Lovelies, I am thrilled to be introducing today's guest mama! I've known her since before I can remember, as our families are old, old friends. Jess is a teacher and mama to one adorable little man, and...has a wonderful sense of humor about life, as you will see below! Thanks for guest posting today, Jess! 

Wednesday, November 5:

5:00 Alarm goes off. I jump out of bed, eager to tackle all of the challenges that today will bring. Just kidding – I hit snooze for the first time and fall back to sleep for 9 glorious minutes.

5:10 Actually open eyes; check Facebook on my phone for 8 minutes to ease into the day

5:18 Get out of bed

5:25-5:59 Shower, dress, get ready for work

6:00 Wake up Luke, who cries, “Sleep, mommy, sleep!” I know the feeling, kid. I am able to hold off a complete meltdown and dress him by promising he can sleep in the car. Which he never does – but he could if he wanted to, so I wasn’t lying.

6:20 In the car, Luke is now awake for the day. 
6:35 Stop at Dunkin Donuts for iced green tea for me and a special treat for Luke (and me!): munchkins

7:15 Walk into Luke’s day care. I’ve come up with a bunch of little activities to help distract him from noticing that he’s going to “school”, because it is a new day care and though I know he has fun, he cries every morning when I leave him. So we give a high five to the stuffed scarecrow sitting out front, and say good morning to the fish that I have named. 

7:25-7:50 My productivity impresses even me – am I getting so much done before 8:00 because I know I am writing this article?! Or is it because mothers know how to get s*&t done?! Whatever the reason, I pick up copies, print out tomorrow’s handouts, plan what I am going to say when I write to a parent whose child is struggling in my class, and talk to the Assistant Principal about two community service projects my club wants to participate in (and get approval for both – the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk, and coordinating a food drive to benefit LI Cares). All before school starts.

9:00 Meet with my director for a pre-observation meeting. She is coming in two weeks for a formal observation, and today we discuss my lesson plan, and the makeup of the particular class she will be observing. End our meeting discussing what we consider one of the biggest issues facing this generation: how to get kids to read. 

9:30 How much should a kid’s haircut cost? My son has pretty awesome hair with some crazy cowlicks, so my husband and I don’t want to cut it ourselves. In our old neighborhood, his haircut cost $40. We agree with what you are thinking – that this is insane. So I research kids’ haircuts near my job. $17 for a kids’ cut? That’s more like it.

9:55 How many times can a person say, “I’m waiting for you to be quiet?” in one class period? Apparently four.

10:40 Decision time at the vending machine: Diet Coke (how I love you, but hate your chemicals!) or water? It was a minor victory for my health – I get water.

11:00 Working though lunch with my fellow grade-level ELA buddies while we start to plan out lessons for the next month. I love having the chance to collaborate with two people who love the subject matter as much as I do, and we have such different takes on everything, it’s so helpful to bounce ideas off of one another.

11:12 Realize that eating my son’s quesadilla leftovers from dinner last night is not going to cut it for lunch today.

12:04 Husband texts me about an upcoming concert we both want to attend. This is a big deal since our musical tastes are pretty different – I enjoy rap and rock like he does, but I also like a lot of folky, alternative music that he does not enjoy. At all. We agree that early 90s rap is pretty much the pinnacle of rap, and that Pearl Jam can do no wrong. Other than that, it can get messy. So finding out that one of our favorite bands may be coming near us for a concert is an exciting development.

12:30 Without realizing what I am doing, I start counting down to three with my class to get students back in their seats after an activity that required moving around the classroom. It’s something I do with Luke – and it worked with middle school students! I will be using this again in the future.

12:45 Email four parents to let them know their child is missing an important assignment, ask them to “encourage” said child to hand it in by Friday for partial credit (Follow-up: 3 of the 4 do hand it in, the next day).

1:20 Quickly check Facebook on my walk to the bathroom to remind myself what life outside of a middle school is like. I look at Humans of New York and decide I want to include some of this guy’s pictures into a lesson one day. This photographer captures humanity in the most honest, heart-breaking and hopeful way.

1:25 A good friend/colleague compliments my appearance. Although I respond, “I wake up like this,” I am all too aware that I put a lot more effort into my appearance today because I knew I’d be taking pictures for this article. Pretty sure my friend is aware too!

1:29 Must stop eating leftover Halloween candy.

2:45-3:45 Hosted an after-school meeting of a community service club that I started this tear. It’s been hard to find organizations that want middle school students to come in for hands-on work (like animal shelters or soup kitchens), but I am so impressed with these kids. They want to do good things for the world, and they are excited to help. They are very excited about getting our club on social media, so next week, we are going to look into starting a Twitter to keep people informed of our upcoming events. 

  4:05 Pick up my little guy! Sing aloud in the car. Our current favorite to sing along to is the Newsies soundtrack. My son is going to have very eclectic musical tastes thanks to his parents!

4:39 Bring Luke to a kids’ hair place I read about. Denied – apparently after school hours are always “very busy.” Good to know.

4:45 Rather than get discouraged, decide to make a mommy-son night of it. Pull into Friendly’s for dinner with Luke. 
5:10 Hello comfort food!

5:45-6:45 Sit in traffic on the way home, and it takes me a few minutes to find a parking spot on the street.

6:55 Stop home, pick up laundry and leave again to drop it off. We live in a building that has a few washer and dryers in the basement, but there are always a bunch of residents competing for them. A few months ago, my husband and I decided it was worth the extra few dollars to get it washed and folded for us. I don’t know if I’ve ever been happier about any decision I’ve ever made (besides agreeing to go on a first date with my now husband!)

7:05 Already in my pjs, playing Legos with Luke while keeping one eye on Jeopardy when my husband comes home from work. 

7:32 Put together snacks for Luke and me tomorrow (hummus and pita chips for me, strawberries for Luke).

7:42 Look at my workbag full of the essays I brought home to grade. Decide to ignore them until tomorrow. I love my job – I think middle school students are incredibly insightful, brutally honest and hysterically funny, but it’s time for me to put work aside and focus on family. And it’s been a loooong day!

8:05 Help Luke brush his teeth and put his pjs on. We climb into my bed and read a story. As much as I want him to love being read to (hello, I am an English teacher!), he prefers reading to me.

8:15-8:24 My husband, son and I watch Dora the Explorer together.

8:25 Turn off the TV and lights. Snuggle in with Luke. We fall asleep together and my husband moves him into his own bed later. I spent the first 6 months of Luke’s life strictly following every parenting book instruction. Then we were evacuated from our home for a month because of Superstorm Sandy, and we were staying at a relative’s house with no crib, so we got into the habit of sleeping together. Once we returned home, it just stuck. I have stopped beating myself up about it, because I like that we share that downtime together. Especially since I want to spend every possible moment with him when I get home from work.

Jessica Dohnert is a middle school English teacher on Long Island who is having fun throwing out the window all of the ideas she had about parenting before actually becoming one. She likes to spend her free time exploring NYC with her partners-in-crime (her husband and son), discussing reality television with her sister and best friend, and reading (not student essays). She is a burgeoning chef in the confines of her tiny apartment kitchen, struggling to curb her ridiculously strong sweet tooth with her equally strong desire to teacher her son healthy eating habits. She often discusses characters from TV shows and books as though they are real people, and considers wine and chocolate (dark chocolate – you know, the “healthy” kind) two of her good friends. 

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