Friday, January 14, 2011

Day in My Life

Since Gwyneth Paltrow and her oh-so-successful friends offered such lovely insights into their hardworking days on Gwyneth's website GOOP: insights filled with weekly blowouts, personal trainers, nannies, and organic food.

Insights like:

I really make a point of sitting down with my children—even if it's for 15 minutes. A great time saver is to make steel cut oatmeal, put it in a ceramic bread loaf pan and slice it each morning, add a drizzle of maple syrup, milk and 45 seconds in the microwave—healthy breakfast in seconds and I can make it last over 3 - 4 days! In the summer, I start the day with a protein smoothie, which can be made in minutes (a handful of organic berries, a large scoop of Greek yogurt, a squirt of flaxseed oil, 2 scoops of protein powder, organic pomegranate or cranberry juice and blend)."



I have the benefit of an amazing assistant, without whom I could not make it happen (Thank you, thank you, Diane). My day is packed back-to-back from the moment that I arrive until the moment that I leave. When I'm driving to a meeting, I bring a call list with me so that I can quickly return calls. On a Friday afternoon, I'm given the list of outstanding calls/topics/decisions that I need to make over the weekend.



Find a great salon that understands time pressure and can accommodate your schedule. I have a great salon near me that I can go to at the end of the day to have a facial, manicure and pedicure at the same time.  I'm in and out in 70 minutes. Not relaxing but efficient. Same for other appointments. I have acupuncture at 9.30pm at night. It's a wonderful end of the day.



We sit on the bed and read, and I demand my usual cuddles. Jen leaves at 6:30, so I try my best to juggle the three monkeys and keep them all in one piece till bed time

Jen is the NANNY.


I thought I'd share A Day in the Life of a Part-time College Instructor/Part-time Graduate Student/Full-time Big Mean Mama.


While, in my dream world, I'd sleep until 10 without guilt or lately, my day begins at 5 am with the ear piercing alarm, meant for my husband. Of course, due to his insistence on early rising, he is already up; ready to face the world, so I am forced to hit the alarm. For years, he had an alarm that never went off, or if it chose to go off, it filled the air with soothing sounds of birds and ocean waves. He found it lacking. I found it perfect. Just as I think I might go back to sleep, sounds of angry killer bees swarming through the house fill my oh-so-tired ears. I'm sure, at some point, I was able to ignore my husband cycling on his trainer in the dining room, but now, I just long for the warmth of spring and outdoor biking activities. (Love you Giant Gentile, you sure look cute on that trainer! Keep up the good work)


I finally get up around 6:20, to go downstairs to pack The Boy his healthy, kosher, dairy, peanut-free, lunch, and two snacks. We keep getting notes telling us to pack more food. My child is not going to up to Everest; I don't know why he needs so much food--especially, because they put his uneaten food in his lunchbox at the end of the day. Gross. (This is why we are on lunchbox number two.). Then I run upstairs to get The Boy up for school. "Is it Saturday?" He always asks. "No, it's not Saturday." If it was Saturday, I wouldn't be trying to get you up at 6:30 in the morning. Instead, you'd be up on your own at 5:30 tormenting your Dad with Cartoons and the constant, "Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?" The only time he's up on his own on the weekdays, is when he's had an accident, and he's trying to hide it by changing his pjs. " I didn't have an accident. I just wanted to wear these jammies and put the sheets in the hallway." Unlike, Gwyneth's child Moses who jumps lovingly into her arms upon waking, my child hides like a teenager under the covers. "The light! It's burning my eyes. Turn it off Mama. Turn it off." I am completely incapable of handling this situation with grace and ease. Instead, my voice gets high and shrieky. I simply cannot help myself. (He often returns the favor at 8am on Saturdays by jumping on my back and begging me to get up and buy him Dunkin Donuts. Shhh, don't tell the organic flax seed oil police)

We are often late getting out the door. Although I like to blame my tortoise-like movements of my child, I am also the cause of this lateness. I don't organize myself the night before. I don't make lists. I don't put notes in pretty folders. I don't put my laptop in my bag or my keys in the right spot. I run around after I am supposed to already be picking up for carpool. Thank G-d, for Tuesdays and Thursdays, when The Boy gets picked up. The carpool used to be rather hellish, but that situation has been rectified. (okay, so we kinda got kicked out part of carpool, because I can't always get along with other people's children). The children stay silent as long as I promise to keep NPR in the front seat.

Lately, I've been dropping off at school, parking in the parking lot, and going to the Gym. Another joy of living in the American Shtetl: one stop-shopping. Except on the days I teach, there is no real excuse for me to not to go to the gym. It's in the same building as his school! So, now I go. However, it's a huge time-suck. Between my big mouth, my refusal to go in the stretching room in the presence of any meathead law school students, and my desire to blow-dry my hair (myself! Okay fine, so I paid a little money and got a straightening treatment, but I don't do it every week. In fact, when I got my hair straightened and highlighted, it had been 8 months since I'd done anything. ANYTHING. I certainly don't have a massage/pedicure/manicure/facial in the same 90 minutes. Who are these people? I digress). So, yes, I usually get there at 8, and I'm not out until 10. I could be cleaning the living room!

Once, I finally get out of the gym, I go to my office/local coffeeshop where I know all the regulars and the details of the barista's dating lives. I drink far too much English Breakfast tea, and two days ago my mouth turned numb from the sunflower petals in my tea. Who knew? I could probably write an entire blog about the goings-on at the coffee shop. From the creepy retired men that troll the young baristas to the priest that silently sits behind me as I write about Jesus. I'm waiting for him to talk to me, but he never has. I Facebook, and worry too much as I write. I grade papers, do research, and type too many long quotes. The Shtetl follows me there: moms from the JCC, Rabbis, and congregants. It's distracting, but not as distracting as the silence of my house or the call of my tv.

When I'm not writing in the coffee shop, I'm teaching. I don't have my own office. I don't have normal hours. Some semesters, I teach one class, while others I teach four. Red and I eat lunch together hiding in the adjunct mailroom. We giggle like teenage girls. I give ignorant dating advice (I've been with the Giant Gentile since I was 19. I know nothing about dating), she reminds me not to eat all the good parts out of my salad. We are on the outskirts and we like it. My teaching varies. Sometimes my students amaze me and sometimes I spend half the time sighing with frustration. I already caught a student texting today while I was lecturing about not texting. I finally did the math and including summers, I've taught here 20 semesters!

I've been trying harder to go home for a few hours in the afternoon to straighten the house. I lack a maid and a nanny and all those special goodies of the privileged. I also lack the domestic skills of a Type A personality and the sense of obligation of a Stay-at-home Mom. I wish I had both. Everyone wishes I had both.

I pick up The Boy later than I should. My dinners are usually uncreative. I've generally forgotten to run an important errand, so I find myself rushing into the darkness while my little family watches TV (big bad tv). GG puts The Boy to bed. He usually falls asleep on the floor while he reads to him. Some nights, I run off to board meetings, girl's nights, or rehearsals.

I have no time saving tips. I'm behind on my writing. I think about food too much. I spend too much time on Facebook. I can't stop checking every news app on my IPhone. I do have one Fashion Tip that helps me every day of my life: cleavage hides everything.


  1. You don't feed your children flaxseed oil daily? What is wrong with you? I'm calling social services, wait I'll have my maid do it for me...

  2. "I lack a maid and a nanny and all those special goodies of the privileged. I also lack the domestic skills of a Type A personality and the sense of obligation of a Stay-at-home Mom."


    I lack pretty much every mom quality there is at this point. My kid would have a better time reaching me via Twitter.

    GOOP is such a huge pain in the ass because it's written not for us, but those OTHER people. And without apology. "My life is fabulous and I make it even more fabulous with my fabulousness." Gag me with a spoon. But only if it hasn't been involved in a smoothie + flax seed.