Tiffany Smith is a special education resource and co-teacher for Mansfield ISD, which means she takes students out of their regular classes to give them extra academic help. The single mom lives in Mansfield with her 2-year-old son, Mason.
5:30AM My alarm goes off on my cellphone. I roll over and quickly turn it off, knowing I will snooze until about 6am. After hitting snooze, I roll over to snuggle with Mason because I will have to leave him soon. The alarm goes off about three more times before I finally realize that I need to get up.
6:06AM I rush out of bed, careful not to wake up Mason. I walk into the bathroom, turn on the shower, and look into the mirror, asking myself, Is it really Monday? I hop in the shower and hear a “Hi Mama!” as the bathroom door swings open.
6:20AM When I finish my shower, I walk into a serenade of instruments and Mason singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” I finish brushing my teeth (while going through several laundry baskets to find work attire), washing my face and getting dressed. I throw my hair into the quickest style I can do.
6:50AM I convince Mason to clean up his toys, and afterwards I have him lie on the bed to get ready. This has become a new struggle for us because he is obsessed with pajamas. I struggle to get them off and Pull-Ups on. After the battle, I brush his teeth and finish getting him dressed.
7:05AM In the kitchen, I quickly pack my lunch bag with breakfast (oatmeal and bacon) and lunch. Mason is crying and whining for a banana so I give him one. We rush out the door. I safely get him buckled into his car seat, and we’re off to day care.
7:18AM We arrive at day care. I get out and hug him tight and get sweet kisses from him, all the while telling him, “I love you.” I check him in, remind him that Mommy loves him and tell him to have a great day. Then I leave, hearing his cries and feeling guilty that I have to work and can’t be home with him.
7:30AM I roll into the parking lot of Sheppard Elementary School and proceed to help with bus duty. I take my group to the cafeteria where I finish the remainder of my morning duty.
8AM A few minutes after the announcements, my first group of resource kiddos enters my room. For several rotations until 11am, I get to work with some of the most amazing kids I’ve ever met.
11AM I get some adult time. I rush to the teachers lounge for lunch and to chat with my fellow colleagues about our day thus far and weekend activities.
11:29AM I realize I haven’t used the bathroom yet and I need to pick up my next child at 11:30am. What to do?! Bathroom break it is.
11:31AM I head to pick up my little kindergarten baby. She confirms with me that I have no meetings or testing as they cut in on her time and she enjoys her time in my room. I enjoy another round of rotations with my babies until the 3:45pm quitting time.
3:45PM Leave school to pick up Mason.
4PM I go in to pick up Mason, and he’s excited to show me that he painted a blue fish. I tell him great job and then inform this child that it’s time to go. He starts running around the room, leaving me to chase him. I scoop him up and carry him out the door screaming and yelling. Now he’s yelling, “Felicia, Felicia!” (his former teacher) so we stop by, which is a mistake. He starts playing with his former classmates and again refuses to leave. I scoop him up again and carry him out screaming and yelling.
4:20PM We arrive home. I start cleaning the kitchen and getting dinner ready. I walk outside to take out the trash and close the door behind me so Mason doesn’t come out to play (we’ll never make it back inside if he does). My worst nightmare happens: He locks me out of the house! I frantically grab my neighbor and he tries to help me with no luck. So a call to 911 it is …
5PM The fire department shows up and uses an ax and another contraption to bang my door open. I walk inside to hug my crying toddler as I’m crying my eyeballs out too. He sees the firetruck and is very excited, so naturally, we get a picture and tour of the firetruck.
5:30PM The fire department leaves and all is well. We get dinner heated and sit at the table to pray and eat.
6PM I decide to get a load of laundry sorted and get a couple of loads folded and put away before choir rehearsal. Mason entertains himself with his Preschool Prep videos learning his sight words.
6:45PM We leave for choir rehearsal at church.
9:45PM We leave church to go home.
10:15PM We arrive home and Mason is passed out. I strip him down to his T-shirt and put him in my bed. I proceed to straighten up and get clothes laid out for both of us.
11PM Finally, it’s time for me to climb in my bed and snuggle with my sweet boy and drift into la-la land.