Danielle Wharram, an interim art teacher at the Fine Arts Academy in White Settlement, is also a cheer coach and cheer director for the White Settlement Youth Football Association. She and her husband Chase, an inventory manager, have two children: Gavin, 14, and Brynlea, 7.
5:30AM That wretched standard iPhone alarm goes off. I start asking a million questions in my head: How is my alarm already going off? It feels like I went to bed 10 minutes ago. Why do I not change the alarm ringer to something more pleasant? I don’t have time to continue thinking. Snooze button for the win.
5:40AM I reluctantly get up and quickly splash water on my face, brush my teeth, put in my contacts and let my son, Gavin, know we are leaving. He showers and gets ready at school after practice so he pretty much rolls out of bed to head to football practice.
5:50AM I drop Gavin off and tell him the same thing every morning. “Have a good day. Make good choices. Make good grades. I love you so much.” He replies, “OK, I love you too.” Considering it’s about 6am, I’ll take the short, teenager response.
6AM Back home just in time to see my husband before he leaves for work and then I start getting ready.
6:30AM I wake Brynlea up as she begs for five more minutes. She is also not a morning person. I give her five more minutes as I get dressed.
7AM We head out. Quick stop for coffee as we blare Taylor Swift on the way to school. We are still on a Swiftie high after going to her concert recently.
7:25AM We arrive at school. I am currently teaching at the same school my daughter attends and although I am working on my certification to teach at the high school level, I am soaking up these precious moments of being able to see my daughter in passing several times throughout my day.
7:30AM I head outside to the drop-off line to open the car doors for the kiddos arriving at school. I honestly love doing this and being able to greet the kids with a “Good morning!” I also get lots of hugs, which is a great start to my day.
8AM My planning period. I set up the class for what they will be doing that day and go check my phone. The cheer group messages have already begun. While being a cheer coach and director are volunteer positions, it is more work than my actual job. Not only do I have a team of 30 girls to maintain, but as director, I oversee all the cheer teams within the association. Therefore, I get many calls, texts and emails daily. (Shout out to my assistant director, Misty, who is also my assistant coach along with Caitlyn. They are my partners in crime and I could not survive cheer life without them.)
3:45PM I leave work and head to the high school to pick up Gavin. With both kids together and an always-busy schedule, these short car rides are sacred quality moments I take full advantage of.
4PM Back home, I go over in my head what day it is. OK, today is Tuesday—cheer practice. I lay out Brynlea’s practice clothes and change into my coach clothes, aka a comfy shirt and yoga pants.
4:15PM Check backpacks, quiz Brynlea on her spelling words for the week and check my Skyward app to look at both of the kids’ grades.
4:35PM I go into Gavin’s room and talk to him—I start with school and then go wherever the conversation takes us. (Side note: Being a mom to a teenager is hard. I’m trying to find that balance where I know he doesn’t want his mom around 24/7 but I want to be around 24/7. Can anyone else relate?) He has such a funny personality. He’s always making me laugh, and we send each other funny memes back and forth all day.
5PM I have 45 minutes of downtime, so I turn on a TV show. Yes, my guilty pleasure is the Real Housewives franchise. Right now it’s the Real Housewives of Dallas because, hello, Texas. In between, I am—you guessed it—responding to cheer-related texts, emails and phone calls.
5:50PM We head to cheer practice. Our practice is at the high school and Gavin hops in the car too to watch the high school volleyball games in the gym with friends.
6:15PM Practice begins. Although I am technically a third-grade coach, my team is all 30 girls who have requested to be on my team, so we have a range of girls from pre-K all the way to sixth grade. Because this is a youth association, there is leeway. I also have girls who are siblings, and cousins, and I even have my daughter and three nieces on my team. Suffice it to say, all the girls and moms are close and I love the bond we all share.
7:45PM Practice is over. I would love to say I went home and cooked a healthy, well-balanced meal, but tonight, I am exhausted and we grab Chick-fil-A. I am sure sports parents can relate.
8:30PM Quick shower for Brynlea, then she’s out like a light. Before bed and multiple times throughout the day, she tells me “I love you,” or “You’re so beautiful.” She seriously is the kindest soul with such a big heart.
9PM I shower, get clothes ready for tomorrow and pop in Gavin’s room like, “Me, again. Hi!” After a chat, I head back to my room to spend time with Chase.
9:30PM Time to lie down as Chase puts on a movie for us.
11PM As I doze off, I force myself to go grab my contacts case that I always forget to have on the nightstand next to my bed. Double check my alarms are set and I fall asleep in 3 … 2 … 1 …