The morning grind of getting out the door and to work is, by far, the low point of my day every day.
I never set an alarm which is probably mistake #1. But, I have a toddler and I go to bed by 10pm-ish every night, so there’s really no “oops, I slept in”. I’m also naturally a morning person, so regardless of what’s going on in life, my body naturally rises by 7am. What helps make my morning go more smoothly is when I’m up before Shea with time enough to get my hair and make-up done. Even better, is my hair and make-up plus feeding the dog and making my coffee. That’s a perfect morning. And it happens…about 1 day a week. Otherwise, I’m generally getting out of bed around 6:30am and Shea is rising within 10-15 minutes after me. However lately, she’s been sleeping until closer to 7am and while that’s lovely, it can sometimes set us behind…especially if I have an 8am meeting as I did yesterday.
I throw on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse downstairs while I whip together breakfast for Shea. After a few minutes, I call her in for “yummy yummies” (breakfast). While Shea eats breakfast, I make our lunches (and feed the dog and make coffee if that’s not already done). Making Shea’s lunch is BY FAR what takes the longest, even though it’s generally a fruit, vegetable, snack, “entree” (leftovers, usually) and 2 bottles (yes, we’re still on bottles 🙂 ). It’s all the little individual containers and halving grapes and yada yada. I also pack my lunch (and often breakfast) which is also leftovers, fruit, yogurt, etc. This process + clean-up and dishes takes 30-40 minutes and I swear to you, I’m hustling the entire time. So, morning mistake #2 is that I should just do all the lunch prep/packing at night and I just never do. I justify it by saying Shea’s eating anyway and it’s not like I can go get ready myself or be out of the room, so…yeah.
Then it’s on to making sure the dog gets out before we leave which she may or may not do willingly, and then we’re off to finish getting ready upstairs. I change Shea out of jammies and into clothes, hand her her toothbrush, and she “brushes her teeth” while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in our bedroom while I throw on clothes and most days, pack a gym bag (mistake #3 – should do this the night before or at least lay it all out), and also brush my teeth. I’d say this process takes 10-15 minutes, or closer to 20-25 if I hadn’t already done my hair and make-up.
Since I refuse to lug around Shea, I zoom down the stairs and let her come down on her own. I generally throw everything in the car (purse, 2 lunch bags, gym bag, anything that needs to go to daycare such as diapers, wipes, and clothes), put on my own shoes, and then chase down Shea to come get on her shoes and coat by the back door.
I load her up, drive to daycare, and drop her off….another 20 minutes or so. Thankfully, my work is 2-3 minutes from her daycare and only takes that long because of a few stop lights.
Some people give me the side eye for not wearing a coat half the winter, but my mornings are chaotic and I am far from cold by the time I arrive at work. Yesterday morning, I lost track of time and ended up SCREAMING at the dog to come inside – she decided to sniff every square inch of the yard for the perfect spot to christen and then I was SCREAMING at Shea to come get her shoes on, that it wasn’t time to be pokey. I was running way, way late.
…And then I sit back and imagine what it will be like adding a baby to the equation and I get all sorts of anxious. Sigh. My goal for this coming week is to prep lunches on Sunday so I can make mornings a bit easier. I also plan on packing my gym bag and laying out my clothes the night before…especially as my belly grows and not all clothes will fit right or comfortably. It’s all easier said than done but seriously, I cannot have too many repeats of yesterday. I felt like a mean, stressed, terrible mother to both my baby and my furbaby and that is no way to start a morning!
Parents, what are your best time savers in the morning or short-cuts to make the work week less chaotic?