I don’t need an alarm anymore unless I’ve recently set a New Year’s resolution. All other days I have two adorable alarm clocks who are great about making sure I never miss a sunrise.
One would think with all the time gifted to me by my sweet children, my signature morning routine would be lackadaisical and care-free. Not so. The level of exhaustion under which I operate most mornings necessitates a “cut the fat” approach. I have to manage expectations and keep simple and attainable goals. The beauty of my weekday routine is that it works in most scenarios. Running late? Minimalism equates to efficiency. Kids up at an unholy hour? Cutting corners allows for an extra cup of coffee.
Here are my morning routine tips:
- First, abandon the no-heat hair trick you slept in last night when your heart was filled with hope. Pop that mess up into a bun and carry on, soldier.
- Wear yesterday’s outfit. Unless said outfit was from the day prior, in which case keep the bottoms and swap a fresh top.
- While changing a diaper, take one (hopefully clean) wipe to remove the mascara smudges from your under eyes. Secure the freshly changed child on your hip and sneak at least 3 swooshes of mouthwash. Ta da! Morning beauty regimen complete.
- Head to the kitchen and warm a cup of yesterday’s coffee. It doesn’t matter if it is burnt to a cinder and there looks to be a gnat corpse floating in it. You’re not drinking for pleasure; this sludge is medicinal. Drink fast and you might not feel the gnat.
- Super Bowl Sunday Breakfast. My husband coined this term for the way I feed the kids in the morning. He is a breakfast over-achiever. His spread is akin to that of a high end country club brunch. Me? Well, I like to start with 3 paper towels. One for a pile of Cheerios, one for banana slices, one for yogurt pouches. No utensils. Place the towels on the coffee table next to their sippy cups and declare breakfast served. Pro-tip: incentivize them to eat with tickles for each bite taken.
- During “breakfast,” load the car. Backpacks, diaper bags, sand toys, stroller, snacks. Each trip you make, pass by the coffee table to see who is eating so they can get their congratulatory tickle. While you’re at it, pop a few banana slices in your mouth so you don’t have to eat their snacks later.
- Have a second set of kids’ toothbrushes and hairbrushes in the bathroom that is closest to the door. After breakfast, herd them into that bathroom like the mama sheep dog you resemble.
Congratulations! The kids are fed and you’re presentable in an “Alaskan Bush People” sort of way. Most importantly, you’ve effectively minimized the potential stresses of getting out of the house in the morning with small children. Now turn up the Disney radio and tackle the day, Mama.