I work three days a week as a Secondary School Teacher, while also teaching Daisy Birthing classes once a week and being a self-employed distributor for Utility Warehouse.
This is a typical day in Janette’s life:
5:30am – The alarm goes off and I quickly turn it to silent before it wakes Alex, my 22 month old, who is asleep in the cot on the other side of my room. I creep to the shower and hope that nobody wakes up while I’m in there.
5:50am – I’m dressed and sorted although I wouldn’t quite say that I’m awake. Alex is also awake having heard me moving about, so I get him up and dressed.
6:15am – Sitting on the sofa giving Alex a morning breastfeed while Hannah (6) and Nathaniel (4) watch some early television and I catch up on emails.
6:30am – Finally get around to getting into the kitchen where I sort out their breakfast, giving me time to unload the dishwasher, make myself a cup of tea (and maybe even drink it!), load the washing machine and make sure my teenagers are out of bed.
7:15am – Everyone is up, fed and dressed. I have 30 minutes to go so get the dinner into the slow cooker to save me having to sort it out later and put some washing away
7:45am – The teenagers have gone to school and college while my mum arrives to take the children to nursery and school. Without her, I would be stuck as I have to be at work before Hannah starts school.
8:00am – Leave for work. I’ll admit to enjoying the drive to and from work. It is 20 minutes each way and the quietest 40 minutes of my whole day. I listen to the radio with no interruptions and sing along without anyone moaning.
8:30am – Mummy hat is firmly off and I’m in teacher mode. Photocopying to be done, people to grab a quick word with in the staffroom and notices in my pigeonhole to be read before the students reach my classroom.
8:45am – Students are sat in my classroom and I’m still faffing with the laptop to try and load up the register. Some days I wish for a paper system. Date, title and learning objective on the board and it’s off I go for the next few hours. One class leaves and another arrives, barely giving me time to wipe the board off in between. And, as I’m on break duty, I have to wait until lunchtime for my second cup of tea of the day.
3:05pm – The final bell rings and the students and I race to pack up to go home. There isn’t a meeting today but two days a week, we stay later. After a busy day. I’m glad that this isn’t one of those days. I know that I need to be in my car by 3:13pm or I will be stuck behind the school buses, so I dash out as fast as the children.
3:35pm – Home. My mum and my three little ones are already home waiting for me. I love the cuddles that I get when greeted at the door, but I also know that over-tiredness from school and nursery can make this part of the day difficult. My mum and I chat for a bit while I sort out drinks
and snacks for the children and I make my third cup of tea of the day. After my mum leaves, we have some chilling out time in the lounge with books, television, and jigsaws. Or, if the weather is good, a more energetic time in the garden to really wear them out.
5:00pm – Hannah starts to nag that it is tea time and tells me that I need to get off the sofa and sort it out. It is a struggle to get up though! As they have all had hot meals earlier, I make sandwiches and fruit for their tea while checking on the dinner for me and the older ones. We used to all eat together, which was lovely, but the older children don’t get back until at least 6pm which is too late for the younger ones, so we have split meal times on a week day now.
5:45pm – I have to drag Hannah and Nathaniel to the bath as they don’t see why it is necessary and would rather carry on playing downstairs. Alex can’t wait to climb the stairs at the mention of the word ‘Bath’ though. By now, we are all tired and I am starting to count down to bedtime. It always takes far longer to bath them than I plan it to take, partly because it takes so long to get two of them in the bath and partly because of the drama that washing their hair causes.
6:30pm – Finally, all three children are bathed, in their pyjamas and are downstairs enjoying ‘Sofia the First’. My older ones are home and asking for their dinner, even though they know they won’t get it until the younger ones are tucked up in bed.
7:00pm – Hannah, Nathaniel and Alex are upstairs with clean teeth and enjoying having a book read to them. They get to choose one each so it can take a while to read the bedtime stories but it is a really enjoyable time of the day when everyone is calm and relaxed.
7:30pm – Having settled three in bed, it is now time for Tasha, Kaiya and I to enjoy our dinner and catch up. I feel that this is the first time that I have spoken to them all day, so there is lots to talk about and it’s good to have a more adult conversation. After dinner, Tasha and Kaiya will clean up as I cooked, leaving me with the tidying and hovering to do.
8:30pm – I get out my planner and work out my lessons for the next day which can take between half an hour to an hour. If I have marking to do, I start to tackle it now but I work in the lounge so that I can spend time with Tasha and Kaiya too. If I don’t have marking to do, I might write a blog, send some business emails or do some online marketing. There’s always something on that to do list.
11:00pm – I head off to bed although I don’t go to sleep straight away because I love to read until I feel my eyes closing. So long as I get at least 5 hours sleep, I find I can function, although I prefer 6-7 hours. I just hope that Alex goes through the night as I turn off the light.
And that’s my day as a working single mum of six.
Janette is taking part in my #DayInTheLife project, a series of posts where people write about their typical day. If you would like to take part, please fill in the form on my blog post here.