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A Day in the Life of Carissa Brown

Carissa is wife to Mark, owner of a technology business, and mom to two boys and two girls: Paris, 10, Payton, 8, Paisley, 5, and Persia, 2. She homeschools her kids at the family’s Lakewood abode, all while designing and operating a home-based clothing company, Carissa Rose, created especially for full-busted women. 

6:30AM Alarm goes off. I roll out of bed to the floor where, on my hands and knees, I ask for strength and state my surrender.

7AM One of the boys is already awake, so I go in and kiss the elder son to wake him.  I let the girls sleep.  

7:30AM I make breakfast for the children and pack the baby’s lunch. Our coffee maker carafe broke a couple weeks ago, so I run down the block for a large cup of black coffee from GreenSpot. A new carafe would probably be cheaper.  

8AM This hour is crazy because my eldest son is at the table doing language arts lessons while the girls are eating breakfast—all at the same table.

8:30AM After a heated struggle with my second son, he settles in to complete his music assignment cheerfully. All it took was a little Wite-Out.  

9AM Calmness comes when my husband takes the baby to nursery school and the boys are outside having recess. I lead kindergarten lessons for my 5-year-old girl.

10AM The lack of breakfast catches up with me, so I start eating almonds. Hunger pangs make for a cranky teacher. The coffee that still hasn’t been drunk becomes iced coffee. I teach a language arts lesson to my second son.  

10:30AM My husband interrupts school for some questions and exciting news—one of my designs was reviewed by a local magazine’s Web site. Despite the good news, these interruptions get on my nerves because they disrupt our school flow.

11AM I switch the laundry while the boys work on math problems. The pile of clean laundry on the coffee table is growing taller. I’m on my feet going back and forth between the two boys, answering their questions and helping them with their solutions. I also check on the kindergarten girl and get her set for music homework. It’s a relief when she has a great attitude about practicing.

11:30AM I hear the shower running and ask my husband if he put our 5-year-old daughter in the shower—is he managing her? He jokingly answers, ‘No, I’ve totally forgotten about her and set her up for disaster.’ I run down the hall to find her holding the handheld shower asking, ‘Mommy, can I come out now?’ Of course! I turn off the water and get her out into a towel.

12:30PM Soup and kolaches—the lunch of champions. I have a brief meeting with husband about what has happened today and what needs to happen the rest of the day (ahem, no more showers!).  
1PM I take the boys to their once-a-week classes: art, P.E. and music. We stay home on the other days of the week for history and Latin. I spend the hour focused on my 5-year-old daughter. We run a quick business errand, get a special snack and when we come home, we read a book together while snuggling.  

2PM I pick up the baby from nursery school and change my clothes to ‘work’ for the day. I hand the parenting responsibilities over to my husband, who will watch the children until dinner.

3PM I get ready for a new client coming to shop, which includes getting the dressing room ready and pulling her size. Seeing women look and feel great in our clothing is the most rewarding part of my job. It also affirms me as a designer entrepreneur that I can create a garment to fit their large bust and not large waist. The client is more than excited.

4:30PM Check in with vendors—the pattern maker, sewer, cutter. Dallas is a great place to manufacture clothing.  I answer e-mail inquiries and process back-order notices.

6PM I hurriedly put dinner on the table because when the family sits down they will be famished.

7PM Family folding party (to put away all that laundry) as we listen to songs via YouTube. We laugh at the baby because she stashes her clean laundry behind daddy’s chair instead of putting it in her room.

7:30PM AHH, a big sigh of relaxation when we begin to read aloud Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.

8PM Daddy breaks out the Cherry Garcia as a reward for the family folding party.  

8:30PM The children go to bed; I am in charge of the girls.

9PM I get into my PJs and go to work planning our re-brand and corresponding new Web site. Occasionally I call out to my husband, because he’s working at his desk too.

11:30PM The words on the screen are getting blurry, so I stumble to bed, stepping over playing cards splayed across the carpet on the family room floor. All is good.