Every mom knows that mornings + kids = organized (sometimes) chaos. Today, several of our contributors give you a peek into their morning routines.
I am not good at mornings. At the getting out of bed part that is. I usually have to be forced by either my husband or my son. And while our mornings are never really the same, we have found something of a routine. Our alarm goes off at 5, but we snooze until 5:30—unless our other alarm has gone off and is crying (which is usually between 5 and 6 am). I get out of bed, put on my robe, and head to Sam’s room. My husband gets up, feeds the dog and cats, and takes a shower. I nurse Sam, change his diaper, and get him dressed (against his will—he hates changing clothes). But, if I need to shower, I go first and my husband gets Sam changed. Then I nurse him when I get out of the shower. Sam is crawling now—which is both easier and more challenging. Usually he plays on the bathroom floor with a toilet paper roll or toothpaste box (who needs toys?) while I put on makeup and do my hair. Sometimes he crawls into the bedroom where my husband is getting dressed. Which reminds me, I should really sweep and vacuum. We all move into the kitchen where I get the bottles made, Sam’s daycare bag packed, my pump bag packed, and get my lunch together (which I hopefully packed the night before). Gabe makes coffee, takes the dog out, and gets Sam in his car seat. Sam and I (attempt to) leave at 6:30. I eat a string cheese or boiled egg on the drive to daycare. Usually Sam’s favorite daycare teacher is there in the mornings, which makes drop off way easier. Separation anxiety has started recently, so if I linger too long before leaving, we usually get some tears. I leave daycare by 6:45ish and make the rest of the drive to work, sipping my coffee and starting to fee awake. I get to work by 7:15, start my workday, and eat my obligatory bowl of oatmeal.
Having two boys in school and trying to get all three of my guys out of the door by 8AM can make for some crazy mornings in our house. I do my best to plan ahead and do as much nighttime preparation as possible, but there’s always something that needs my attention in the AM. My mornings typically start by 7AM, at the latest, unless one of the boys have woken us up by then. I always start with my oldest since he’s more self-sufficient, and my little one tends to need some extra time to wake up before he’s willing to cooperate. Once I can see that my oldest has started brushing teeth, etc.; I begin ironing two sets of uniforms and getting everyone’s clothes, belts, socks & shoes gathered into one location. Once this is done, I usually reserve about 10 minutes for myself to eat breakfast. (Pre-pregnancy I would have waited until they were out the door, but now I can’t wait to eat any longer.) Once I’ve eaten something, I’m able to tend to my little one and get him going for the day. He’s in PreK, so this routine is still fairly new to him and I must oversee every step of the process or he tends to lose track rather quickly. We start by pottying, washing hands, and brushing teeth. Then he gets himself dressed, and I help with socks & shoes. At this point, we have about 15 minutes remaining; so they’ll watch cartoons while I make lunches, if needed, or fill out Accelerated Reader slips for the day. With 5 minutes to spare, I might call out a few spelling words or ask my oldest a couple of questions about something we studied the night before. By 8AM, I’m standing at the door kissing and hugging all three of my guys as they leave for work/school. Once they’re out the door, I (in theory) start the dishes, the laundry and get myself ready for the day. As a SAHM with no kids at home for the next several months, everyday looks different for me now. But I love waking up and getting to serve my family first and knowing that their needs are met as they begin their days.
On an ideal morning, I would be up at 6am and in the shower while my littles play. I’d be dressed and ready for work with the kids prepped for school and heading out the door by 7:15. This has happened maybe three times in the 6ish weeks of school. Instead it looks more like this: I hear the older kids get up around 6:15. I usually wake up with a three year old’s foot in my face, so I push it off and roll over while I wait for my 6:30 alarm. The alarm goes off and I hit snooze. My 6 year old and 5 year old are playing Legos or watching a movie and digging through cabinets for snacks, but they’re nice and quiet so I leave them alone. My 3 year old is still passed out because he refuses to go to bed on time. I hit snooze until about 7:00 then realize that I really really need to get up or we’re not going to make it. I jump in the shower for a quick rinse (with no time to wash my hair), brush my teeth, throw uniforms on the big kids and wrestle the little one in something that halfway matches sometimes (ok, it never really matches, but it’s preschool so I cut myself some slack). We are ready and out the door by 7:30 at the latest, and the dreaded carpool routine begins. My son’s school is right by my house, but he starts at 8:25 and my daughter at 8:05, so I drive to the opposite side of town to barely drop her off in time for breakfast (yay for that making my life a little bit easier in the mornings!) then trudge the 20 minutes back towards my house to drop off my oldest where he also gets breakfast (seriously, a life saver for all of us in the mornings even though I give them a snack before they get there). Then I get to drive the 30+ minutes to my youngest’s preschool. By this point I’m kind of over driving and I just want coffee. When we get there, he screams and cries while his teacher holds him and tries to distract him as I sneak away (we’re getting better at this, but he’s still a work in progress). Then I sit in my car for about 15 minutes trying to will myself to breathe and not fall asleep while I congratulate myself for getting everyone where they need to be mostly dressed and mostly on time. We are not morning people and the transition from homeschool (where we would all sleep until 9 and do nothing until about 10 when we would gather up our energy and finally “wake up”) to this schedule has definitely been a bit of a rough one!
Since adding a new baby to the mix, we have made some adjustments to our morning routine. Before baby #3, I would wake at 6 a.m. and immediately get dressed, including hair and makeup. Then I would pack food, clothes, diapers, and anything else the girls would need for the day. At some point in here, Emmeline, my 17 month old would wake up and we would snuggle for at least 10 minutes. It was our special time each morning. After that, I would pack my school stuff depending on what class I would be in. By then it was usually approaching 7:30…where does the time go?! I would quickly eat breakfast, wake my night owl 4 year old Ava, load them up, take the 10 minute drive to my mother-in-law’s house, and then dart off to school for the day. On my way to school, I always call and talk to Daniel. Some days this is our only chance to talk so we squeeze in any second we can. Now, with the new baby Molly, I set an alarm for 7:30. Some days I am already awake feeding her. Others, I am startled awake by that annoying machine. I sneak out of bed hoping not to wake her. I wake up Daniel, who I am so lucky to have home helping with the transition from our house of four to five. I begin shuffling through the house trying to think of what needs to be done. I get dressed, no make up and maybe a brush through my hair! Since Daniel is home, I don’t have to pack stuff for the girls. I pack my lunch and eat breakfast. Emmeline is sleeping a little later since our schedules are all thrown off. She usually wakes about the time I grab the baby to nurse her. I am having horrible mommy guilt at how I am “neglecting” her right now. I realize that it’s now 8:30 and begin to gather my things to rush out the door. Emmeline is usually crying for me, and I am realizing I forgot to pack anything for school. Oh well, empty handed I go! I may have failed to mention that I had to return to school just a couple of days after having Molly. We have strict attendance rules and it was either show up for another 3 weeks until school is over or repeat 3 months worth of classes. Fortunately, soon I will be finished and our morning routine will consist of me sitting on the couch with my 3 girls, all of us still in pajamas, watching Daniel Tiger!
Our mornings start at about 4:15…not because I’m that “up and at ‘em” mom who has showered, dressed, cooked breakfast, and is ready to conquer the world. But because the early riser in our house is Kade. I can usually coerce him to hop into bed with me, but at the sight of daylight he shakes my arm with a “Time to wake uppppp, it’s morrnnniiinnnggg!” I’ll add right about here that while I am SO tired at this point, it’s the best wakeup call ever. We are pretty quick morning people, so between 6:30 and 7:00 we are usually dressed for school, teeth brushed, breakfast for everyone, and on our way to school by 7:10. Once the two older boys are dropped off, it’s mamma and Kellan time (something that we are both loving SO much)! I spend the next hour or so tidying up while Kellan plays, maybe even get in some outside time then off to nap he goes around 9:00. This is when I squeeze in my first little burst of work: editing, scheduling, invoicing, emailing…as much as I can possibly jam into that hour or so of uninterrupted work time!
Can you relate to our manic Mondays?