Amanda Jackson is a stay-at-home mother and part-time faculty member with the Dallas County Community College District. She is married to Jeff, a coach at North Garland High School. Amanda and Jeff live in Plano with their two children, Edith and Jett. Edith is 9 and has Down syndrome, and Jett is 6.
7:45AM Kids wake up, which means it’s time to rise.
8AM I huddle everyone in the kitchen and work out breakfast desires: cinnamon rolls for the daughter, oatmeal “like Daddy makes it” for the son and, when all that gets done, a spinach, banana and oatmeal smoothie for Mommy.
8:20AM I remind everyone there will be no swim lessons unless a sufficient amount of energy is obtained from breakfast.
8:22AM Since there’s still mad amounts of giggling at the table, food is still not in tummies and I give the second prompt to eat breakfast, this time with, “We have to leave in five minutes or uh-oh no swimming!” which ignites wolfing of the rest of breakfast.
8:27AM Kids clear the table and change into swimsuits. In an attempt to have my kids be “responsible,” I try to get them to take towel and shoes to the car. Yet my son has still forgotten to wear shoes at least twice.
9:30AM We arrive to swimming lessons and I lounge on the lawn chair with journal in hand, rotating between morning reflections and encouraging smiles and “yeahs,” because there will be questioning from my son afterward about if Mommy saw how awesome he did.
10AM Back home in time to change clothes and eat a snack, then I huddle everyone back into the car to head to the gym.
10:20AM I check the kids into the play area at the gym and commence "Mommy Time," the one hour a day where I try to reach the never-accomplished goal of looking and feeling the same way I did when I was 21.
11:30AM I pick the kids up from the play area, and they gravitate to the basketball gym where we commence a little 2-on-1. I try to dunk on the 8-foot goal to impress the kids and fail miserably. Guess I need to do more squat jumps.
11:50AM We leave the gym to head home for lunch.
12:30PM Lunch is over, which means homework time or, as I like to call it, "Mommy's School." Each child gets a math, reading and writing lesson, and sometimes an extra speech assignment for the little miss. There are stickers, charts and a whole lot of patience.
1:15PM School time is over and the kids complete one chore, which is more like an “assist Mommy in putting away kid laundry” or emptying the dishwasher.
1:30PM It's screen time and free-play time for the kids and Mommy.
1:45PM Screen time (checking email and occasionally window shopping) is over for Mommy and it's time to clean and do laundry.
3PM The kids are bored. It's Mommy time again (e.g., card playing, family baking in the kitchen, bike riding, movie time or a trip to the library or craft store.)
5PM I commence the “get-the-kids-involved-in-something-that-will-last-30-minutes-while-I-cook-dinner routine.” Sometimes it's outside play, followed by little elves in the kitchen trying to help.
5:30PM Big Sister is finished setting the table and is ready for dinner, and Little Brother is looking for my phone to download yet another game; so Mommy pulls her ultimate trump card: dance station. The iPod starts blaring and we boogie down while I stir dinner.
6PM Daddy's home! Always a big hit with lots of running, jumping and hugs.
6:01PM Whew! Time to sit, eat and enjoy our family.
7PM Daddy and sister head to Special Olympics practice.
8:15PM Everyone is home and it's baths, books and bedtime. The ongoing argument commences about who has to go first for showers, then each kid gets one-on-one time with the parent of choice. Tonight, I decide to give Daddy a break and read to both kids at the same time from an old Andersen's Fairy Tales book that my grandmother used to have. I stop short thinking, “Did they really used to read that to kids?” and put it back on the shelf, going for Dr. Seuss.
8:30PM Books are finished and we meet in the hallway for family prayer followed by brushing teeth and requests for something to drink. All are safely tucked into bed.
8:45PM Mommy and Daddy unwind solo and Mommy cleans up what feels like a never-ending mess.
9:30PM Mommy and Daddy watch an episode of Psych on Netflix for cuddle time.
10:15PM Television time is over and I feel guilty I didn't do something more productive, like read my textbook for grad school or prepare my lesson plans for the class I teach once a week. Oh well. I grab my textbook and read as much as I can before feeling sleepy.
10:45PM I call my husband over from what he is working on and we have couples prayer followed by “love you” and tuck-in for the night.
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