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A Day In The Life

A day in the Life of Jenine

Jenine has two kids, a six-year-old daughter, Zoe, and a three-year-old son, Zion. Her son is in preschool three days a week and he daughter is in kindergarten full-time. Jenine and her husband are from the East Coast, they first moved to San Francisco for her husband’s job and then to the South Bay area about seven years ago. Jenine is a content creator by day and a pharmacist by night. She created the Instagram account Bay Area Toddlers Play in 2021 and is now launching her blog where she shares recommendations and resources of fun things to do with kids in the Bay Area.

  • 6 am
    I try to get up before the kids, around 6 am, so I can get myself ready. I get breakfast and lunch boxes ready and then I wake them up at 6:50 am to get ready for school.

    I don’t prepare the lunch boxes in advance. My daughter's a super picky eater. So every morning I'm always wondering what to give her for lunch and snack. This is a struggle for me.

    My husband works from home but he has a work meeting every day at 8:00 am so he helps me a little bit in the morning and then he has to start working.

  • 8:00 am
    We leave for school. Drop-off at Zoe’s school is between 8:15 am and 8:30 am, but it's 20 minutes away. Even if Zion doesn't have school, he has to come with me to drop Zoe off, so everybody has to get ready and out the door.
  • 8:30 am
    On the days Zion doesn't go to preschool, we like going on an adventure together. We find a new playground or we find a playgroup. We try to do something different every time. Some days we just run errands, we have to get groceries or catch up on those kinds of things. In this case, we run errands and then he plays at home while I do some meal prep for the week. But often we're just going somewhere and staying busy the whole day, that's how I get some of my content ideas.

    Zion just started the part-time preschool program two weeks ago. So this is a new schedule for me and I am still figuring it out, but it’s very exciting. He now goes to preschool on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. After dropping him off, I might squeeze in a yoga class, like today. One of my goals this year was to move my body more. So, I signed up for this yoga membership and it motivates me to go because I'm paying for it. But it's been hard to make time for it. Today is the first day I've gone in three weeks! When I get home, I'll catch up on household chores, I’ll do some cooking for the whole week because I can't do it at night since I am working and I’ll catch up on laundry. Then I will work on content creation for Bay Area Toddlers Play, there might be meetings or events, a lot of the events are on weekdays during the day. And then you know 3:00 pm comes quite quickly so it’s really not too much time.

  • 2:30 pm
    I'm leaving the house by 2:30 pm to go pick up Zoe and Zion, if he is at preschool that day.
  • 3:00 pm
    Usually, we stay at school playing for an hour till 4:00 pm, they have several playgrounds there and Zoe likes to hang out.

    This whole school year we didn't have any after-school activities. We didn't do any sports this year, she was just getting used to kindergarten and she's been really tired after school so we didn't want to put any extra pressure on her. And then also, I have to be back by 5:00 pm for work.

  • 4:00 pm
    We come back home and then they'll play at a park near our home, within walking distance, or I'll set up an activity for them after school to play with at home.
  • 5:00 pm
    I start working. I work remotely as a pharmacist so I stay in the house but I do have to lock myself in the office upstairs. My work involves a lot of phone calls to nurses and doctors and I need a quiet private space.

    Once I'm working, my husband will serve the dinner I prepared, do bathtime, and put the kids to bed around 8:00 pm. I will come to say goodnight but I can’t stay long. I work on average 4 days a week, sometimes on the weekend, so I don’t work every day of the week, we can take turns.

  • 12:00 am - 1:00 am
    I usually work until midnight or 1 am and then I go to bed. Because I get up at 6 am I don’t get a lot of time to sleep. But I just need five to six good hours of sleep and I drink a lot of coffee, like four cups a day! And sometimes on the weekend, the kids sleep in a little bit, so I can get a little more sleep.

    I've had this job, working in the evenings, for five years now because it allows me to spend time with the kids during the day or when they have days off from school. If I had a nine to five in pharmacy, it wouldn't be so flexible, I wouldn't be able to take care of them when they are off school. Before having kids I was working in a hospital, during the day, in a traditional pharmacy setting. In the hospital, there's an overnight shift from 7 pm to 7 am and a lot of pharmacists who were parents would work that shift. After work, they would sleep a little, and then be able to pick up their kids and spend time with them before going to work. So I guess that's kind of how I got the idea to switch to an evening job. It was easy to adapt to this new job because I prefer to spend more time with my kids, but if I'm looking at it from a career perspective, it was probably not what I had planned. It's not the most exciting workwise but it's very much worthwhile for me to do it because of the advantage of being home during the day with them.

    I don't know if I will keep working in this setting in the future, I'm still figuring it out. Next school year the kids will both be in school full-time, five days a week. So I'm excited to see what I get myself into. I’d like to see where the content creation goes. Right now, I have very little time to dedicate to that project, I have maybe 30 minutes between when my kids get home and when I start work, so it's not a whole lot of time to perfect things the way I want to.

    My husband and I don’t get to spend a lot of time just the two of us, but on the nights that I don't work, once the kids go to bed, we will try to do something. But it's really hard. We don't have any family here. We also don't have a babysitter, because it's expensive and because I feel like it's a hard process to find someone and I have a hard time trusting people with my kids. So we don't get any nights off.

    I don’t have a lot of time for self-care besides yoga, but I like doing creative things like crochet, art, or video editing, those are my creative outlets, but again in very small increments.

    I have a feeling most moms or parents are in the same boat. We're all juggling a million things and trying to find that balance but what I'm hopeful for is that every season is a little bit different. Some things are getting harder but some things are definitely getting better. So I am just being positive that I will find a better balance. I will find time for these things that are important to me. I shouldn't just give up on that.

Jenine’s favorites

Favorite kids stores

  • Clothes: Target
  • Books: we get a lot of books from the library. We like the Cupertino Library right now because it has a fish tank.
  • Toys: we buy toys and games mostly from Amazon and I try to find second-hand ones on local Facebook groups.

Family favorite places to eat

    We don't eat out often but our favorite is a sushi restaurant called Kura in Cupertino because the sushi comes out on a conveyor belt and the kids love that.

Favorite places to have fun

Favorite places to learn

Favorite local brands, artists, or makers

Favorite family-oriented online resources