The answer is … I don’t.
But to really answer the question, here is how one day happened for me.
It’s not a typical day – I don’t have typical days. Some days I work a lot more, some days I don’t have my daughter with me, some days I’m more or less insane.
This is just a snapshot of my life, as it was, one summer day when I was 36 and a half, running a business and getting a master’s degree while living in the Silicon Valley with a six year old girl and a cat.
Thursday, August 4, 2011.
5:22 AM. I wake up alone in my bed.
No alarm set. It’s quiet. Suburbia.
I grab my iPhone vibrating next to my pillow and answer the early morning texts from two of my favorite people, who are awake, elsewhere. I laze in bed, checking Instagram and Twitter and my personal gmail account, reading my message from the universe for the day.
While the Tassimo is making its magic in my Gracie-designed coffee cup, I cook my breakfast, the same thing I eat every morning – one scrambled egg with sauteed onions and one piece of whole wheat toast with real butter. The cat watches me from her perch as I sit down at the dining room table, my blue journal before me, and I write three morning pages with my blue felt-tip pen, brain dumps about what’s upsetting me, and the outlines for two new videos.
6:45 AM. Sit down at the iMac.
Check Twitter and business email, ask people on Facebook for advice about an interior plant that’s less resistent to death. Set up an SQL database and finish a WordPress install for a test site of the new ElizabethPottsWeinstein.com web design.
I realize that I’m still writing July on everything.
6:57 AM. Stand up and go into mom mode.
Pack Gracie’s snack for nature camp, with a mini-love-note from her to me, as requested. Realize that Adia the cat peed all over the floor underneath the litter box and she tried to cover it up by pushing half of the litter onto the floor. Oy!!! Litter fail!!!
I make more coffee.
7:09 AM. Gracie announces her awake status from her room.
Get her started on her day (apple juice, Wheat Thins, PBS) and I start tidying up toys and clutter and cleaning the apartment – today we are getting a visit from the Head of the new school she’s attending in the fall. I don’t want the lady to think that I’m an incompetent housekeeper.
Make a list of everything I forgot to get at Target and the grocery store.
I have been to both stores twice in the last two days.
7:25 AM. Get me ready for the day.
While in the shower, rehearse a video I’m planning to film later in the day. I would totally make videos in the shower – if it was not for the wetness and the naked.
7:59 AM. Get G ready for the day.
She “texts” me on her new Barbie phone that she’s decided to wear a long sleeve sweater dress to outdoor nature camp. As such, I pack a short sleeve shirt and shorts in her backpack.
Drink a glass of water to combat post-two-cups-of-coffee insanity.
8:13 AM. Drive G to nature camp.
Paranoid. Decide to clean the house more, so the Head of G’s school does not think I’m a bad mother. Move boxes, vacuum, sweep, try to damp mop the floor with the new mop but realize it’s ineffective. I can’t figure out the best way to clean these slightly-squishy matte-finished wood-looking floors.
I think the floors are pourous. #flooringfail
10:00 AM. Back at the iMac.
As I set up the video, realize I am shiny in the wrong places. Powder. Lipsick. Do the record, edit, export, upload, post the video blog, send to social media, reply to comments/replies/retweets thing.
Switch laundry to dryer.
11:00 AM. Oy! It’s time to leave to get G from camp!
11:57 AM. G meltdown on the way home.
She thinks I don’t do a good job packing snack because it’s not what she wants to eat that day. I respond that I am not magical and cannot predict the future about what she will want on any particular day. So if that’s important to her, she needs to pack her own snack. After a large quanity of tears and pissyness, she agrees to do so. #EPWwin
12:25 PM. G is eating spicy hummus on crackers for lunch.
She does not yet know that unlike mac & cheese and chicken nuggets and cheese sandwiches, hummus is not a typical kid food. Please dear god don’t anyone tell her.
Gracie suddenly asks, “how did the dinosaurs die?”
12:51 PM. Inadequate housekeeping paranoia increases.
G watches PBS while I do the email/social media/comment thing until the Head of school arrives.
2:00 PM. “Home Visit” with the Head of G’s new school.
She’s very nice, asking G about her summer, what camps she has gone to, if she went on vacation. G uses Harry Potter as an example for a point that she was making and the Head is surprised that she’s seen such a “scary movie.” G matter of factly answers that it is not scary because she watched at home with her mommy.
2:20 PM. Order a twirling baton.
2:33 PM. Research for two papers due on Saturday.
Have to use peer-reviewed journals to support my arguments, which the syllabus says are more reliable and important than other sources. I find this entertaining because in law school I was a editor of two law reviews and am not impressed by said peer review process. But is required, so I research in journal databases about the trolley problem, the hippocratic oath, and oaths taken by army officers.
3:23 PM. Sort through a box of old clothes from the basement of G’s dad’s house (was our old house).
Find 6 sweaters that fit me! It’s like shopping without the spending of money! Win!
Text Alli re said sweater success.
3:50 PM. Don’t know what to do with myself.
Play with the Canvas theme from WooThemes. Omg. This theme framework is freaking powerful and easy and I think I can actually use it to create the site I imagine! Love.
5:21 PM. As G takes a bath, I eat my dinner, reading Eddings’ Crystal Gorge book.
I used to multitask while eating – eat at the computer, in front of the TV, or while studying for class. But a few years ago when I changed how I ate (and thereby lost 40 lbs), I created a new practice of no work/studying while eating. I either do nothing, write in my journal, or read a book.
5:59 PM. We watch Harry Potter together and eat Tootsie Roll Pops.
Neither of us make it to the center via just licking.
8:39 PM. G is in bed. I’m at the iMac.
Look for hex code color families & google fonts, play with the layout and design, using the Canvas framework. Am so excited! I think this will work!
9:46 PM. I need to get off the computer & go to bed.
9:49 PM. No. Seriously. Get off the fraking computer, EPW.
I go into my bedroom with a snack of Cheezy Cheese Its and some water so I don’t wake up hungry at 3 am.
Read Pride & Prejudice yet again. Text. Get a yummy late night phone call.
How do you spend your days? How do you balance all of your roles and responsibilities – and still get work done? I’d love to hear from you below!