My Real Schedule: A Day in the Life of a Special Needs Mom

My Real Schedule: A Day in the Life of a Special Needs Mom - jenniferajanes.com

My Real Schedule: A Day in the Life of a Special Needs Mom

I often have people ask me what life is really like in our family. So I’m giving you the real deal: a 24-hour peek into the life of a special needs mom on a pretty typical day:

12:04 am I see my younger daughter’s face for the last time before she finally goes to sleep. I’m not sure if it’s complete exhaustion or that she finally worked through the anxiety caused by my husband asking her to find the positive in her therapy session later this morning, but I’m thankful to finally be able to go to sleep.

5:00 am My husband gets up to get ready for training for his new job. I moved my alarm to 7:00 am last night before I fell asleep, knowing that five wasn’t going to be realistic for me, but the fact that he’s up and moving around the house keeps me from sleeping deeply. I dream about having a run-in with a neighbor over damage to their plants, an incident that never happened.

6:16 am I start to feel anxious that getting up at seven won’t be early enough to get everything done we need to do before Princess Roo’s Monday morning therapy session and my hours at work start. But I’m so tired, and my stomach still hurts. I’m beginning to think that I ate something with hidden gluten in it last week, despite reading labels. My GI system hasn’t been happy since last Wednesday. The vertigo and nausea from weather changes and sinus issues aren’t helping either.

6:46 am I give up, grab my phone, and begin reading my devotionals and Bible reading plan for the day. I listen to (audiobook) and follow along in a Christian living book I’m reading with a friend, and I pray for my husband and children.

7:00 am BookGirl’s alarm goes off, and she gets up while I’m still having my quiet time.

7:17 am I connect with BookGirl and my hubby in the kitchen, pray with my husband as he heads to the guest room to do his (online) job training, and make sure BookGirl is doing okay. She’s already had a shower and is working on her lessons. They won’t take her long this morning. She did a good bit of today’s lessons last night before she went to bed.

7:34 am I make sure that Princess Roo’s lessons are laid out and her morning medicine is ready and waiting. I make notes in my lesson plan book, mark attendance, and start some videos that will help me meet my daily Swagbucks goal. (Swagbucks has helped pay for Christmas, birthdays, homeschool supplies, etc. I try to meet my goal every day so I get more bonus Swagbucks at the end of the month! If you want to try it out for yourself, please use my referral link.)

7:46 am It’s the moment I’ve been dreading all morning—time to wake up Princess Roo. She’s not the happiest person in the mornings, and with the lack of sleep last night and the fact that she still hasn’t adjusted to the Daylight Savings Time switch, this could get ugly. Surprisingly, although she doesn’t move very fast, she doesn’t melt down over the wake-up call, and her cat helps me out by staying at the foot of her bed and purring when I place her there.

8:14 am Lunches are made. Showers and homeschool lessons for Princess Roo and me have started. (Not at the same time, obviously.) The morning is going pretty well, although Princess Roo is predictably struggling with her lessons more than normal, since she didn’t get enough sleep last night.

8:47 am I am mostly ready, towels are in the washer, Princess Roo has moved her homeschool lessons to the kitchen table (from the bathroom, where I was helping her while I dried my hair), and BookGirl is finished with her lessons, thanks to all the work she did yesterday afternoon and last night. She is happily reading the book of her choice at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of cereal. Princess Roo is trying to read her story to me, with breaks for the noise of making smoothies for the two of us to drink for breakfast.

9:00 am Interruption: A phone call from the immunologist’s office. We are trying to come up with a plan that will allow Princess Roo to continue her immunoglobulin infusions while we’re in the 90-day waiting period for health insurance with my husband’s new company. The nurse asks lots of questions, develops a plan, and promises to call me back later in the morning with what she finds out.

9:21 am Smoothies have been consumed, homeschool lessons are ongoing at the kitchen table. BookGirl is preparing our water bottles. She takes them, and the lunches I’ve already prepared, to the van for me.

9:32 am Time to put on makeup and brush my teeth. Princess Roo is still working on lessons. She manages to finish the most critical ones, and then she brushes her own teeth and finds shoes, socks, and a jacket so she can be ready to leave the house.

9:47 am  We leave the house.

10:00 am – 2:00 pm Princess Roo has an hour-long occupational therapy session, and I complete four of my ten hours for the week as an office assistant at the therapy facility. I get another call from the immunologist’s nurse. She thinks we’re on the right track, which is good news. While I work, BookGirl reads or plays with Princess Roo. They especially enjoy the big therapy gym area during the lunch hour, when it’s vacant and they can play there. They play in other rooms during the times when the big gym is occupied. I receive a text that my husband used his lunch hour to prepare the soup we will eat for supper, which takes one more thing off the list of tasks I must complete before bedtime.

2:35 pm I get home after making a quick trip to the grocery before coming home from work. I picked up some snacks for the family and some soft drinks for me – a vain attempt to settle my still unhappy tummy. Then I switch laundry loads around and settle down to tackle a list of things I’ve been putting off for over a week. They’re piling up. It’s time to get them done.

2:40 pm – 5:00 pm While working on other tasks, I meet my daily Swagbucks goal. The girls and I eat a snack. I respond to an email I received this morning from a blog reader who is just beginning to homeschool her son, who has chronic health issues. I call to find out what steps to take next to protect Princess Roo’s identity, which was compromised through a recent hacking attack on a health insurance company. I catch up on upcoming activities in a blogging network I belong to, and I apply/sign up for some of them. I start this blog post instead of working on one I need to publish immediately, because I’m easily distracted sometimes. 😉 I return a phone call from a person who wanted me to be his literary agent, and I tell him I can’t help him. I halfway watch a show my kids are watching. I supervise the folding and putting away of the load of towels. I schedule posts for a book club I’m co-leading for other parents of special needs kids. (I’m sure I did a few more things, but I can’t remember what!) I get a lot of my list crossed off, which makes me feel better.

5:13 pm – 6:09 pm My wonderful husband heats up the soup he made at lunch, and we eat supper together. We read our daily family Bible reading and talk about the day together. My husband cleans up the kitchen while I return to working on my list. (He knows it is really bugging me, so he’s trying to help me out!)

6:09 pm – 9:47 pm My husband and BookGirl leave the house to stop by the grocery store and pick up a few things (because we obviously didn’t communicate before I stopped by the store earlier today). Hubby takes BookGirl to dance, where she will be from 6:45 pm until 9:30 pm. Hubby goes to the gym to work out and unwind from the stress of the day. While they’re gone, Princess Roo and I eat snacks, I write, and we (sort of) watch How to Train Your Dragon 2. She plays Minecraft PE, and I try to decide what’s still on my list that I can roll over to tomorrow so I can have some time to unwind and get ready to sleep earlier than I did last night. I debate a short walk on the treadmill but reject that idea because of the GI turmoil that continues. Then I change my mind and take a short, slow walk anyway. And it helps some. At least I feel like I’ve done something good for myself. I switch laundry again. Lights come out of the dryer. Darks go into the washer. While I wait for BookGirl to get home, I take my bedtime medicine and make sure Princess Roo takes hers. We work on her daily devotional together. Princess Roo and I look at a new book together, and I tuck her in. A few minutes later, BookGirl makes it home from dance.

10:00 pm Princess Roo has already been out of her room once, and I’m praying tonight won’t be a repeat of last night. Fortunately, she stays in bed and goes to sleep. My hubby, BookGirl, and I sit in the kitchen brainstorming people we can approach with the baked potato lunch fundraiser the girls’ dance studio is doing to help cover recital costs.

10:26 pm BookGirl is tucked in and is so tired that she forgets to take out her contacts. I hang up the clothes in the dark load that need to line dry, move the light clothes into a laundry basket, and put the remaining dark clothes in the dryer. Then I head to the kitchen for a big glass of water and start listening to an audiobook to help me unwind.

10:51 pm I finally head to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. I’m thankful Princess Roo is sleeping tonight, and I’m excited about an extra hour of sleep. Then I discover that the slow-draining sink in the full bath (the bathroom everyone uses) isn’t draining at all.

11:20 pm A box of baking soda and most of a gallon of white vinegar later, followed by some plunging and then cleaning out the sink,  has the water draining again, although it’s still slow. I breathe a sigh of relief and a prayer of gratitude that a call to our wonderful (no sarcasm involved; seriously, he’s amazing) plumber isn’t an absolute necessity tomorrow morning.

11:45 pm I’m a little wound up from all the plumbing drama, so I’m still listening to the audiobook and playing a game on my phone, trying to unwind and get sleepy again. It’s happening, gradually. (And yes, I know looking at a screen isn’t the best way to fall asleep, but I’m just being honest here.)

12:06 am Despite my best efforts, it’s after midnight. Again. But I’m finally going to rest for several hours. I’m hoping tomorrow is a calmer day, one that will involve more time for just hanging out with the kids, having fun doing our lessons at a slower pace (with more science and social studies), and no drama. It probably won’t play out quite that way, but I’ll dream about it anyway.

For more real schedules, check out What My Schedule Really Looks Like by the bloggers of iHomeschool Network!

What My Schedule Really Looks Like #iHSnet

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3 Responses to My Real Schedule: A Day in the Life of a Special Needs Mom

  1. Honey says:

    The days feel so very long sometimes don’t they.

    Honey

  2. Pingback: Homeschool Schedules That Work...For YOU

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