Elizabeth Sanders is the mom of 2-year-old Hudson and pregnant with another baby boy, Ian. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Tarrant County College. She and her husband, Eric, have been married 10 years and recently moved to Texas.
7:30am Hudson climbs into the empty side of the bed. “Momma, can I pet Ian?” he says, patting my pregnant belly. We talk about being a big brother and turning 3 before we get out of bed. When my foot hits the floor, a ripple of pain goes up my left leg, reminding me of how bad the sciatica is getting.
8am “Lucky Charms or bee cereal,” I say, hoping he’ll choose the Honey Nut Cheerios. He doesn’t. I pour him a bowl and help myself to two bowls of “grown-up” cereal. I flip on the news and weather.
8:30am Turn on cartoons, and while Hudson watches, I prepare the lecture that I’ll give at community college tonight. Hoping I’ve retained something from my reading the night before, I slowly put together my PowerPoint.
9:30am The doorbell rings. I scramble to find a baseball cap to cover my Medusa hair. It’s the repairman from the alarm company; I completely forgot about making the appointment. Hudson insists on seeing everything the man does while I watch from the kitchen and frantically put the finishing touches on my material.
10am The repairman is still here, and Hudson is telling him random things. I pray he doesn’t reveal our family secrets while I seize upon the distraction to quickly clean the kitchen.
10:30am After trying to sell me on a new product, the repairman leaves. Hudson wants to go in the backyard sandbox, so I strip him down to his diaper. I open the window to watch him and then grab the vacuum, starting on the family room rug, which has a fresh day’s catch of fish crackers and sand.
11am Take some cheese sticks and milk to Hudson, stopping to help with additions to his sandcastle. He’s a piece of human sandpaper, so I take off his diaper and hoist him through the house (making the rug sandy again) and into my shower. I join him and struggle to shave my legs high enough to wear capris to the park.
11:30am Chasing Hudson around trying to get him dressed. We’re supposed to meet our mothers’ group at the park for lunch, but we’re already running late. I’ve become “that” mom — the one that’s never on time.
12pm We should be at the park, but instead we’re in the long drive-through line. I figure it takes longer to go inside. “Fries or fruit?” I ask Hudson, hoping he’ll choose the fruit. He does! So far, he isn’t aware that they offer anything besides milk, so I don’t offer him a choice.
12:30pm There are no parking spots when we arrive. I swing around and see that I can’t park on the street, so we’ll just have to go it alone at the park a few blocks over. From the backseat, Hudson yells out in protest, wondering why we’re leaving. How to explain? He sees the new park, and peace is restored. Hudson scarfs down his lunch, and I look for shade; there is none.
1pm It’s hot, so I’m dying in heavy maternity wear. Another mom introduces herself, but I find all she wants to do is vent about a friend who doesn’t have kids and can’t understand her. I use the heat as an excuse to leave. If only that worked on Hudson too. Tomorrow I don’t have any classes, so I promise we’ll return for a longer visit.
1:30pm In the car, Hudson falls asleep. When we get home, I lug him upstairs to his bed. My leg is throbbing. I pour myself a glass of my daily indulgence, a diet cola, and prop my leg up while I watch a home design program.
2:30pm More cleaning to do and only an hour of naptime left, so I throw in a load of laundry and start on my bedroom.
3:30pm Go up to Hudson’s room and open the blinds. I love the look on his face when he wakes up and sees me, like he’s surprised to be back. He wants his remaining chicken nuggets. I heat them up and dump the mandatory mound of ketchup onto his plate. I use the time to fix my melted makeup and change into my “professional” clothes.
4:30pm We’re at the post office; Hudson touches everything and keeps asking, “What’s that?” Then it’s on to the childcare center where he’ll play for an hour until my husband picks him up.
5:30pm Class starts. Tonight it’s one class, three hours long. Sometimes I leave exhilarated about coming back; other nights I feel like I’m playing Mom to adult children. By the end, I regret standing the whole time and must drag my leg out to the parking lot.
8:30pm Call home to tell my husband I’m on the way so he can have dinner ready.
8:45pm “Momma!” Hudson runs to the door and gives me a hug. My husband and I agree that’s the best part of going away — coming back to such an excited greeting.
9pm We eat dinner, then Eric does the bedtime routine while I clean up.
9:30pm Plop in front of the TV, which ends up being background noise to conversation about our day.
10:30pm I run a bath, essential by now, as my leg feels like it’s barely hanging on. I soak while reading a parenting magazine and my lecture material for the next day.
11pm Eric comes in and gets ready for bed.
11:30pm When my body hits the mattress, my leg feels instant relief. Eric rolls over and gives me a quick kiss. After a few minutes of stillness, Ian gives me a few swift kicks, and I’m reminded that soon our circus will have another ring to manage. I can’t wait.
Diaries are penned by actual moms (and dads) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The authors volunteer to share a day of their choosing and are not paid or endorsed by DallasChild. If you would like to be considered for a future column, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space.