A Day in the Life: Brook Hinton

(Note: Aren’t you curious about how other local moms make it all work? We are, too! This is the fourth in a series of posts all about how we spend our days. You can read the first three posts here and here and here.)

I should probably begin by saying that no two days are ever exactly the same… I work at the Wenatchee River Institute and am incredibly blessed to have a flexible work schedule that allows me to often work from home or tuck my work day in around the needs of family life. This also means, for better or worse, that my days can vary quite a bit — kind of a routine killer. However, work is work and it must be done and so the juggling act of being a working parent ensues!

Tuesday is my day to host the after school art program at WRI, so that means preparing the night before by reminding the hubby on his way out the door (he works nights) that he will have after school pick up duty. There is also a somewhat preemptive attempt to locate laundry items and the necessary I-live-in-my-car items to remember in the morning. The alarm goes off at 6:45 a.m. and ready…set…go!

The dogs are always ready to start the day — how can you not smile at those faces? Dogs fed, check. Cat fed, check. Here is where I make my confession: I totally use Wild Kratts as the bribe to coax my not-so-early riser out of bed before encouraging the eating of the current breakfast of choice, oatmeal. Then after asking what I am sure is at least 50 times, he gets dressed and gets things together for school. We pack a lunch every day — yes, I said every day. There are no hot lunches here, my friend. Can I just tell you, between us, that this is my LEAST favorite task? Coming up with something new, something tasty and filling and healthy every day is sooooooo hard!

Ahhh! Don’t forget to check on the chickens! And 4 out of 5 times someone who shall be nameless has not filled the water, nor told anyone that the water needed to be filled!

School starts at 8:30 (ish) and then there is a little time to enjoy some NPR on the way to check on the horse. It’s a quick stall clean and some oats on these days before my commute out to Leavenworth. (I actually enjoy my commute… it’s a beautiful drive and it’s nice to have some decompression time. It’s kind of like prepping myself for the different roles I play.)

Office work that is usually a flurry of emails and website work and grown up troubles and conversations, then a couple hours with the after school kiddos. It is always fun finding out about their days and discovering the latest and greatest in their 6-9 year old worlds! Today was some amazing art (kids are crazy talented!) to wrap up the session all about Matisse and Georgia O’Keefe, then a  scramble to clean up and out the door! Work on these days is often a blur. How much can I cram in so I don’t have to bring it home with me — because everyone makes a “when the kiddos go to bed to-do list” , right? Decompression ride home, maybe a phone call or two… I’m a multi-tasker, what can I say?

Chore check! Eggs are gathered, animals are fed. I try to put dinner in the crock pots on these days — but today, I just wasn’t that pulled together. So it was leftovers for the hubby — yum, enjoy — and lamb tacos for the little one and myself. I am very much of the mindset that when in doubt, use whatever is in the fridge and fix tacos! Then dinner is our chance to sit down together as a family, however brief that may be, and find out about the day and what’s on everyone’s minds. There is usually a little grown-up talk about bills, errands, schedules, etc., but school talk is the best. Oh the drama of a first grader! And he is a spelling, drawing, random fact fool. so that makes for awesome dinner conversation and often a side lesson or art project — for us, not him!

“It was nice to see ya babe” interrupts the dishes and off to work at 7 p.m. goes the hubby. Shower, jammies and a rockin’ game of Uno for the little (ok, really it was like 4 games and I am the meanest mom ’cause I won 3). It then takes a painfully long time to brush teeth — there is usually some random playing with the dogs, some “oh, you were talking to me” drama, some incredibly urgent need to clean the bedroom and then a book and off to bed. (And, of course, the minute I leave the room he has to use the bathroom.)

The final part of the day? Tonight it was dishes, the amazing glory of a hot shower, some laundry to fold so that I can find the bed, a quick check of the phone that includes a guilty 15-minute foray into the world of Facebook, which is relished by the dogs who are laying on me, and (I’m cringing a wee bit as I say this) I seriously should have done some work while half watching some epic series on Amazon (my newest discovery — I’m a little behind, don’t mock me), but instead I shut out the light and was crashed out by 9:45 p.m. Good night all!