Since our second daughter arrived, our morning routine has changed at least a half a dozen times. My oldest, Mari is now six and River, my youngest, is one and a half. For the first 6 months after River arrived, we were totally at her mercy and her horrible sleep schedule. I think our routine was a “no routine” routine as we were just trying to adjust to the chaos and we walked around like zombies, reminding each other what we need to do to get out the door. To be honest however, I can’t be sure because that time really is a total blur for me already!
Once River started sleeping better, I went through a phase of going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 5am every morning to work, and try to get a jump start on the day. I’ve read countless times that this type of routine is “what every successful woman does”, but it was seriously not meshing with my family. My husband, Jason, gets home kind of late, and I was running off to bed just as he was unwinding and wanting to talk to me. You can imagine the stress this caused in our relationship! Since I was up earlier in the morning, I did all of the morning stuff for the kids in my pj’s (make the lunch, get them dressed, etc.) and my husband would take Mari to school. I’d then try to shower and get dressed, all the while River was destroying our room. My shower was always cut short as I’d have to hop out to keep her from spraying dry shampoo in her eye or licking an electrical outlet. To say I was frazzled by the time I left for work was an understatement. I’d been up for hours, but I wasn’t ready to go to till almost 9 as I always had to fix something River had destroyed, or change because she had gotten something smeared on me. Fun times.
We now have a much more workable routine which we came to accidentally because I had surgery on my hand. I was stuck with an arm cast for weeks and I couldn’t get the kids ready in the morning as I had been. My husband took over all my duties (sorry babe, have to keep the hand elevated!) and we realized how crazy the morning truly was. Thankfully, we came up with a new compromise situation the works for all of us (for the moment).
Here’s what we do:
- We make sure Mari’s clothes are laid out for the next day.
- I make Mari’s lunch and pack up her back back, check homework folder etc.
- I think about what’s for dinner the next night. If I’m cooking, I pre-chop the ingredients to cut down on prep time for dinner. Jason hangs out and talks to me and it’s a relaxing time for us to catch up.
- 6:15am: I hit snooze once. Then spend five minutes being grateful for my comfy bed, family and everything else in life. Take a few deep breathes, stretch, get up and do a few morning emails and check the site content for the day.
- 6:45 take a shower, while Jason goes downstairs. He’s in charge of everyone until 7:10am. I try to get totally ready and organized before heading downstairs.
- 7:10am: We swap. Jason goes to get ready, and I take over getting the kids dressed and fed. Mari likes me to sing this made up “good morning” song, especially when she doesn’t want to get get up which has become a beloved part of our morning. Jason however, hides while this happens (let’s just say I’m not a singer).
- 7:50am: Jason drives Mari to school, dropping her on his way to work.
- 7:50- 8:30am: This is my play time with River. I try not to look at my phone and we wrestle and read books. It’s the best de-stressing way to start the day. After River goes to bed at 7:30pm, I then get to have one-on-one time with Mari which is such a nice way to end the day. I love having special time with both of them.
- 8:30am: I drink a very small cappuccino and Daily Harvest smoothie and dash out the door as the nanny arrives and takes over.
Read more from the series ‘Real Talk Real Moms’ on morning routines here: The Effortless Chic, Fruetcake, A Daily Something, Design Addict Mom, Oh Lovely Day, The Life Styled, Ave Styles, Parker Etc., Sacramento Street.