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A Day in the Life of Jessica Allen

Jessica Allen of Fort Worth is a single mother of two children: Christian, who has autism, is 9, and Caitlin is 4. Jessica is a full-time mommy blogger (iheart-motherhoodblog.com), and she also manages a small cleaning business.

5:30AM I start to stir, roll over and grab my iPhone to check the time. Yup, it’s time to get moving. I’m out of bed and headed to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

6:00AM I’m dressed in work clothes, jeans and a T-shirt, my hair is up in a ponytail, and just as I'm about to grab shoes, I hear the pitter-patter of feet coming down the hall. Caitlin is first down the hall, and Christian is right behind her. They plop down on the couch, rubbing their eyes and asking what’s for breakfast.

6:30AM Waffles and yogurt with glasses of milk are served. Caitlin prefers to sit at the bar, while Christian sits at the table. I stand and eat, taking a bite here and there while I continue to get ready for the day.

7:00AM I quickly make beds, throw dishes in the dishwasher and dirty clothes in the laundry room, pack lunches for the day, have kids use the bathroom, brush teeth, then assist them in getting dressed with the outfits we set out the night before. 

7:30AM Load backpacks and kids in the truck. Let’s hit the road!

8:00AM Christian is the first drop-off at school. Then Caitlin and I are headed to her preschool.

8:30AM While still in the parking lot at Caitlin’s school, I check my schedule, emails and text messages real quick. Then I head over to clean a house for the morning.

10:00AM I finish my morning house, and I realize I have time to quickly stop and get gas and pick up a few groceries before I have to be back at Caitlin’s preschool.

11:15AM I arrive back at Caitlin’s school a few minutes early.

11:45AM Caitlin and I pull in the driveway. We both hop out and head into the house. She hangs her backpack up and goes into the kitchen. She’s hungry for lunch.

12:00PM Lunch is served. A PB&J sandwich, cut diagonally, a side of chips and an apple with juice for Caitlin, while I eat leftover grilled chicken. We both sit at the bar together for a few minutes before she finishes and asks to get down to go play.

12:30PM I clean up the kitchen from lunch, start a load of laundry, open up the laptop to check emails, my social sites, etc. I double-check the afternoon schedule, and I realize Christian has two therapy sessions after school. It’s going to be an easy dinner night. 

1:00PM Caitlin is still contently playing, going back and forth from her room to the front room. I throw together my famous enchiladas and place the pan in the fridge so I can just pop them in the oven later tonight. 

1:30PM A package has arrived from UPS. Caitlin excitedly helps me carry it in, hoping it’s something for her. It’s a review product that has come in for the blog. So I open it up, set it on the counter and set my Canon Rebel out next to it as a reminder to snap pictures later. 

2:00PM Oops! Forgot to rotate laundry. I throw the clothes in the dryer and start another load. Caitlin grabs a snack and a juice box. It’s almost time to head up to Christian’s school to sit in line for afternoon pick-up.

2:30PM Christian’s teacher brings him out. I hop out of the truck, greet them and ask how his day went. Christian gives me a high-five, and we hop in the truck.

3:00PM I pull in the driveway. It’s double therapy day, and Christian’s occupational therapist has already arrived. Everyone gets out of the truck. Christian likes to shut the garage door, so he pushes the button. We all go in, and Caitlin waits at the front door for me to open it and let the OT in for a 30-minute session.

3:30PM Christian loves his therapists and, for the most part, always has successful sessions and really enjoys them. So another session is done; we recap and discuss what to work on the next visit. The kids grab a snack and kick their shoes off. 

4:00PM I check the time and emails from my phone. We have a few minutes before the physical therapist arrives. Christian is having some downtime and sitting on the couch while Finding Nemo plays on the TV. Caitlin is pretending to cook dessert with her play food and kitchen that reside in the front room.

4:30PM The PT has arrived. The kids excitedly greet her, and Christian is ready to get to work. I rotate laundry and put dinner in the oven.

5:00PM Enchiladas are cut up in bite-size pieces for each kid. Christian signs “please” for the iPad, and I let him know maybe after dinner. It’s time to eat. I ask everyone to sit down together at the table. Caitlin reminds me not to forget dessert, so after everyone clears their plates, I grab M&M’s cookies from the pantry.

5:30PM Clean up from dinner. Everyone’s dishes go in the sink, and leftovers go back in the fridge. I grab the kids’ pajamas and set out outfits for tomorrow. I bathe both kids, brush their teeth and put on their PJs.

6:30PM Do a quick run through the house, load the dishwasher, wipe down counter tops, put dirty clothes in laundry room and run out to check the mail while the kids follow behind. My mom calls, so we talk about our day for a few minutes, and then I get off the phone.

7:00PM I ask the kids to pick out two books each to read for nighttime story time. Caitlin requests a snack, and Christian waits in the kitchen patiently because, if sister wants one, he wants one too. 

7:30PM Both kids climb into their own beds, and I read to them. Christian has a weighted blanket he loves, so he pulls that up to his chin. Caitlin grabs her lovey and blanket, and asks to be tucked in. Good-night kisses are handed out, and it’s lights out. We exchange “I love you,” and I walk down the hallway back into the kitchen.

7:45PM I left my laptop open, so I can see what’s happening on Facebook real quick, check emails and then finish today’s laundry. I can’t leave it; I know there will be more tomorrow! I grab a bottle of water and head out back to play with the dogs. 

8:30PM We live in a little, but active, court, so I open the garage door and do a few laps out front with the youngest dog. My FitBit vibrates. Woo-hoo! I hit my 10,000 steps for the day! I quickly become sweaty. We fast-pace walk for about 30 minutes, then head over to turn the sprinkler on for a few minutes. 

9:15PM I take off my shoes before checking on the kids, who are passed out. So thankful for good sleepers!

9:30PM I check emails from my iPhone, get clothes ready and hop in the shower. Once out, I get dressed in comfy clothes, grab the laptop and sit down on the couch. I attempt to catch up on a few shows while replying to emails and jotting down ideas for future blog posts. 

10:00PM I start the dishwasher, grab a bottle of water and do one look around the house, making sure there is nothing left out on the floors or countertops. 

10:15PM I head to my room, put my iPhone on the charger and pull the sheets back to climb into bed. Double-check today’s schedule just to make sure nothing was overlooked, do one last Facebook scroll, and then it’s shut-eye time. 

Published November 2015