Today’s post is really fun because I’ve been asked to be part of a Real Moms Series with a group of other bloggers who are also mommas to share our experiences on different topics. They’ve been doing the series for about a year and have covered lots of issues that are must-reads. For me, this fits in perfectly with my mission of sharing real experiences and taking an honest look at motherhood — both beautiful and challenging and sometimes really effing hard. Because in the battlefield of motherhood, we are all on the same side and we are all better when we help, and are helped, by each other. So I’m honored to join this group of women in sharing a bit more about my own experience below.
Today’s topic is morning routines. And if you want to see what a hot mess of a morning routine looks like, just come to our house at about 6:45-7:00 am. My day usually starts with a wakeup call from Quincy (my 14 month old) around 5:30 or 6 am. Oy. The third one would be the worst sleeper of the bunch… When I came to the realization that Quincy is part rooster and just likes to rise with the sun, I decided that I deserve to start my day with a cup of coffee before I respond to his calls. So when he starts jabbering or fussing for me, I get up make my favorite cup of joe (Starbucks Pike Place K-Cups FTW!) and savor those 10 minutes that I’m alone and the house is mostly peaceful. Sure, I’d rather be sleeping but I’ll take what I can get.
After my cup of coffee is gone, I brew my second cup while I go get Quincy out of his crib. We quietly tiptoe into the living room, where we nurse before the rest of our crew wakes up. I drink my second cup of coffee, and usually by 6:30-6:45 at least one, usually both, of my other boys wake up. Charlie is in kindergarten, so if it is a weekday I need to have him at the breakfast table by 7 am. As a matter of routine (and to keep the littler ones occupied so I can do all the things) we feed all three boys breakfast at the same time. My husband works in the entertainment industry here in Los Angeles, so he is working for around 8 months of the year, and on hiatus for 4. He usually helps feed the baby while I make breakfast for everyone else: oatmeal for my husband and me, cereal for Charlie, and usually pancakes or waffles (both of the frozen variety from Trader Joe’s, definitely NOT homemade!) and fruit for the littler two. I also have to make Charlie’s school lunch, check to make sure he has whatever he needs for school (is it library book return day? is his weekly homework due? are there permission slips or pictures or one of another million documents that are sent home to be signed?) After I’ve packed a lunch that I hope won’t be judged by teachers and that will be eaten by my kid, I am usually delivering seconds of whatever breakfast was eaten. My husband usually takes Charlie to school — always when he is working, and most of the time when he isn’t — because I cannot do everything I already do PLUS manage to make myself presentable enough for public viewing first thing in the morning. Our mornings are a frenzy of making breakfasts, packing a lunch, packing a snack, packing up the backpack, laying out school clothes, making more breakfast, making sure Charlie brushes his teeth and remembers to put on underwear, eating my breakfast standing up in the kitchen, drinking my cold coffee that I’ve reheated at least three times, and getting a kid out the door to make it to school on time — all before 7:45 am. And now you see why I give myself 10 minutes of solo coffee drinking before I start my day.
I liken our morning crazy hour to me as a ping pong ball going back and forth between the kitchen and the table (“more milk please, I need something else! I dropped my spoon! Can I have yogurt? Can we watch a show on the iPad?” and cries for more cheerios or blueberries from the baby. I can’t even think about how much food and milk I’m going to go through each day in just a few short years!) Top that off with three loud boys who often think it is funny to see who can yell louder (the littlest two basically just scream at each other and laugh, back and forth, over and over, until I often retreat back to my bed and cover my ears for five minutes. I’ve also discovered these, which have definitely helped with my rising morning anxiety lately). So in a nutshell, mornings be cray. Weekends are a bit more laid back since no one needs to rush out the door, although now Charlie is in baseball season and my husband is a coach so they are usually out the door by 8:15.
After my husband leaves to drop Charlie at school I put on a show for the littler two on the iPad while they are still confined to their high chairs so I can get myself dressed. If my husband is working I take the boys out for a walk in the morning after breakfast, usually to a park or the playground or LACMA. If my husband is not working, he and I alternate days. I work Mondays and Wednesdays (either from home or a cafe nearby) while he takes the boys out until lunch and nap time, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays he does his thing (writing, going to the gym, or going back to sleep) while I take the boys. Quincy recently dropped his morning nap, so we aren’t confined to the house anymore and are able to go on little morning adventures. But neighborhood walks are my favorite just because I enjoy the walking and the boys tend to zone out and observe quietly, letting my brain shut off for just a bit as well. Because the mornings can be overwhelming and definitely raise my anxiety levels a bit, I love that walk time when the little ones are confined to a stroller and I can listen to a podcast while I walk and sip my 10th coffee of the morning. It’s the little things 🙂
What does your morning routine look like? Do you prepare things the night before or are you a morning of kind of person? I love to hear how other moms manage the mornings — oftentimes you learn tips that you never thought of. Be sure to check out the other posts from the other inspiring ladies in the Real Mom Series: The Effortless Chic // Heymama Co // Freutcake // A Daily Something // Design Addict Mom // Fresh Exchange // The Life Styled // AVE Styles // Parker Etc