Ty Cox is a preschool owner, fashion geek and former nurse. She’s been married for 12 years to her middle school sweetheart, Christopher, a paint and body technician who also works nights at a transportation company. The couple lives in Euless with their 7-year-old son, Amari.
5AM If you’re a morning person, then capitalize on that. I’m not. I need at least five minutes to lie on my back while staring at the ceiling, telling myself (in my mind) to get up and head to the gym, that my body needs blood flow and lymph circulation for a clear mind and healthy body.
5:20AM One foot down, the second foot down. Now all I need to do is stand up! I get dressed, grab my car keys and head off to the gym. One hour with up-tempo music is all I need to kick-start my morning.
6:20AM Now I need fuel, and Starbucks is definitely my morning stimulant.
6:30AM Back at home, I prepare breakfast and school lunch for my son Amari. He loves pancakes — that’s his favorite. No matter how many times I try to avoid carbs, looking at the pancakes fluff and smelling the buttermilk makes them irresistible. Thank goodness for that morning workout.
6:45AM I wake my son and get him dressed for school. I’m greeted by my husband Chris, who just arrived home from his overnight job at the transportation company.
7AM I kiss my son goodbye before my husband takes him to school.
7:05AM It’s work for me for the next 11 hours. I work full-time with my preschoolers. I offer a secure environment for children during the most important time in their development. My goal is to provide quality care that comprises safety, nurturing and education, and I foster unconditional love.
1PM A growing body of evidence shows that taking regular breaks from mental tasks improves productivity and creativity, while skipping breaks leads to stress and exhaustion. So I relax for this one hour. I check my emails, set up meetings for Amari in the fashion industry (he does modeling) and decline or accept fashion shoots. I also chat with my good friend Melissa who has a great sense of humor and keeps me laughing throughout my days.
2PM Back to business and back in kid mode.
3PM My husband is off to work but first he picks up Amari from school. I prepare a snack for my son to eat while doing his homework. Did I tell you that he’s a great kid and makes straight A’s throughout the school year? We are very proud of him. For a kid who struggles to get up in the morning and dislikes going to school, he sure pays attention.
6PM I’m beat. I’m off work with my preschoolers, but my day doesn’t stop there. Amari has baseball practice for the next hour and thirty minutes. Physical activity reduces stress and calms kids, making them happier and more attentive in the classroom, so that’s one reason why we keep Amari active in sports all year round. Sometimes I wonder if he goes to baseball to learn different techniques or if he’s really there to chat with his buddy Dalton about Minecraft and video games.
7:30PM What to eat? “Do you want Mommy to cook up a fast, good meal, or do you want takeout?” I ask Amari as he’s dozing off in the back seat of the vehicle. “Takeout!”
8PM Now with a good hearty meal and full tummies, it’s time to do homework before getting in the shower. Amari receives a packet every Monday from school with about 9–10 pages of homework that’s due by the end of the week. We try to do at least two pages a day because I’ve learned never to cram too much homework on a child. He can get overwhelmed as well as lose interest in the task. So doing one or two pages a day helps him actually comprehend the curriculum.
9PM Daddy’s calling! Chris talks to Amari, asking him about his day at school as well as baseball practice. Then Chris asks me about my day with my preschool students whom I adore so much. We make sure to tell each other that we love one another before discontinuing our phone conversation.
9:10PM OK, Amari, you can watch 15–20 minutes of television while I go feed the cat, Bella, and do some household cleaning.
9:30PM After reading a book of Amari’s choice, it’s lights off.
9:45PM I lost my parents and two brothers in a house fire in 1992 at age 11. The one thing I regret was not taking the time before leaving or going to bed to tell them how much I loved them. So I make sure to do so with my son, so that I will have no regrets if anything ever happens to either of us. These are our words every night before bed:
“Goodnight, Momma. Love you. See you at daytime.”
“I love you too, Amari. See you at daytime.”
“Pancakes for breakfast!”
10PM Finally, it’s shower time for me, so I can catch at least one episode of The King of Queens.
10:30PM Go to bed, Ty! My body doesn’t realize that sleep is essential. Sleep is the first thing to get sacrificed if I’m pressed for time.
11PM I cuddle with my cat for about 10 minutes or so, check my emails and plan a date night with my husband. Last but not least, I check my lottery tickets and realize that I will definitely not wake up a millionaire. So I better get to bed because real life starts all over again in the morning.
12AM I text my husband: “Food in the microwave. I love you. Goodnight.” Peek in my son’s room and kiss his forehead. Sometime I lie beside him and hold his hand. After losing my whole family and then trying for seven years to conceive, I finally have my own family to love and look after. They mean the world to me — better than winning the lottery. (Although I still wouldn't mind winning.)