The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

A Day in the Life of a Full-Time Mother, Full-Time Teacher and Part-Time Everything Else

There have many times since becoming a parent when I have been asked, “How do you do it?”—“it” being everything that needs to be done in a given day as the mother of three young children and full-time teacher.

I have always believed that the trick dwelled in not thinking too much about it.  Just as you don’t truly realize how tired you are until you stop moving, the act of contemplating and tallying up what you actually do is what makes you start to question right along with your friends and family who can’t imagine how you do it.

So, at the risk of bewildering myself, here goes—a typical Tuesday:

5:36 AM:  The alarm goes off.  There is something about those six extra minutes after 5:30 AM that make me feel as though I’m getting a little extra sleep.

5:40 – 6:10 AM:  Morning ablutions.  To save time in the morning, yes, I could shower at night.  But, honestly, if it were not for a morning shower, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t achieve coherence until well into my third-period class.

6:15 AM:  Let the dogs out.

6:16 – 6:20 AM:  Pick up the trash the dogs managed to snag from the garbage can, wipe the floor, and wash my hands.

6:20 – 6:30 AM:  Put together snacks and lunches for my sons.  And, again, this is something I could clearly do the evening before; but I can’t.  I’ve tried.

6:30 – 6:35:  Make breakfast for myself.  While my egg is cooking, set the table for my two oldest sons. Set up the morning dose of medications for my six-year-old, who has epilepsy.  Throw in a load of laundry.

6:36-6:45:  Eat breakfast and send out morning emails—to teachers, colleagues, parents.  Leave an update via voicemail for my son’s neurologist.  Call in a prescription or two to the pharmacy.

6:45 AM:  Wake up my husband and two oldest sons—at least once, and sometimes twice.

6:50 AM:  Give my son Edgar three medications with as much cheer as I can muster as I come to grips with the fact that I am not raising “morning people.”

6:55 AM:  Get breakfast started as I define the word “indecision” for my two oldest sons.  Put Oscar’s violin, music, and Latin books in my car.

7:05 AM:  Leave for work.  Enjoy classical music and my only moments of solitude during my seven-minute commute.

7:15 AM:  Arrive at work.  Teach three or four classes (depending on the day)—that is, 75-90 eleventh- and twelfth-grade students.  Bask in one bathroom break and a twelve-minute lunch (such is the glamorous life of a teacher).

1:55 PM:  Leave work with a stack of papers to correct—a stack I measure in inches and pounds and not numbers.

2:07 – 2:30 PM:  Grocery shop as fast as I can.  Get gas OR run to the pharmacy.  There is only time to do one.

2:45 PM:  Pick up my two oldest sons and their backpacks that weigh as much as they do from school.

2:55 PM:   Pick up my youngest son, who can run faster than I can, from his daycare provider.

3:00 – 3:15 PM:  Arrive at my in-laws’, who take care of my two youngest while Oscar, my oldest son, and I meet with our Latin tutor.

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM:  Latin lesson at the local library–Euge!

4:20 PM: Drive Oscar to his violin lesson.

4:30 PM:  Pick up my two youngest sons from my in-laws’.

4:55 PM:  Pick up my oldest son from his violin lesson.

5:10 PM:  Arrive home.  Bring in the backpacks and lunchboxes.  Make dinner.  Try to keep three hungry boys from diving into the box of Cheez-its.  Cajole Oscar into doing his homework.  Clean out backpacks and lunchboxes.

5:30 – 5:50 PM:  Dinner for four.  (We make a plate for my husband, who often works late.)

6:00 PM:  Clean dinner’s detritus off the floor, table, counters, and occasionally surrounding cabinets.  Sweep and mop floor.  Take one load of laundry out.  Put another one in.

6:15 PM:  Put youngest son in the bath.  Fold laundry.  Clean play room.  Run the dishwasher.  Vacuum.

6:30 PM:  Bring youngest up to bed.  Read “one more story.”  Sing “Soft Kitty” from The Big Bang Theory (don’t ask!), and say goodnight. 

6:50 PM:  Draw bath for Oscar.  While Oscar bathes, give Edgar his five evening medications.

7:10 PM:  A bath for Edgar—and maybe one more load of laundry.  Lay out the boys’ clothes and shoes for the next day.  Clean Edgar’s glasses (yes, this is usually a noteworthy task).

7:15 – 7:45 PM:  By this time, my husband is usually home—so it’s stories, sight words, and silliness.  Then bed.

After everyone is in bed, this is my time.  I read, very occasionally watch television, and write.  But I have to admit . . . there isn’t a whole lot left.  Like everyone else, I do my best.  And it is not lost on me how lucky I am to have a supportive husband, family, and friends.

Amidst all the busyness of life, there is a lot of laughter, many hugs and kisses, and some of the best conversation I could ever imagine.

Am I tired?  Oh, yes.  Never have I been so tired.

Would I have it any other way?

Do you even have to ask?


[A HUGE thank-you to Deanna DiMarzio, who captured these beautiful images of Oscar, Edgar, and August.  Please visit Deanna’s site for more information or to book a session in Rhode Island or Massachusetts.]

About Samantha

Samantha Hines lives with her family in Newport, RI, and is a high school English teacher (twenty-four years and running). In the last several years, she has published in ADDitude and Adoptive Families magazines; and her blog, My Three Sons, was named by Adoptive Families as one of the Top Twenty Adoption Blogs on the internet. She is also the author of "Different Drummer," a blog about her son who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. In September 2012, she began her Ph.D. in Humanities at Salve Regina University. You can follow My Three Sons on Facebook and her blog at

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly
  • i love music

    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never
    seem to get there! Thank you

  • Davinie Fiero

    Just wanted to write a comment and thank you. I’m a married mama of two young girls who is in grad school for elementary ed and is wondering if all will be possible after I get in a school and am working full time (I work part time now). The fact that you can (even though 5:36 is so early!) and can still maintain a beautiful blog is inspiring to me. Thank you for sharing!

    • Samantha Hines

      In the words of Lucille Ball, ” If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” You can do it! Thank you for your kind words, too, about my blog. Much, much appreciated!

  • Christine

    Mothers are amazing aren’t we? lol
    I had noticed you wrote how your son has epilepsy – we’re going through right now to see if my daughter has it. Just waiting to see if she ends up having another seizure (she had a spell of 5 in one day about a month ago, but none since). Until then, no medication, which is understandable. Do you mind writing me to let me know how you went through it? Seems like just a waiting game for us and no one really knows what happened. Thanks, Christine

    • Samantha Hines

      Hi, Christine. Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you–I just got back from England with 18 high school students! How is your daughter? We are very lucky to have a wonderful neurologist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.