Cris Waters is a team leader at Thomson Reuters (an information- gathering business). She lives in Fort Worth with her husband Rick and their children Ethan, 6, and Lucy, 2, who are all avid TCU Horned Frogs fans.
12:30AM Yes, that’s right. I’m starting in the middle of the night, that’s just how I roll. Finally give up on folding laundry, turn off Project Runway (since I dozed off with my head on a stack of towels anyway) and go to sleep.
1:30AM Lucy’s crying. Wait to see if she’s really up or just having an outburst. Go in and nurse her. Yes, we still nurse. I like to nurse until those two-year molars come in. I know the night waking is a problem I can solve, but this is one of those places where I have to do what works for me and move past the advice. I understand the logic behind sleep training and its various methods, but for me, the logic is – my child cries out for me, therefore I go to her. I don’t want them ever to think that they would need me and I wouldn’t come.
3AM Return to my bed with a crick in my neck from falling asleep in the rocking chair with Lucy.
6AM Alarm goes off. Try to remember if I washed my hair the day before. No. Crud. Get out of bed and into the shower.
6:30AM Get out of shower to find Rick standing with a tear-stained Lucy. She always wakes up when I’m in the shower and doesn’t like it when “Daddy Daddy” (what she calls him when she’s being sweet) gets her and not Mommy. Take Lucy to her room to nurse.
7AM Follow Lucy into Ethan’s room to wake him up. Let her crawl on his bed, because it’s so cute when she pats the big lump under the covers and gives him a full-body hug.
7:05AM Share getting the kids dressed/fed with Rick as we finish getting ourselves ready.
7:45AM Everyone in the car. We’ve been a one-car family for more than a year now. Put on my make-up in the car on the way to drop Ethan at school (a definite plus of sharing a car). Laugh at Ethan and Lucy singing and dancing to bingo in the backseat.
7:50AM Hop out of the car as close to school as we can get and lead Ethan across the street and into the cafeteria. Hand off bag of Skittles to his teacher for her treat jar.
8AM Back in the car. Play peek-a-boo with Lucy while we drive her to day care. Check email, Facebook, etc. on my phone.
8:15AM Lucy delivered happily to day care. For a kid who was tough to drop off in her last two classrooms, this year is a breeze so far.
8:30AM Rick drops me at work.
8:30AM-1PM Workday usually consists of starting on the top of my to-do list and then almost immediately being interrupted by a series of fires that need to be put out. That’s normal, right?
1PM Lunch. I always intend to make my lunch (just like I intend to count my Weight Watchers points) but rarely do. And if you’re thinking, “Is this the first time she mentioned food?” Yes, it is. Some days I get breakfast after I’ve arrived at work, but usually I skip it. I use my lunch to read celebrity gossip or to do some Stella & Dot (a direct sales jewelry line) work.
1:45-6PM More work and more fires. I’ve worked at this job for more than 12 years. I get to use my brain (sometimes more than I’d like) and work with good people, and it’s flexible enough for my family responsibilities. I never thought I’d be here this long. In fact, I always thought I’d stay at home once I had kids, but as much as that doesn’t work for us financially, I know that it probably wouldn’t work for me personally either. I’m glad to have this and my Stella & Dot business to be the other part of me that I don’t always get to be at home.
6PM Rick and the kids pick me up and we try to decide what to do for dinner. About one week a month I’m good at planning and we get a home-cooked meal or leftovers (except Tuesday – which is Chick-fil-A night). But most of the time we scramble at the last minute.
7:30PM Rick handles baths and pajamas while I clean up the kitchen or just take a break and sit down (while listening to another tantrum).
8PM Lucy gives kisses to Daddy and Ethan and we go to her room for stories and bedtime. Three books (she rarely lets me read them all – lots of times she snatches them and chatters in her little language like she’s reading them to me). Then we nurse. Then she tries to sneak out and go to Ethan’s room. I pick her up and we have another tantrum. We get settled back in the rocking chair and nurse some more.
8:30PM I put Lucy in her crib and go see Ethan and talk about his day (sometimes Rick goes to comfort Lucy at this point).
9PM Check email, Facebook, work email. Do some Stella & Dot follow-up and computer tasks. Talk to my mom on the phone. (We talk frequently – they live in Colorado).
10:30PM Start folding laundry or some other task I can do while watching one of the many TV shows I DVR. Doze off.