Welcome to My Day: Big Family Style


6:00 a.m. — My alarm goes off. I have two choices: Get up right away, or hit the snooze button 11 times. There is no in between with me. 

6:12 a.m — Husband hands me my first cup of coffee, and the morning is slightly less bleak in an instant.

6:37 a.m. — I work on my second cup of coffee while the hubs and I catch up on what’s happened in the past 24 hours by watching the news, otherwise known as SportsCenter. 

7:05 a.m. — Kids straggle downstairs after their alarms go off. One teen asks why life is so terrible. The 5-year-old moans some complaint about breakfast not being ready. Another teen makes our second pot of coffee for the day, and my kids promptly drain it. The morning looks slightly more bleak in an instant. 

8:10 a.m. — Breakfast is over, chores Coffeeare done, teeth are brushed, some people are dressed. I brace myself for the response as I slowly, calmly utter the terrifying words, “Kids, get out your math books.” Their faces reveal absolute despair. 

8:39 a.m. — I realize I have forgotten to pack preschool lunch for the youngest. “What kind of sandwich do you want?” He requests turkey and cheese, and when I remind him that he never likes the cheese, he explains, “I know. I take off the cheese and throw it away. But I want turkey and cheese.” Breathe, mama. 

8:55 a.m. — I drive away with Mr. Cheese Waster, giving thanks for Miss Wendie the preschool teacher. And for preschool. Amen. 

9:20 a.m. — A despondent child exclaims that she has no idea how to do long division. A quick reminder that she’s been doing long division for years results in an insulted look, and then water works. Third cup of coffee, stat. 

10:00 a.m. — With math completed, graded, and corrected, we sit down for history and literature reading. The 10-year-old wants to know if we’ll read something interesting about fighting, wars, or murder. The 14-year-old is falling asleep, and I make him move from the couch to an uncomfortable chair. Because I’m a terrible mom. 

10:42 a.m. — I hear a wistful call from the other room, my sophomore saying, “Mom, I wish you could help me with my chemistry homework!” I comfortingly agree. (I don’t actually agree.) 

11:10 a.m. — 4th grade grammar is declared useless and boring. Is the coffee gone?

11:40 a.m. — Lunch is underway early, because I have to take the high schooler to chemistry, history, and English classes. It is insinuated that I haven’t grocery shopped in “forever,” and therefore there is nothing to eat. Eventually, nachos get made and mac-n-cheese prepared. Weird how the kids never starve . . . .

12:30 p.m. — I drop my son off at class, wave, and remind him that Dad will pick him up. Then I contemplate if I really need to return home. The two-minute battle in my mind ends, and I head home with the compromise of grabbing a Coke Zero on the way. 

1:05 p.m. — Spelling lessons are underway. One kid has forgotten that vowels exist. The tween asks, “Mom, how did I get to be such a GREAT speller?” I tell her to shut up before one of her spelling-challenged brothers punches her. 

1:22 p.m. — 8th grader frantically finishes his homework for writing class that starts in less than an hour. He knows he’s had a week to finish, but he really, REALLY thought he did some over the weekend. I remind him that he never does homework on the weekend. Confused stare. 

2:47 p.m. — Back from preschool, the five year old wants to play a game on the Kindle. I say no, suggesting he jump on the trampoline, draw, or do a puzzle. Unaware that those are gross options, I walk away before getting tricked into arguing with someone who doesn’t have the sense to leave the hated cheese off his sandwich.

3:00 p.m. — The 18 year old is home from work and shocked to learn that there is nothing in the house to eat. New destination: Panda Express. “Hey Mom, do you want anything?”

“Um, no way.”

“You’re such a snob, Mom.” I nod. 

4:12 p.m. — Busy making dinner, I put on music and look at the clock to see if it’s too early for a dinner-prep accompaniment of an IPA. Kids wander in and out, asking what we’ll be eating. I mostly antagonize them with snarky responses, because that’s my gift.

6:07 p.m. — Finally, dinner is made, all eight of us are around the table, dogs waiting expectantly under the table for the five year old to drop something. Dinner Thankfuls are shared. Kids declare the meal delicious, which reminds me to be thankful that my kids eat pretty much everything I make without complaint. 

7:10 p.m. — Evening chores are happening. The 10 year old tells me he has no clean clothes. I remind him that he knows how to do laundry. He says he’ll probably be fine for another week or two. That’s a relief!

8:30 p.m. — Five year old gets put to bed, complete with an obsessive need to say “Goodnight! I love you! See you in the morning!” about 20 times. The rest of the kids grab their current literature selection and read until bedtimeBourbon. It’s so quiet that the quiet seems loud.

9:58 p.m. — All kids tucked away, hubs and I catch up on schedules and happenings of the day over a glass of bourbon. Ahhhhhh, bourbon. . . you are beautiful. We watch our Netflix show that we’ve been trying to finish for a year. 

11:10 p.m. — I remind my night-owl self that my current situation doesn’t lend itself to bedtimes past midnight (that 6:00 a.m. alarm is looming again). And by “current situation,” I mean the happy privilege of loving this amazing bunch of hooligans in my house. I wouldn’t change a thing. 

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Kristen S
Kristen grew up all over the world as an Air Force brat, with amazing parents and eight siblings. She met husband Dave at college in Chicago, and, in addition to the Windy City, they lived in San Antonio and Northern Virginia before settling in Fort Worth in 2010. Along the way they managed to have six children: Molly (98), Warren (01), Henry (02), Carrie (04), Liam (06), and Donovan (11). Most of her time is spent homeschooling her brood, but Kristen is also a lover of Notre Dame and Seahawks football, IPAs, and winter. She believes in teasing her children mercilessly to keep them well-adjusted.


  1. Kristen, I just hid away in one of the kids rooms to read this! I love your humor and mutual love of caffeine and adult beverages in the evening!

  2. Oh, Kristen! You are hilarious! What a great way to start my day today! If I had it to do all over again, I STILL wouldn’t homeschool my six. Hahaha! Maybe if I liked bourbon…

  3. I love your family’s daily routine! I would love to know more about your choices for homeschool materials and the home away from home education your kids are in!

    • Glad you enjoyed it ? We use an eclectic mix of curriculum: Saxon, teaching textbooks, spelling power, story of the world, easy grammar, ordinary parents guide to teaching reading, wordly wise, and other stuff too. I plug my kids into math classes starting with algebra, and all science starting with biology. We’ve also used classes for high school history, literature, fine arts, and foreign language, depending on the kid and our budget.


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