Bridgette Lola has been a licensed realtor for six years. She and her husband Sergio are parents to Adrian (12), Lucia (9), Aleks (9), Ari-Ella (7), Sofia (6), and Aurora (1).
4:45 a.m. My first alarm goes off. I snooze for eight more minutes, wishing for another hour of sleep, but go over the list of things to do for the day.
4:53 a.m. The snooze alarm goes off, and my youngest Aurora, who co-sleeps with me and Sergio (who is already gone for work by this time), wakes with the alarm to nurse. She nurses back to sleep.
5 a.m. My feet hit the floor and I head to the bathroom to start getting myself ready for the day. A shower and makeup is all it takes.
5:30 a.m. Lucia, Miss Responsibility, sets her own alarm every night and is already dressed, ready to go and on her way downstairs. As my third alarm blares, I now know it is time to head upstairs to start waking the other big kids up. First, Adrian and Aleks, because the boys are the hardest to wake up. Next, Sofia and Ari, who are both already awake, but they stay snuggled in their bed until I come and get them. After I have confirmed that everyone is up and getting dressed, I head downstairs to start breakfast.
5:45 a.m. Breakfast begins! Monday morning is typically always cereal, however, most mornings I try to switch it up. Some mornings I make muffins, toast (cheese/cinnamon), or waffles. I set the table for breakfast and call everyone down to start eating. I also finish packing up lunch boxes.
6 a.m. As everyone is now eating, I go back to the bathroom to finish getting myself ready. That includes my makeup, clothes and accessories. I then call each kid one at a time to our bathroom downstairs to do their hair while they are finishing up breakfast. Usually, whoever finishes first gets their hair done first. Everything in our house seems to become a race.
6:20 a.m. Everyone is finishing up with breakfast and is packing up their backpacks and lunchboxes. I wake the baby and get her dressed and ready to go.
6:30 a.m. We are lined up at the door and ready to make a mad dash to the SUV. First stop is Nana’s house. On the way, we use this time to talk about what we have going on for that day and anything exciting that is happening. We study spelling words and say what we are grateful for that day.
6:50 a.m. We drop off the baby and in exchange, we pick up my sister-in-law, who is in high school. She was a later-in- life blessing and our bonus child. Now is where the real fun begins.
7:15 a.m. We arrive at the elementary school where I unload not just my four kids in elementary, but also my oldest who is in middle school. Adrian volunteers in the mornings before he starts school, and he walks over from there. Some mornings they enjoy morning mile, and on those days, I just drop them off with a hug and a kiss and go. On those days that they decide not to go, we enjoy nice long walks to the classroom, and I am usually in heels. I enjoy walking them into class because I get a brief moment to check in with each teacher, see what’s going on for that week and if they need anything.
7:30 a.m. It is back in the car, and we are off to the high school.
7:50 a.m. Drop-off is done, and I am pulling into my office, ready to start the day.
8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. For the first two hours, I post on social media. Next, I follow up with clients, schedule meetings with business partners, schedule appointments with customers, schedule open houses with my sellers, go on listing appointments, attend meetings for Women’s Council of Realtors (which I am the Secretary for) and work on anything that needs to be done for the day.
1:30 p.m. Depending on Sergio’s schedule, we may meet to pick up the kids, and he has already picked up the baby at this point, so she tags along too. If I have a buyer or seller that is scheduled during that time, Sergio will do school pick-up and help out where needed.
1:50-3:30 p.m. We start to pick up the kids! First elementary, then high school, and last but not least, middle school. We use this time to talk about our day, and the staggered pickup time gives everybody a chance to talk. The kids also have snacks during this time, and I am sneaking in lunch. You can sometimes find me in the parking lot working on a contract while waiting for the bell to ring. I always have my laptop in my car; it’s where I get some of my best work done. Never while driving, of course.
3:50 p.m. We are home, and it’s time for homework and study time. While pulling out their notebooks and other things, the kids use this time to empty out their lunch boxes from the day and pre-pack their snacks, chips and non- refrigerated items for the next day. I also usually start dinner while tending to homework. Sergio and I work as a team to get both done. Tuesdays and Thursdays the kids have karate practice starting at 5:15 p.m., so we have a lot to fit in before rushing back out the door.
4:30 p.m. Homework is usually done by this time. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we use this time to hang out and wind down from the day, and we are out the door for Karate on Tuesday and Thursdays at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.
5 p.m. Non-karate days, everyone has time to play and then the little girls start their baths.
5:30 p.m. Non-karate days, we are having dinner. We all eat together as a family every night. No electronics are allowed, and again, we use this time to reflect on our day.
6 p.m. We are getting clothes together. Clothes are always picked out the night before and laid out with everything they need to take the headache out of finding things the next morning. During this time, the boys are also getting in the shower. (Karate days are crazy and we are just getting home to eat dinner.)
6:30 p.m. My second oldest girl is getting in the bath. The younger kids are usually snuggling with mom & dad, reading books and hanging out. The baby is usually snuggling in to breastfeed.
7 p.m. Our three youngest are getting tucked into bed. We say our prayers and get our last sip of water and a trillion hugs and kisses.
7:15 p.m. They are finally in bed, and our oldest two get to stay up until 8 p.m. to use this time to play on their phones together and with me. They have taught me how to play a couple of their favorite games.
8 p.m. The oldest kids are off to bed, and Sergio takes the baby to put her down to sleep. During this time, I sneak in a little more work, following up on emails, phone calls and social media.
8:30 p.m. With everyone asleep, we get to have some quality one-on-one time together to chat about how our days were, chat about what’s planned for tomorrow, read and take our showers.
9:30-10 p.m. We have the TV on in the background, and I am usually setting my alarms to start it all over again the next day!