevine with her 4-year-old daughter, Cadence.
4:31AM OK, fine. Since I’m awake anyway, I will go add the finishing touches to the lecture for today.
6AM Time for a hot shower — and the last moment I will get to myself all day.
6:30AM I call out to Cadence so she can get out of bed while I continue to get ready. I hear a few moans and groans followed by complete silence. No luck.
6:35AM I go to Cadence to wake her up, only to be pulled in by her tiny and warm arms. Alright, I can cuddle for one minute. Just … one … minute …
6:45AM So much for a minute! Let’s go! Cadence literally rolls out of the bed and onto the floor, staring up at me. “I’m not ready, Momma,” she says. Me neither, sweet girl.
7:05AM We’re out the door and in the car. The darn car seat straps keep getting twisted. I wish getting her into her seat were an easier process. Listen to me! #firstworldproblems On with my day. Day care awaits, as do my students for my 8am patient management lab.
7:20AM With Cadence latched onto me like a koala bear, I quickly try to scramble her stuff together and get it into her cubby. This thing is like the “everything drawer” in my kitchen. Where does a 4-year-old get so many random things? Then I’ve got to sign her in so I can get myself out.
8:03AM Smile at my students who await me, lined up in the small hallway toward my lab room. Oops — my dad would be so disappointed. I can hear him now: “If you’re on time, you’re late.” Had I not fallen asleep cuddling up with Cadie this morning, I would’ve been here earlier and would not be having this conversation with the spirit of my dad.
9:37AM Check my emails. Meetings, meetings, more meetings … Oh, hey there! Great question from a student! And another student question? Nope — another student looking for an exception to their grade. Well, they’ll never know if they never try, I guess. The answer is still no.
9:58AM Rushing to my 10 o’clock lecture. Do I have time for a potty break? Nope.
11:50AM Lecture over. Do not make eye contact, keep looking ahead, find the nearest exit and straight to the potty … Nope, they caught me. Of course I can stay and answer that question. (Sorry, bladder, it is not your time. Don’t give up on me yet!)
12:10PM Sweet relief and my lunch break. I am on a roll right now.
1PM It’s back to the grind for the rest of my labs today.
2:43PM I just love when students stay behind, looking to learn and grow. It’s like watching my own child’s curiosity, her eyes lighting up when she makes the proper connections, but with 20- to 40-year-olds. Totally the same. (Although the cuteness factor may be a tad different.)
3:30PM I publicly apologize to my students for eating a snack during lab. Maybe I can turn this into a teaching moment and begin a discussion on blood sugar levels … Nah, I’ll just let them keep going on with their work.
4:46PM Back to the office to check emails one last time before heading home. If I leave now, just before 5, traffic may be better. I’ll just take the assignments home with me and grade from home.
5:05PM Wrong. I guess it is time for a podcast to help the time pass by. Thank you, NPR, for “The People’s Pharmacy.” This is my kind of soul food. One day, I will take over this podcast and share health research and education with the world. Oh yeah, that is getting added to my vision board later.
6:02PM Yep, I forgot to defrost the chicken. Breakfast for dinner it is! I do love me some fried eggs and tortillas. I guess it worked out that Cadence’s dad is picking her up from school and taking her tonight — although she enjoys eggs, I know she would prefer the chicken and veggies.
6:12PM Kick off my shoes, turn on the TV and watch a little side of House, MD, a little Mindy Project. I want her office.
7:46PM I wish Cadie were here … I love when she helps me clean up and when we play dolls, read and draw and especially when she writes me songs on her guitar.
8:15PM Thank goodness for FaceTime! Time to call my sweet Cadence before her bedtime. How I love hearing about her day and watching her full-of-life personality over the video.
8:23PM I miss spraying aromatherapy mist onto Cadie’s pillow and tucking her in, making sure her head rests just right over Poppy on her Trolls pillow.
8:30PM Fit in a quick 15-minute workout. Why did I eat so many tortillas? I always regret it, but I just cannot help myself.
8:50PM Rinse off and end with some reading before bed. I really need one of those lights that attaches to the book. Cadie’s night light will just have to do until I finally buy myself one.
9:17PM Did I just fall asleep reading? Yep, that is definitely a little drool on the page. Guess that means it is time for a lavender-mint spritz onto my pillow, a lot of gratitude, and off to sleep I go.
9:18PM Oops! Almost forgot to set the alarm for tomorrow morning. Doesn’t matter too much given that I am a lark and often wake up before the alarm, but just in case… Goodnight, world.