A Day in the Life of Antoinette Oesterlin
Antoinette Oesterlin is a curriculum designer for an online college. She and her husband, Fabian, have two children, Kennedy (4) and Adrian (15 months).
I am not a morning person in any sense, but in order to maximize my day and keep things running, it is best for me to wake at this time. Waking up at 5:30 a.m. allows me to get a jump on my day before the rest of the house wakes and I find I am more productive. I usually creep out of our bedroom so as not to wake my husband. Then I head upstairs into my office, just down the hall from both kids’ rooms.
In my office, the first thing I try to do is take time to read something devotional or inspirational in nature. I have daily devotional books, my Bible and a daily mantra book that I can read a quick snippet from before I start my day. I prep the day’s to-do lists in my planner, log in to work, check emails and start setting some intentions for the rest of the day.
The kids begin waking up and our house usually starts getting noisier. My son is 15 months old, and he will often make noises and funny sounds from his cribs that range anywhere from cries to raspberries. My daughter usually waits in her room until my husband or I come to get her.
By this time, my husband is awake and can take over duties with the kids, allowing me to focus on work without distractions. Most of my meetings and calls take place after 8 a.m.
I begin hearing from co-workers in other time zones on my primary job as a curriculum designer for an online college. Sometimes it is meetings, sometimes it is project emergencies and sometimes it is quiet. Curriculum design online is still an emerging field and each day is a toss-up as to what to expect in terms of my workload for the day. That is part of why I love it.
My husband leaves for work. Kitchen management requires a lot of nights and weekends. I stopped being sad about his work schedule after about five years with him, but it took us growing as a family for me to learn not to take his schedule personally. If he could, he would be at home with the kids and me every day. Missing him has made the times we do spend together much sweeter.
If I am lucky, both kids are napping as I sign out of work and I transition over to my personal projects. Some of these projects include writing and editing episodes for my weekly podcast, The Midday Reset; producing guest content for other blogs or websites geared toward moms, families and entrepreneurs; assisting students on papers, theses or dissertations; or working on my books. I try to do this regardless of if the kids are sleeping or running around as it helps me maintain consistency, though my level of focus wanes quite a bit from sounds of their play or if my daughter lures me into coloring with her for a while.
I take an afternoon break to do at least 30 minutes of yoga if I haven’t squeezed it in during the morning. Sometimes it is a serene and quiet session on the back patio while other times it is in the living room with ear buds pumping ambient music into my ears as the kids eat snacks and watch a show. Both are fine, and both serve me well.
We are typically heading out the door for gymnastics or other extracurricular activities. My daughter is a dynamic little girl; she loves dance, gymnastics, art, the library and gardening. I support all of her aspirations.
We arrive back home for dinner and bath time. If I am lucky, my daughter eats all of her dinner. My son, on the other hand, is a bottomless pit. He always eats everything! Shortly after eating dinner, it is time to get the kids bathed and begin winding down for the evening.
My daughter will either sit at the table and color, practice writing letters, numbers, and her name, or watch a show while I put my son to bed. I always read a story to my kids before putting them to bed and sometimes we combine story time. In the same way he eats everything, my son is also extremely easy to put to bed (most nights). I consider this a nice gift from the universe at the end of a long day because I am usually running out of gas around this time.
I try to spend some focused time with my daughter. She has done well stepping into the big sister role since her brother was born, but because her brother is still pretty young, he takes a lot of our attention away from her. I use this time slot to just focus on her. Lately, we have been using the time to watch Bob Ross paint.
My daughter goes to bed and I am able to adult again. If I have podcast episodes written, now is generally the time I record them, as the house is quiet. I also take this time to get more writing done.
I retire to bed, but I don’t always go right to sleep. I tend to rest easier when my husband walks through the door around 11 p.m. Each day is filled with so much, but I wouldn’t trade it. I love my life and my family, and as long as I have talent and am able, I will always run in several directions with it.