Clarissa is a single mom of 4-and-a-half-year-old triplets: David, Matthew and Chelsea. The family of four resides in Fort Worth, where Clarissa works as a bank teller and attends a part-time nursing school program.
5:45AM I wake up to my alarm screeching. I turn it off and tell myself just five more minutes. After all, I went to bed late last night. Five minutes later I open my eyes and get out of bed, reluctantly. I always get all of our clothes ready (mine included) the night before so I don’t have to rush the next morning looking for shoes or socks.
6AM I walk into David and Matthew’s bedroom and turn their night light on. I always go up to their beds, rub their backs and tell them “wake up lazy bugs.” Matthew turns over to look at me with a big smile, but when I go to David’s bed, I don’t get the same response. But he’s excited to tell me that he didn’t have an accident in bed (which I usually praise him for because every now and then he wets the bed). He is usually not a morning person right when he wakes up.
6:10AM At this age, the kids can dress themselves and put on their shoes, so while they start to do that, I go to Chelsea’s bedroom and do the same wake-up routine. Surprisingly, she gets up with no hesitation and picks out the bow she wants to wear in her hair—she’s such a girlie-girl.
6:20AM Today’s feat: Everyone is dressed (so quickly!). We head to the kitchen, and along the way I grab my purse and backpack because I have school later on that day.
6:30AM A quick cereal breakfast for the kiddos and then we’re out the door!
7AM We’re on our way to daycare, but the kids like to call it “school.” I get a big hug and kiss from all three, and as I start to walk out of the classroom, Matthew runs back to me and tells me, “One more kiss, Mommy!” I give him lots and lots more.
7:30AM I get to work and pop an instant oatmeal breakfast into the microwave. We usually aren’t very busy until around 8am, so I sneak my schoolbooks out and catch up on some reading and studying for my classes.
8-10AM As a bank teller, I work the line in the bank and help customers. The hours go by quickly today since it’s a payday.
10:30-11AM Time for my lunch break (even though, to most, it’s too early for lunch!). I use this time to study in the quiet break room. I munch on a bag of Hot Cheetos for brainpower—my lunch for the day!
11-1PM Back to the teller window. I process withdrawals, deposits and make small talk with my regular customers.
1PM My workday is done (I’m only a 30-hour-per-week teller at the bank). I love working for Chase; it’s a great company and my branch makes my schedule flexible enough for me to go to school and take the time off that I need for special outings with my kids.
1:30PM I get home and have enough time to study some more and clean up the house a little.
3PM I get to the daycare to pick the kids up. Some of the little things that happen during the day are so rewarding; for example, when I get to the triplets’ classroom, their faces light up when they see me at the door. They run as fast as they can and squeeze my leg so tight. I drive to my mother’s house to drop them off, but I stay awhile to spend some time with them before I head to school. My mom is already starting to cook dinner, so I step in the kitchen and pick at the food she has already made—that’s what I call my dinner. We catch up quickly. I go back to playing with the triplets a little more, and next thing I know, it’s time for me to go to school.
4:30PM I race to school, park and get to my class. I’m going to school for nursing; it’s taking me a little longer since I have to work and take time for the kids. But with the help and support from my family and friends I am lucky enough to continue my education.
6:20PM My stomach is growling—I am so hungry! I should have brought a snack, because I know I can’t eat when I get out of school; it will be too late.
8:50PM I’m out of class, and I head to my parents’ home to pick up the kids. It’s past their bedtime and I feel horrible that I get them home so late, but I only go to school two days out of the week. I pick them up and head to our house. We have a bedtime routine, so we start off with a quick bath, put on our PJs, read a book and end it with a kiss and hug goodnight. I have done the same routine every night since they were born! So I have it down to the minute.
9:30PM It’s lights-out time for the triplets and I head straight to the kitchen and finish some laundry, pick up a toy or two and finish off by preparing our clothes for the next day. I also eat a bowl of Cheerios for a late-night snack.
10:30PM I shower and crawl into bed. I watch one show of George Lopez, have a few laughs, set my alarm and doze off to sleep.