Dear Substitute Mom,
Thank you for covering for me today and WELCOME!! By offering to cover my duties caring for a small child (i.e. the Client) and household for a day, you have volunteered for one of the most REWARDING jobs out there! In fact, I guarantee you will be thoroughly exhausted by how fulfilled you are feeling by the end of this day!
IMPORTANT INFO: Remember to take care of yourself today so you can best take care of the Client, but there will be no coverage available for your meal or bathroom breaks. Get creative! Put on a brief cartoon, pull out the play-doh, or just shut the door for a few moments while baby screams on the other side of the it!
Also, it’s important to try and achieve some balance throughout the day for the Client. Make sure you are supporting her physical, mental, and emotional health appropriately throughout the day, simultaneously allowing for enough rest and stimulation.
There are no emergency numbers because you know Mama knows best and everyone else is probably too busy to help much anyway!
- 4:50: Wake up! Make sure you are on time for wake up if you want any time to yourself to prep for the day. NOTE: Any alone time is not a guarantee and may be interrupted by the Client at any time.
- 5:00: Breakfast. Some things you might also want to get a head start on while you eat breakfast: catch up on social media, emails, online appointment making, and online shopping. Make sure you take your own vitamins! After all, we need our own oxygen masks, first!
- 5:20: Enjoy a few quiet moments on the toilet, it’s almost time to wake up the Client!
- 5:30: Shower if you have time. If not, please see makeup wipes in bathroom drawer. They work for underarms as well.
- 5:50: Put together your and the Client’s outfit for the day. Make sure you check the weather, layers may be required for morning fog and afternoon heat. Choose appropriate footwear and outerwear, or you may face judgement from childcare providers.
- 6:00: Prepare lunches for yourself and Client. Yours will need to follow the strict dietary guidelines for the Gestational Diabetes you are currently diagnosed with. Not too many carbs but just enough (between 30g and 45g), enough food for 2 snacks besides lunch, make sure you check the carbs on your salad dressing. Pack extra snacks just in case. For your Client, please keep in mind that she has a slight dairy allergy and we maintain a low-sugar household, but make sure lunch is appetizing to her or it will be thrown away.
- 6:15: Wake and dress the Client. She’ll probably cry. She may hit. She may sleep. Nevertheless, clothing application is necessary. Do your best and use technology as needed.
- 6:30: Spend a few moments connecting with the Client. Hugs, kisses, read a short book, etc.
- 6:40: Departure. Make sure dad remembers the lunch you packed for the Client, that she has a jacket on, and that you’ve placed her shoes where dad can clearly see them (or you risk an inappropriate/unmatching shoe choice!). Also, don’t forget her vitamin!
- 6:45: use your drive to work for some self-care! Listen to your favorite music! Call your mom! Oh wait you forgot you have to pick up bagels for staff appreciation…You’ve got 15 minutes, get on it!
- 7:00: You’ll be at work as a teacher from now until 2:20 pm. See separate plans for this. Try to be present at work even though you may be worrying about what you forgot in the morning or what you have to accomplish after you get off. You are, after all, trying to change the lives of young children. Don’t forget to: take your blood sugar one hour after lunch, respond to family and friend texts on your toilet breaks, snack enough to keep your blood sugar even, place that letter in the office mail, and take a short walk post-lunch!
- 2:20: Quitting time! You have a 1.5 hour (total) commute ahead of you…perfect time to get some stuff done! If there was drama at work you may have to make a phone call to legal. There are probably 2-3 messages that you need to return from doctors to schedule something for yourself or the Client. You haven’t talked to grandma in months. The refrigerator ice maker still isn’t working (after 3 technician visits!). Take your pick! Oh, and don’t forget your protein and carb balanced snack…
- 3:10: Retrieve the Client. She’s been at her grandma’s all day and will be happy to see you. Cuddles and kisses time again!
- 3:20: Load up the Client. She’ll probably run from you and/or fight you into the car seat. Make sure you remember to thank her grandma in all of the hubbub
- 3:30: We’re our of groceries, so it’s time to grocery shop! It’s helpful to bribe, I mean positively reinforce the Client with gummy bears or worms if she behaves during the trip, but she’ll probably run from you, scream at some point about something, or bark at strangers who try to say hi to her. Remember our dietary guidelines from above and try not to buy what we already have at home (you glanced in the pantry and fridge, right?).
- 4:20: Arrive home (finally)! It is now time for Meaningful Interaction Time. Spend at least an hour really playing with the Client, or else she’ll be begging you to play all afternoon and likely end up with attachment issues. Be present, but feel free to put a load of laundry in before you start playing or put things away as you guys move throughout the house. Try to sneak some learning into play (she’s learning shapes and counting right now).
- 5:30: Papa arrives home and you can begin to cook dinner. Protein and veggie for you, but make sure you make something appetizing to Papa and that the Client will also like. It’s also your job to plate food and clear it, as well as do the dishes and ask everyone how their days went.
- 6:30: Bathtime for the Client. She hates having her hair washed and will cry, fight, and likely hide behind the curtain. Please wash hair anyway. Sometimes it helps to let her “help”!
- 6:50: TV time and relax. Let the Client pick the show, probably Spongebob or Boss Baby, even if you’ve seen both 3,000 times. Don’t get too comfortable. She’ll ask for a drink or snack or come wedge herself next to you every 3-5 minutes or so.
- 7:40: GLORIOUS BEDTIME. Help the Client brush teeth, again something she hates and will likely fight you about. She’ll ask for water 40 times and try to talk about her day at least 20. She doesn’t fall asleep on her own yet, so laying next to her and pretending your asleep is your best course or action. Oh wait, you don’t have to pretend….
I would tell you to spend some sweet time with your husband, (don’t neglect your marriage !), but we all know you’re too exhausted to and/or already asleep next to the Client.
If you made it to this part of the day, congrats! Thank you again for covering for me as mom for a day!
I hope HR mentioned to you that this job is unpaid. Well, except for the unspoken and probably unexpressed appreciation you know the Client and Papa feel deep down in their hearts.
I hope you’ll come again, soon! I could use another break already…;)