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A Friday in the Life of Ashley Hays

The Fort Worth single mom has two kids, two jobs and a full college course load

Ashley Hays is a single mom to 7-year-old twins, Teagan and Brylon. The trio lives in White Settlement. When she’s not taking care of her kids, Hays splits her time between a full-time job as a customer service and social media specialist at a commercial textile firm, a freelance writing career and attending the University of Texas at Arlington as a full-time student.
5:02AM My alarm goes off. I press snooze. This happens on repeat until 6:02.
6:05AM I get up and splash my face with cold water, and I begin to feel awake. I start my morning routine: brush my teeth, wash my face, comb my hair, put in contacts, etc.
6:15AM I switch on the lights in the hallway and living room and then turn on the TV to PBS Kids. Word Girl will be on in 15 minutes. I preheat the oven for bacon and lay out the kids’ clothes on the couch. It’s Friday, so they wear blue for Spirit Day.

6:30AM It’s time for Teagan and Brylon to get up. I go into their bedrooms and rub their backs to wake them up.

6:40AM Back to the kitchen. I put the bacon in the oven and start the eggs. The kids trickle out of bed, thanks to the smell of bacon and the low buzz of Word Girl.

7AM The theme song to Arthur comes on, which is the cue for the TV to go off and for everyone to sit at the table for breakfast. It’s cinnamon toast, scrambled eggs, bacon
and raspberries for the twins; raspberries and avocado toast for me. I finish eating and quickly get dressed for the day.

7:30AM I yell down the hall to ask if the kids have made their beds and brushed their teeth. “… Uhhh, we are doing it now!”
7:38AM We’re out the door when the kids remember that it’s Toy Friday, and they run back inside. Brylon chooses his amethyst geode; Teagan brings her American Girl doll, Tenny. Brylon also remembers to grab the bag of toilet paper rolls we have been collecting for the past two months for their art teacher.

7:44AM We are finally out the door and on our way to Fine Arts Academy. I drop off the kids and head to work.

8:27AM Before heading into the office, I spend three minutes praying and meditating in my car to absorb and give off good energies today. 

9AM I dive into my inbox and begin answering emails and entering orders for commercial fabric. Social media is a big part of my job, so I view trending hashtags in the interior design industry and note which ones we should include in our posts. In between, I make Post-It note reminders about weekend plans and college deadlines.

1PM I need a break from my desk. My boss and best friend, Amberli, and I put on our Nike shoes for a 20-minute power walk. We find a spot on the outside stairs to eat our lunches. I have a pretty standard lunch most days: chicken, asparagus and quinoa. 

2PM I enter some more fabric orders for a few hours, then I turn back to our social media channels and follow Instagram accounts, specifically targeting commercial interior design firms. 

4:45PM Time to begin closing up shop for the day. I send out the daily sales report, wrap up emails and mentally prepare for the drive to the kids’ day care.

5:28PM I get Teagan and Brylon from day care at The Academy Christian School. Tonight, they’ve made (still wet) papier-mâché wiener dogs.

5:46PM We pick up groceries from Walmart curbside pick-up, aka my saving grace. 

6PM As soon as we walk through our front door, my kids insist on changing into “comfy” clothes. Jeans are strewn across the floor, and I remind them to put clothes in the hamper. I unload groceries and am interrupted every three minutes by the kids telling me they’re hungry. I make mini meatball subs, peas and yogurt with strawberries. Easy peasy.

7PM The kids finish dinner and go take their showers. I clean the kitchen. Since they both ate all their dinner and hung up their wet towels after their showers, I fix them some vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup as a surprise. In between spoonfuls of ice cream, we talk about our highs and lows of the day.

7:30PM After dessert, we each eat some local honey to fight allergies, brush our teeth and switch on Netflix. Fridays are family movie night; tonight we choose
Moana (for like, the 34th time). Finally I get to take off my shoes.

8:41PM About halfway through the movie, Teagan’s head nods off of my shoulder. Brylon is dead weight on my legs. I gently shake them awake and tell them to get in bed. I kiss them and tuck them in.

9PM Work time. I switch from Moana to Pandora Radio’s “Nature Sounds” station and start on elementary statistics math modules for a class at UT-Arlington.

10PM Homework is done, so I turn to an article I’m working on at the moment. I write for school newspapers, marketing agencies, local blogs—whoever needs me.

11:30PM Done for the night. I take an Emergen-C and drink a glass of water before I crawl into bed. I attempt to read my book, but my eyes keep closing and I’ve been reading the same paragraph for eight minutes.

11:53PM I check to make sure that my alarm is set for 5:02. Teagan has a soccer game at 8:00, then Brylon has flag football at 10:30, then all of us have a birthday party (across town, of course) at 3:00. Goodnight.