Hope Oriabure-King is a single mother, a business development leader and an entrepreneur. She lives in Garland with her four children, who have a variety of learning differences and special needs. Jalen, 13, has dysgraphia. Harmony, 11, has dyslexia. Xavier, 7, has autism. And Zachary, 5, has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Hope is an advocate for work-life balance and children with disabilities.
5:30AM My internal alarm clock goes off, so I get up to see what time it is. Entrepreneur magazine reported the world’s wealthiest people get up at least three hours before work, but this mommy is tired. Back to bed.
6:30AM I can’t negotiate more sleep this time; it’s time to wake Harmony, my 11-year-old daughter, and Xavier, my 7-year-old son. We have a certain wake order, sleep order and assigned seating in the car. This seasoned single mommy has learned to play zone defense.
7AM After only one accessory redo for my daughter and my son managing his sensory sensitivity (so we don’t have to change his socks), they are ready for school. I rush to the pantry to see what they can snack on during the bus ride. Xavier is insistent on having food from home, even though he eats breakfast at school.
7:10AM Somehow in between getting my first two ready, I got dressed and am out of the house early. Today is Harmony’s birthday, so I am rushing to the grocery store to get cupcakes for her class. I pass the bus on the next street; I hope my kids got on it.
7:35AM I go back to the house to make the cupcake drop. My 5-year-old son, Zachary, is up with my 13-year-old, Jalen. I brief Jalen on what Zachary is to wear and to remind him that they both need to wear their big coats. My daddy, who is watching the news, will get up around 8:15am to drop Jalen off at school and keep Zachary until the bus comes to pick him up at 11:15am for school.
8:15AM The commute wasn’t too bad this morning. I don’t drive in heels, so I “Mr. Rogers” and change shoes before walking into the building. I am ready to start my day as a sales manager at MyAMC, a Dallas-based appraisal management company.
9:30AM I start making sales calls to new and existing prospects, returning and responding to emails along the way.
10:15AM An email notification tells me that a large prospect’s paperwork has been delivered to my inbox. I am doing the happy dance at my desk.
11:45AM I try to catch Zachary’s teacher during her conference time. She is out of school today, so I will call back tomorrow. I have a follow-up question about our ARD.
12:30PM For lunch, I have a scheduled on-site meeting at the Marriott Quorum for Black-Tie Babysitting, my part-time, on-site childcare business that’s a full-time passion. We are preparing for a wedding. I need to remember to ask the bride to include me in the loop when they decide the type of meal service they are going to have for the kids. I snap a few photos of the longhorn wall display to post on Black-Tie’s fan page later.
1PM My meeting went well. I follow up with Daddy to make sure he got the cupcakes to my daughter’s school then head back into the office to finish up my day.
5:45PM Driving home. No music for me; I enjoy this quiet time. It’s a rare time to not be so scheduled.
6:45PM I’m at the grocery store to get two pounds of red beans for Xavier’s class project. I’m glad we didn’t get assigned the split peas; I don’t even see them on the shelf.
7PM It’s pandemonium. Mommy is home and the kids launch into what they did at school today, funny stories and dinner. I’m not going to try and figure out why we only have three remaining cupcakes when I bought 48 and there were only 28 kids in my daughter’s class.
8:35PM I go through all three take-home folders and examine my 13-year-old’s binder.
8:45PM Showers are in order, of course. We get our clothes ready for tomorrow morning and share one last funny story. Somehow despite this preparation, we still will have to look for socks and belts. And on the rare occasion, I may catch my 13-year-old stretching out my 5-year-old’s socks for him to wear.
9:30PM I am up with Zachary (night owl), preparing a presentation for Black-Tie Babysitting to present tomorrow after work for an international group coming to Dallas for a conference needing on-site childcare. I hope they find the cattle drive/camp-out theme as cute as I do.
10:45PM I wrap it up and get ready for bed. As I drift to sleep, I smile because I have an overwhelming sense of joy when I think about my life.
11:15PM I have to get back out of bed to get Zachary out of the kitchen. Daddy says he moves like a ghost when everyone is asleep. This ghost is not trying to scare anybody, just trying to get first dibs on the powdered doughnuts in the pantry.
Diaries are penned by moms (and dads) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The authors volunteer to share a day of their choosing and are not paid or endorsed by Thrive. Send your diary to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space.