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A Thursday in the Life of Jennifer Stanley

Jennifer Stanley is a stay-at-home mom and part-time photographer. She has a 1-year-old son, Camden, with her boyfriend Alden Smith, a personal trainer. Jennifer and Camden live in Fort Worth.

8:30AM Every morning I try to sneak out of bed so I can get ready for the day before Camden wakes up. Luckily, this morning I make it out without waking him.

8:35AM Or so I thought. Camden just woke up. I hear him crying and saying “Momma, Mom, Mom, Momma,” so I rush back to the room and pick him up to the biggest morning hug. He is such a sweet little boy. This is probably my favorite moment of the day because it’s the first thing he wants to do — snuggle his momma — and one day I'll be begging him to snuggle. He’s all smiles now.

8:40AM I bring him into the living room and lay him down on a little pallet with some milk and turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This distracts him long enough for me to brush my teeth and rush to get some clothes on for the day. Ponytail day! Let’s just say most days are messy buns and comfortable clothes.

9AM Now that I’m ready, I just need to get the diaper bag packed and get Camden changed and ready for the day.

9:30AM Off we go to GiGi and Grandpa’s house. Fun times for Cam and some sweet human interaction for this momma. But really, it’s one of Camden’s favorite places to play.

10:15AM We made it. First things first: breakfast time. Cam loves him some food. And GiGi is the best cook.

11AM Time for his second love: being outside, running around, exploring everything in sight. On Thursdays his cousin Jaxon is here too, so it’s perfect because they love playing together. We swing, climb the fort (with Momma’s help) and do pretty much anything I will let him get away with. He’s all boy and very curious about everything.

12AM Back inside. Time for a nap. I rock Cam; he fights it. After a few attempts, he finally gives in, and I just sit and enjoy holding my handsome little man. Sometimes I lay him down, but mostly I just hold him. I love these moments and they probably won’t last much longer. 

2PM He wakes up with the biggest smile on his face. He’s ready to play right away, but first we eat lunch. He loves food, so it’s never a struggle to eat. 

2:30PM We play and play and play. I was warned to buy some good running shoes before Cam was born; they weren’t kidding. It’s such a beautiful adventure with my little man. Grandpa comes home for a little bit and plays with Cam too. He loves when anyone takes him outside to play.

3:30PM Today, I give Camden a bath before we head home, so he's nice and clean and relaxed for the ride home. My mom usually does it, so I can get everything together. Plus, she loves this extra time with him and it helps me out a lot.

4:30PM Time to head home. Leaving can be a bit of a process. GiGi holds on to every second and Cam puts off being in the car seat as long as possible. After 10 minutes of this and that, we get all loaded up and on the road again.

5PM We make it home and it’s complete silence. I look back and as usual Camden has fallen asleep, so I gently get him out and carry my sleepy boy inside. Sometimes it wakes him up, but today we must have played so much he’s exhausted, which is great because today I just want to cuddle him.

5:45PM Auntie JuJu (my twin) comes home. Camden immediately wakes up to his own personal party. JuJu time is always a party. His bestie is home, so Momma can get changed to head to the gym. 

6PM This is one of the rare moments of my day where it’s “me time,” and yet I still miss my little man even just being gone for my workout. But it’s much needed. For this hour I get my butt kicked by Alden during my training session. Working out is mentally and physically a rejuvenating time for me. 

7:15PM I come home and as soon as I open the door, Little Man runs to me and gives me the biggest hug. Then, I make dinner. 

9PM “Knock, knock.” A knock on the door usually only means one thing: Daddy is here! Camden lights up when he hears a knock at the door because he knows who it usually is. He runs to the door and says “Dada.” And, of course, Alden loves it too. Alden comes over after he gets off work, so I get to shower while Cam and Daddy play. Then we all get to hang out some too. We put a basketball game on TV for Alden. This is the part of the day where we can all spend time together until the weekend. 

11PM Camden is a night owl, but he’s winding down so Alden goes home and Camden and I lay down and are off to bed. Tonight he’s actually tired, so he falls asleep pretty fast. I love getting to stay at home with my baby. This is one of those moments where where I just stare at him and am overwhelmed with how blessed I am to be his momma. 

Published April 2015