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A Friday in the Life of Jheri Whitfield

ShaJherika “Jheri” Whitfield is a single mother of two kids—Eden, 4, and Ezra, 2—who has lived in Lewisville for almost two years. She previously lived in Norfolk, Virginia, due to the military. Her hobbies revolve around
Pinterest and quality time with her children. Jheri is currently a juvenile supervision officer for the Denton County Juvenile Detention Center. She is also enrolled in online courses as a graduate student and is hoping to
begin law school this fall.

5:15AM My alarm goes off. I rush to turn it off … and fall back asleep.

6:30AM I hear Ezra in the refrigerator trying to grab a bottled water. This is when I realize that I should’ve snoozed my alarm instead of turning it off because now I have 45 minutes to get two kids ready for school.

6:45AM I have Ezra in his clothes and pray he doesn’t mess them up before we leave the house, and I’m still trying to wake Eden up. She despises mornings. I let her know she can pick out her own clothes if she wakes up. This works 50 percent of the time.

7:10AM We have about five minutes before we should be leaving the house, and after getting the kids dressed, I realize I still have my pajamas on. I grab a jacket and pair of joggers and scream, “donut Friday!”

7:17AM Still haven’t left the house. I can’t find my keys, and Eden and Ezra decided to start a sword fight with their toothbrushes—Star Wars vs. My Little Pony.

7:19AM My car keys are in my pocket. It’s time to go!

7:30AM Arrive at the donut shop. I’m deciding between a Red Bull or cranberry juice. Eden and Ezra pick out their milk and donuts with cartoon characters on them while I’m still trying to wake up. Red Bull it is!

7:45AM Now we’re off to school. I turn on our “Kids Jams” playlist. Now I’m singing Kidz Bop and the Disney Descendants soundtrack.

7:55AM As Eden gets out of the car I yell, “Have a good day! Be kind, be sweet, and be all God wants you to be.” She blows me a kiss and I drive off smiling.

7:59AM Ezra’s daycare is literally down the street. He tells me he’s ready to go to school, but once we walk inside he starts crying and holding onto my leg. I walk out and watch him from the window where he can’t see me. The crying lasts five minutes, and then he sees toys and life is great again.

8:25AM The 8-ounce Red Bull didn’t work for me, so while I’m in the car I might as well drive to Target and get some Starbucks and some things we “need” for the house.

9:30AM I’m just now home from Target, and I realize I didn’t need most of the things I purchased. I just needed coffee. I turn on The Office on Netflix, sit down with my coffee and see if I have any assignments due for school.

10:38AM Down time… I need to catch up on This Is Us! If I didn’t have to go to work, I’d get a glass of wine and some ice cream. I get the ice cream anyway, with a heated brownie on top. During the Hulu commercials I do a commercial workout plan that I found on Pinterest. Helps me work off the ice cream and brownie I downed in five minutes.

11:30AM My “work” alarm goes off. I shower, get ready for work, pack my lunch and get things ready for the babysitter and kids tonight.

12:45PM I leave a note for the babysitter on the counter letting her know there’s a meal in the freezer, the kids’ pajamas are on their beds, their books and homework are on the table, no television until homework is complete and no liquids after 8pm. I’m sure she knows this information, but I write it down anyway.

1:05PM I’m on my way to work. I’m still listening to Kidz Bop for some reason.

1:31PM I stop at Kroger and sprint inside to get some fruit. I need something quick and healthy to eat since the only things I’ve eaten today were kolaches, ice cream and a brownie.

1:45PM At work, I go to the break room to eat my fruit and wind down a little bit before I find out what section I’ll be working in today.

1:53PM It’s time for our daily huddle. I’m in the female section. Things can be pretty quiet in there—class, library, free time, showers, dinner.

6PM All of the residents are secure so I decide to take my dinner break. I call to check up on the kids. I’m trying to chew food and listen to both kids yell over the phone.

6:15PM I’m back in the section. I’m bored, so I speed walk around the section just to have a little exercise and to make sure I’m doing room checks on time.

8:30PM The residents have completed their bonus free time, snack and hygiene. I’m disappointed that they wanted to secure earlier than 9pm. Now I have 1.5 hours of silence, speed walking and room checks.

8:45PM I call for someone to relieve me so that I can call to say good night to the kids, and then I run back to the section.

10:35PM I am home! I get a mini debrief from the babysitter, and I give the kids a kiss while they’re asleep.

11:15PM I’m in bed trying to watch Netflix and dozing off. I am so glad I’m off tomorrow. I turn off my alarm. The kids will wake me when they’re ready