Alexandra Kincy is a special education teacher in Richardson Independent School District. She lives in Far North Dallas with her 3-year-old son, CJ.
4:40AM Alarm goes off. I wash my face, brush my teeth, throw on some red lipstick and sit down in front of the computer. For an hour in the morning, six days a week, I teach English online through VIPKid to students in China between 4 and 10 years old.
6AM CJ wakes up smiling and says, “Hi, Mommy!” Today is a good day.
6:30AM CJ eats a banana to hold him over until he gets his full breakfast at day care. While he snacks, I get myself dressed for the day.
6:45AM We FaceTime with Grandma in Florida to say good morning and give kisses. I moved to Dallas from Florida in 2011, so I check in with my mom every morning beforeI head out to work.
7AM We head over to Ms. Heather’s house, where CJ is part of an in-home day care called University of Tots. We give goodbye kisses and say our daily affirmations: “I am strong. I am smart. I am a leader but I will listen. God is the head, and I’ll make Mommy, Daddy and my ancestors proud. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
7:30AM I arrive at work. Monday mornings are hard for us all, so I mentally prepare for my students to be anxious from the weekend break. I have 20 minutes before the school bus pulls up, so I prep my classwork and have a little gospel jam session in my classroom.
7:50AM School bell rings. I stand at my classroom door and greet each one of my students with a hello and a high five. They unpack their backpacks, put their jackets and supplies in their lockers and head into class.
8:30AM A phone alarm goes off reminding me to do attendance for the day. I always forget to do attendance.
10AM Ms. Heather texts me a video of CJ having a blast performing Kidz Bop karaoke. He’s pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.
11:30AM I get a quick break to run to the bathroom and eat lunch. This week I’m doing a cleanse, so lunch consists of beet, apple, sweet potato and ginger juice. While I sip, I dream of fries and ice cream. With about 10 minutes left until class resumes, I drop by the classroom next door and talk to my partner teacher about how her day is going.
12:30PM The post-lunch struggle is real. To beat the afternoon haze, the kids and I get up and do some movement coordination exercises to wake us up and energize us.
2PM I start the process with my students to pack up for the day. We unwind from our studies, discuss the day’s highs and lows, and share a quick classroom snack. Then the kids each complete a journal reflection on how the day went.
2:45PM The bus arrives, and it’s time for my students to head home. Before I leave for the day, I spend a few minutes reading work emails, checking phone messages and catching up on classroom paperwork.
3:30PM I load up my car and head to Ms. Heather’s house to pick up CJ.
4PM The moment I walk into day care, CJ runs up to hug me. He exclaims, “Mama!” and it instantly puts a smile on my face.
4:30PM We arrive home and change into more comfy clothes. I hate wearing clothes that I’ve had on all day at work—all the coughs and sneezes you find in elementary schools are not welcome in my home.
5PM I start on dinner prep. Tonight is baked chicken and Caesar salad. The chicken breasts have been thawing since last night, so I season and coat the chicken to bake it later tonight.
5:30PM Uninterrupted CJ time. Sometimes I have mom guilt about being around other moms’ kids all day and not my own, so I make sure to spend as much quality time with my son as possible. We have 30 minutes before we head to the gym, so I give CJ my undivided attention. We do ABCs, count to 20 and sing all our favorite songs—“B-I-N-G-O,” “Old McDonald,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and the theme song from Paw Patrol.
6PM CJ and I load into the car and head to the gym. On the drive, I check in with my best friend, Tiffanie, who is also CJ’s godmother. She’s two months away from her wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where I will be a bridesmaid and CJ will act as ring bearer.
6:30PM I drop CJ off at the gym’s child care center and head into my Body Pump fitness class. I’m not going to talk about what goes on in Body Pump—just know that I count down the minutes until 7:30.
7:45PM We are back home. Dinner is baking in the oven, so I run a bath for CJ. We splash around for a bit before we really get down to the business of cleaning. CJ is proving to be a little rock star—we have another mini concert and sing our favorite songs.
8:30PM Dinner is served. We sit down to eat and don’t really talk much because we are so focused on the food. It’s been a long day!
9PM Bedtime for both CJ and me. I read My River by Shari Halpern to CJ, then we say our prayers and it’s lights off. I try not to count the hours until my alarm will ring and I have to get up and do it all over again.