One weekday morning last week, as soon as I got up, I decided on the spur of the moment to document my morning in detail. I had no idea that it would be the most stressful morning that week. Reading this now I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.
On one hand, the kids aren’t usually THIS needy. But on the other hand, this is not really out of the ordinary. Meredith is an intense child, which can make her super awesome and fun, but also difficult.
So here you go: a detailed examination of a weekday morning in the life of a working mom, with a spirited child and an infant.
3:30 am: I first wake up & nurse Liam. He hasn’t been sleeping well lately.
4:30 am: I’m kind of awake but stay lying in bed. I’m not sleeping well lately either.
5:00 am: I roll out of bed. Get coffee, check email and to-do’s on my phone, do Bible study, & journal. Watch the kids on the baby monitor.
5:45 am: I notice Liam is awake. I grab him & sit back down to cuddle.
5:50 am: David’s alarm goes off, but it doesn’t phase him. I rouse him. He goes back to sleep. Meredith is still asleep next to him. Finish journaling.
5:57 am: Meredith comes walking into the craft room, where I do my morning devotions. She is still sleepy and begins whining that she can’t open her eyes because it’s too bright. (This is my first clue that it might be a rough morning.) I pick her up and carry her to the kitchen while Liam plays with toys on the ground.
6:00 am: I make David’s lunch while holding Meredith.
6:11 am: I rouse David again. I move the kids to their room to play, since Meredith is kind of awake now. Change Liam’s diaper. As soon as I walk out Meredith starts complaining about Liam taking the pieces to her puzzle. Try to explain to her that he is a baby. Move him away and give him a new toy. Meredith isn’t happy.
6:19 am: Get David up for real. I hear Meredit crying “don’t leave my mommy!!” from her room. Pick her up and take her to the kitchen.
6:20 am: Make fried eggs and put together my lunch all the while Meredith is whining about different things (“I want mixed up eggs, I’m hungry, I want blue bowl, no green bowl, etc.) and I can hear Liam crying for attention from his room. I’ve only drank about half my coffee.
6:38 am: David leaves for work. The kids and I sit down to breakfast. Liam is in his high chair, but Meredith insists on sitting in my lap. Once we are settled she decides she needs a drink (which I forgot to get) but it has to be out of my cup. She asks to say a prayer.
6:47 am: I scarf my eggs and begin prepping Liam’s bottles. Meredith is still eating.
6:50 am: Meredith says she’s done, but half her eggs are left. We have a big argument because she wants to dump them down the drain and I don’t want to waste them. I eat them and she freaks out. She calms down when I let her “wash” dishes.
6:55 am: Meredith needs to potty. She is crying about everything at this point. I help her potty and stuff Liam’s cloth diapers for daycare.
6:57 am: I get Liam from the high chair and Meredith goes back to washing dishes. I start to walk away and Meredith flips out about something (who knows) but water/soap is all over the place. I just leave it.
7:05 am: I force an antibiotic down Liam’s throat and Meredith is crying “don’t leave me!” from the kitchen, so I have two screaming kids.
7:06 am: While Meredith cries about the dishes I get Liam dressed and then set him down to play. I quickly make the bed and get myself dressed.
7:13 am: Do my makeup in literally two minutes.
7:15 am: I pick up the puzzle & kids toys, then nurse Liam sitting on the floor. Meredith walks in saying she put her bowl away all by herself. She seems happy again. I try to get her to pick out clothes, but she says she has to wash dishes first. I thought she just did that? I hafta to do it again! And off she goes. I hear her talking and singing to herself. Praying her bad mood has passed.
7:24 am: Liam is done nursing so I go to round up Meredith. She has gotten into the cabinets. She HAS to do this, MOMMY! I fill out Liam’s daily sheet for daycare.
7:26 am: I begin trying to convince Meredith to get dressed. I pick out her clothes. Miraculously she accepts my choices and lets me dress her and help her clean up the dishes.
7:35 am: Load up the car. Meredith NEEDS to put on her jacket in the car.
7:41 am: We pull out of driveway. I am running late but the kids are happy! Meredith “reads” a children’s Bible book in the car. Jesus is in his cage. Why he in his cage, I don’t know.
7:43 am: We arrive at daycare. Meredith has a breakdown because she can’t bring her book inside (I would let her, but it’s school rules). Quickly drop off Liam to baby room. (Usually I take him to see the preschoolers and drop him off second, but this meltdown needs intervention.)
7:45 am: I carry Meredith to the 3’s room. She cries for me to put her hair in a ponytail (she usually refuses to have it up). I ask the teacher for a hair tie. Meredith sits down to eat her second breakfast.
7:52 am: I finally leave for work even though I should be arriving there right now. I eat a banana in the car and listen to a podcast. I try not to think about how stressful the morning was.
8:09 am: I clock in at work. I’m only 9 minutes late which is not bad considering the craziness. Then I realize I forgot my pumping bottles at home. Also I’m the only nurse and there is already a patient waiting for me. Let’s do this!!
I’m a morning person, but I am frequently overwhelmed at the amount of effort it takes to get everyone out the door on time. I usually do prep as much as I can the night before, but I hadn’t done that this time. It wasn’t the primary reason for the difficulty of the morning, but it didn’t help.
How do y’all do it? How do you make your mornings as smooth as possible?
p.s. – David & I have a system where I do mornings (since I’m a morning person) and he does nights (since he’s a night owl). He also completely cleans the kitchen every night and does almost all the errands. So I try to let him have his easy mornings, although he is definitely willing to get up and help if I really need him. In hindsight I should have asked for that on this particular morning!