Why do stay-at-home moms often look tired, frazzled, and unkept? Delve into the diary of one mother of two, and find out more about her acrobatic mom mornings.
I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom and responsible for getting two kids (3 and 5) ready to start their day, every day. It is a fast-paced, action-packed, overly-dramatic, sometimes tear-filled start, but we get it done. Though the final result doesn’t always reflect the effort we put into our day. This is what my mornings consist of…
What you see:
- Messy hair
- Stained shirt
- Predictable yoga pants
- If you were actually standing beside me, you’d also be able to tell that I haven’t brushed my teeth.
What you don’t know about this mornings look:
My typical morning….
- I wake up. Throwing my hair into a bun, pulling my robe around me and putting on my glasses.
- I wake up my daughter, with tickles, kisses and a bit of shaking until her groggy eyes opened to start the new day. (This morning there was some relish in the preferred way of waking her up since she bounded into our room at 5am bright eyed and bushy tailed to tell us the details of her dream…. I think there was a unicorn in it…. oh yes and she brought a meowing toy cat with her.)
- Wake up my son and watch his sleepy little legs carry him up the stairs while he clutches his well loved owl with one arm and rubs his eyes with the other.
- Wake up my daughter for a second time who has fallen back asleep on the couch, this time with a note of frustration in my voice. Mary Poppins on the first round, something closer to Batman the second time around. I throw on the TV in hopes that a cartoon will peak her interest enough to stay awake so I will have time to make their breakfast.
- Breakfast for two and lemon water for me. One half piece of toast (because he never finishes the whole piece, barely finishes the half ) with peanut butter and jam. A side of mixed berries (which his sister will steal and then eat later when he shows no interest, unless I feed them to him myself). And a bowl of cereal with berries on top for the almost conscious Missus.
- Get the school snack ready. Today this is easy. An apple and some crackers and cheese. I’m not in a Pinterest frame of mind these last few weeks, which gives me a little extra time in the morning and less waste when I check her school bag when she comes home.
- While the children eat, I dress and scramble through closets, laundry baskets, the dryer and the drying rack for the clothes we need for the day. My daughter wears only dresses, while my son–thankfully–will wear whatever I put on him.
- I quickly make myself “presentable” while watching the clock. Today I skip my teeth, but I won’t realize that until we’re halfway to school (my busy mornings don’t afford me much time for personal grooming).
- Fast walking my way upstairs with an arm load of clothes I silently pray my daughter won’t complain about the dress I’ve picked for her and strategize how I’m going to brush her hair this morning.
- Kids are still eating. Brushing my daughter’s hair, while she eats cereal and screams at me that she doesn’t want her hair brushed is the theme song to this point in our morning. Today she gets a headband and we’ll call it done. It’s what she prefers anyway. I take off my daughter’s pjs and put on the clothes I’ve picked out. She can do this herself, but she takes about five minutes with me reminding her to get dressed about ten times and if I do it myself we’re looking at about thirty seconds and no tears–from me.
- I feed my son a few bites of breakfast before forcing him on his little potty to pee, which he resists. He’d rather hold on to his urine for another few hours than give it up to the potty. While he’s sitting, I strip him down, put on his socks and shirt and, once he’s finished his business, I’ll put on his Superman underwear and pants.
- Time to brush their teeth. We move quickly here and I feel the guilt. I know I could do a better job, but we have about two minutes to get out the door and get to school and we still have to get downstairs and put on our winter gear and load everyone into the car.
- “Everybody down stairs!” or “Boots on!” is the usual war cry at this point on mom mornings. Breakfast dishes can be put away later. My daughter will resist, but eventually, comes around to getting her coat and boots on. My son still gets lost in this routine. I remind him his boots are in the same spot he always puts them–under the stairs–and I will do up his zipper after he gets his boots on. Hat and mitts for my daughter, none for my son, he prefers to be cold and who am I to argue. But I bring them anyway, in case he changes his mind.
- Then into our heated garage we go. Laden with a school bag, snowsuit, and two kids racing ahead of me in their determination to be the first into the garage, we fumble our way to the car. We sort out seats, belts and buckles, and finally we are ready to go.
- We’re half way to school and I’m mentally retracing my steps figuring out where I start when I get back home to clean up the hurricane of our first hour of the day, when I realize I haven’t brushed my teeth. I shrug and continue driving, wishing I had some gum to mask my morning breath and my mind begins its tangent on how this happened and what a fun piece this could be for my next post; mom mornings.
15 steps to get us out the door in the morning. I’ve never counted before.
My husband wakes up at the same time.
- Wake up
- Lye in bed for thirty minutes watching YouTube on his iPad
- Brush Teeth
- Kiss us all good-bye
But my point, what is it? Ha, my wondering Mom brain…
I am self conscious about my messy mom mornings. I’m thankful for winter coats that cover up the more embarrassing fashion choices and count the days until summer when I can just throw on a sundress and call it done. (Note to self: clear time in my summer schedule to shave my legs.)
Yes, my husband gets off easy and has a lazy start to his day, while I get the brunt of it… But this is a choice I make, just like I chose to not change my shirt this morning to focus on getting my kids out the door. I do this so they can put their best foot forward. Judge away if you must, make your assumptions, but there is a story behind each messy bun and mine. This morning it happens to be that I choose to make sure my husband and children had a great start to their day. I will start mine when I get home, after I eat breakfast and put away the dishes, and clean up the mess of the hurricane that started our day and … wait…. what did I want to do for myself?
Now go kiss your mother and tell her you love her!