I have to be honest, my day is anything but typical. I have four kids, one of which is special needs, so life can just be downright chaotic at times. You just never really know what is going to happen any given day. That being said, I still try my best to have some type of a schedule because that makes life easier for all of us.
Getting Ready in The Mornings
On a typical day, I get up at 6 AM so I can get my 12 year old daughter up and ready for middle school. When the bus picks her up, I then wake my 7, and 8 year old daughters up, and get them ready for elementary school. I also have to make sure that I give my 7 year old her seizure medication at the same time every morning and I also have to make sure that my 12 year old had her ADD medication. By the time 7:30 AM rolls around my three oldest children are on their way to school.
Staying Busy During the Day
The next part of my day is when my 4 year old and I spend some mommy and son time together, usually reading and watching TV. I feel that this is very important for his development so I do my best to stick to it every day. He really enjoys learning so I teach him as much as I can during this time. I then cook breakfast for us before getting ready to clean the house. My daily cleaning involves dusting, sweeping, moping, vacuuming, laundry, etc… This is something that I have to do every morning if I want to keep up a clean house.
Once the house has been straightened up, I get my son and myself ready to run whatever errands we may have for the day. When we get back home he plays with his toys until lunch time. While he is playing, I use that time to set up any doctor’s appointments that the kids need to attend or make any phone calls that need to be made. I am very active in my children’s schooling and there are a lot of times that I have to go over paperwork for their school or attend meetings such as IEP meetings. Luckily I am able to do most of this via phone.
When 2:30 PM rolls around it’s time for my children to start getting home, so I must make sure I am back for the day when they get off the bus. I also have speech pathologist come to the house a twice a week for my children to have therapy, and once a week a physical therapist comes out to help my 7 year old. My children know that when they come home it’s time to change their clothes and then they can get a snack and do their homework. My oldest gets home at 4:00 and when she comes in she starts on her homework right away as well.
Dinner & Bed Time
After everyone is home and things are in order, I start cooking dinner for the children so I will have dinner done by 5 or 5:30. I like to have dinner done earlier so the children will have time to eat before they take their baths and go to bed. After everyone has had their baths, we will spend time together playing a game or watching TV. I enjoy spending time with my children – it’s one of the most important things in my life. Then at 7:00 PM, I am back to giving out medication before putting the younger children to bed at 8:00 PM and by 11:00 PM all of my children are in bed.
Note: Now you have to know that this is our schedule unless my kids are playing sports. My 12 year old plays Spring soccer, my 8 year old plays Fall softball, and soon my son is going to start wrestling! Needless to say, things get chaotic around that time.
Taking Care of My Husband – Prepping Meals
When my children are in bed most would think that I would want to have time to myself to rest, but I usually don’t. I typically take that time to cook meals for my husband. I like to precook his meals for him so he will not have to eat out. He loves the home cooked meals...I think it reminds him of being home J I try to cook enough meals to last him while he is gone. We know that eating out is not the best option and by precooking meals we’re able to save quite a bit of money.
How We Make It Work – Good Communication
Even though my husband is not home all the time, he still plays a very important role in helping with the children. He’s still able to help? the kids and I in a lot of different ways even from miles away. He always calls me in the morning to make sure I am up and ready to start my day. He talks to the children every day to ask how things went at school or with sports. By doing things like this and keeping regular communication, he’s able to still be a very important part of their lives even though he is not home all the time.
I will have to say that I am a very lucky woman. My husband and I love to spend time together and when we are not together we talk on the phone constantly. When he stops for a break we’re also able to text or video chat. We try to talk about the important stuff like bills after the kids go to bed so we can have fun while talking with them.
When my husband first started driving, I would try and stop everything that I was doing when he would call just so we could talk but I soon found that this did not work. I would do this because I wanted to give him my full attention but this was throwing my children’s schedule off. So now we talk when we can, and always right before he goes to sleep for the night.
Making the Adjustment & Learning New Things
We knew when he started driving a truck it was going to be very different compared to a job where he was home every day. Initially, we were not as ready for the change as we thought we were. There’s a big lifestyle change, not just for the driver but also the whole family. It just takes time to get used to.
An example of something I never had to worry about in the past is home and car repairs. He was always here to fix any issues we might have, but now I’m learning how to handle those things. I had to learn very quickly how to fix a busted pipe and I’ve even been changing the oil in our cars!
The biggest difference between my husband driving a truck and his other jobs is just the hometime. When he started truck driving school, he had to be gone during the week but we did see each other on the weekend. Then when he went to OTR training for PAM Transport he was gone for over a month! Then he became a first seat driver and got his own truck. I was so proud! The first few months after getting his own truck he was out for 3 weeks at a time then home for a few days at the end of the month. This was something that also took some getting used to.
With all of that being said, it was hard at first and there are days that it is still hard but we are working each and every day to improve things. No matter how good things are, there’s always room for improvement. We both feel that having great communication is very important. This helps us pass the days and it helps keep our marriage strong.