I want to hear from American moms what your typical day is like during the school year. I want to hear from SAHMs and working moms, and I want to know how you manage your very busy days!
I haven't lived in the US since I've been a parent, but based on conversations with family and friends this is what I think the typical school day is like for a working American mother:
You get up very early in the morning to get the kids ready to get on the bus by 7am (or even earlier for some. My friend's son gets on the bus at 6:30 am).
Once the kids are on the bus to school, you finish getting yourself ready and out the door to work. Your driving commute time is an average of 24 minutes each way (according to Google). Some commute for much longer, over an hour.
You work all day. After school the kids go directly to after school activities and/ or after-school care.
You rush to get out of work and pick up the kids before after-school care closes at 6:30.
You get home after 7pm, make dinner, everyone eats. Clean-up time while the kids do their homework, practice music, etc.
You try to have "family time" for at least a few minutes, but everyone is so wiped out from their long day they really just want to veg in front of the TV.
You get the kids to bed, probably not early enough for them to really get a good night's sleep before they have to wake up at 6am tomorrow.
Once the kids are in bed you finally have some time to catch up on emails, do more work, clean up the house a little, and oh yeah maybe have some facetime with your spouse/ partner.
You collapse into bed after 11pm, to get up in the morning and do it all again.
Am I pretty close?
To be completely honest, I don't think people in other places in the world realize just how busy American mothers are, and especially how early your day starts. In other places, school starts later in the morning which allows for a less frantic pace in the mornings and for kids to get more sleep. As a result of the school day starting so early (which is done that way so commuting parents can get to work on time) everyone is chronically sleep-deprived.
What I want to know, of course, is how do you manage your own busy schedule and your family's? I'm guessing you use Outlook or similar at work to manage meetings and workloads. At home do you mainly rely on a wall calendar, or a paper planner, or both? Do you use electronic for some things and paper for others?
I'd love to hear what planner systems you are using to manage your busy days! Please post a comment, and tell us what your typical day is like during the busy school year.