How I eek through my morning routine with three kids.
A lot of people have asked what my morning routine is like with my kids. Do you really want to know? Like, really? My morning routine is not for the weak. Heck, I can barely get through it.
My kids have to be at school by 8:30 am.
6:30 am: My alarm goes off. My alarm used to go off at 6:15 am and I would get up, pray and mentally prepare myself for the day. After having my 5th child, I have yet to return to that ritual. I need that extra fifteen minutes of sleep! I’m currently working on it.
6:35 am: I go upstairs and tell my oldest three children to wake up. My oldest, Karmyn, gets up with no problem. Kimora my middle child, takes a while to wake up, but once she’s up, she kicks it into gear quite quickly. My third, Kennedi… she has YET to master mornings, (I’m not sure if she ever will). She will probably need an evening work shift as an adult. I basically have to rip her out the bed, sometimes by her feet, because talking and shaking aren’t enough. Once she’s up, she never really comes to.
6:40 am: I start pouring cereal and toasting waffles. That’s right, I don’t have time to take orders, and make homemade smiley-face pancakes. Let’s face it, there’s nothing “smiley” at 6:40 am.
6:45 am: The girls start eating.
6:45 am: I have to pull Kennedi’s sleeping face out of her plate.
6:46 am: I have to wake Kennedi up, once again.
6:47 am: I have to resort to physically holding Kennedi’s head up and making her focus on her food.
6:50 am: I tell the girls that they have until 7:00 am to finish their meals and head upstairs to brush their teeth, (they have until 7:10 am to make it back downstairs).
7:00 am: I dig through their room and when desperate measures are needed, their dirty clothes, trying to piece together a full uniform.
7:05 am: I iron their uniforms, spot-check and leave them out for the girls to put on.
7:15 am: I start raising my voice. No one has returned from upstairs by the deadline I gave them. My oldest can tell time, so I expect her to lead the charge. Instead, I hear her lead yelling, fighting and playing with her sisters.
7:20 am: Karmyn usually emerges, dressed. Shortly after, Kimora comes down dressed.
7:25 am: Kennedi comes downstairs, totally disheveled with her uniform shirt on inside-out AND backwards. In addition, she has on her sister’s jumper which is three times too big. Kennedi is totally unphased by this because she’s sleepwalking and sleep- dressing.
7:25 am and 10 seconds: I just so happen to get a whiff of Kennedi’s breath and realize she was upstairs all that time and hasn’t brushed her teeth.
7:25 am and 35 seconds: I send her back upstairs. I feel irritated.
7:30 am: I start combing three heads of hair, (enough said. We all know how that goes).
7:45 am: I realize the girls don’t have hot lunch and I need to pack their lunches.
7:45 am: My anxiety goes from a 5 to a 95. I start tearing through the pantry, finding any kind of chips, crumbs, cookies or candy to throw in their lunch.
7:50 am: The girls know it is time to go, but instead they are running around screaming and playing with no shoes, no coats, no backpacks, nothing.
7:50 am: ENOUGH! I lose the last ounce of my cool.
7:50 am: I start yelling, “Why do I have to direct every single move you guys make?! Get your backpack, shoes, socks and coats on, NOW! LET’S GO!”
7:51 am: I remember they need a snack for school… Two steps forward, 29 steps back.
7:51 am: I start sweating. My anxious morning-mom-cup runneth over. If I don’t get out of the house every day by 7:55 am, on the DOT, I literally can no longer deal with anything that life throws at me.
7:52 am: I’m chucking shards of hand ripped fruit into ziplock bags. I keep looking at the clock like a psycho, as if I can stop the clock from reaching 7:55 am.
7:53 am: Kennedi has her shoes on the wrong feet and her coat on upside-down.
7:53 am: I leave it like that.
7:54 am: I start making my coffee and tell them to get in the car. I can totally make a full cup in one minute and make my 7:55 am deadline…
7:55 am: I’m still in the kitchen. OH, MY GOD! I AM LOSING MY MIND. WE DIDN’T MAKE MY, “WE MUST LEAVE THE HOUSE BY 7:55 AM” DEADLINE! ALL IS LOST, THE WORLD CRUMBLES AROUND ME! I CAN NO LONGER THINK, NOR SEE STRAIGHT. I’M ON THE VERGE OF A MENTAL BREAKDOWN! GET THE STRAIGHT JACKET READY, CAUSE THIS MOMMA IS GOING TO BE ADMITTED TO THE PSYCH-WARD!
7:56 am: My coffee is done. At this point, I can feel the steam and sweat running down my forehead. Guess what? To add salt to the already wickedly-ripe wound, the girls are still playing… INSIDE THE HOUSE!
7:56 am: I call on God, Jesus, Mary, Oprah, Obama… anyone with the power that can help. I scream, “GET IN THE CAR!”
7:56 am and 15 seconds: The girls look at each other like, “mom’s lost her entire mind” and they SPRINT toward the car.
7:56 am and 30 seconds: I calm myself down. What good is it to have a meltdown and be admitted to the psych ward today, when I have a nail appointment at 10:00 am?
7:58 am and one second: We are all in the car and I start backing out.
7:58 and three seconds: Kennedi realizes she doesn’t have her backpack. I have an out-of-body experience and Jesus literally takes the wheel.
7:59 am: Kennedi returns, with her backpack.
8:00 am: We are FINALLY backing out of the driveway and on the way to school.
8:05 am: I calm myself all the way down and we do our daily car-dance jam.
8:20 am: I pull up to the light, right before the school parking lot. There are 15 cars in front of me, meaning I won’t actually make it through the light for two more cycles; I would not be in the parking lot until 8:25 am. Remember school starts at 8:30 am and my kids have NEVER been late.
8:20 am: I feel my anxiety rising, again.
8:21 am: I get out of line for the light, turn right and then flip the most illegal u-turn EVER! All of this, so I can make my, “I must be in the parking lot by 8:23 am,” deadline.
8:23 am: I unload the girls, walk them to class, kiss them and say my goodbyes. As I walk to the car, I let out the most intense sigh and then I peace out!
This year, the routine has switched up a bit. My oldest, (who is 11) transitioned into “big girl status.” After a couple of months of our normal routine, she started setting her alarm, getting the girls up at 6:15 am, fixing their breakfast and making sure they get upstairs to get dressed. I wake up at 6:30 am and I listen to see if they’ve made it downstairs. If they have, I lay back down until 7:00 am. If they aren’t up, I get up and wake them up.
Don’t exhale yet because I’m still directing their every move to ensure we get out of the house by my deadline. I still help Kennedi put her uniform and shoes on the right way. We still have moments of complete and utter chaos and I want to rip my braids out, and sadly I still call on Jesus and Oprah when we don’t make my deadline. The great news is, not making our deadline has become less and less of a problem, because…
My girls’ hair are in BRAIDS! Keeping their hair in braids shaves 15-20 minutes off of our morning routine! I no longer have to bust out illegal u-turns to make it to school by 8:30 am. We actually arrive 10-15 minutes early every day, (small mommy victories that keep me out of that straight jacket).
No matter what kind of morning we’ve had, I always make sure on the drive to school we dance in the car together. It lightens the mood and we are able to laugh and be silly. Car jamming releases all tension. It shows my girls that even though mommy loses her mind at times, she can quickly get over it and have fun. Plus, what better way to begin the school day than with music and dance.
There you have it! My morning routine. I’m sure some can relate and some may think I’m even crazier than they thought. Either way, it is what it is!
What are your mornings like? I would love to know!