At 4:30 am every weekday morning, the BEEP BEEP BEEP of my alarm wakes me from a deep sleep. I don’t even open my eyes. I just fumble for my phone on the nightstand and hit snooze.
Exactly eight minutes later, the BEEP BEEP BEEP interrupts my dreams yet again. This time, I open my eyes, sit up in the bed I share with my husband and 75-pound black lab and mentally prepare myself for the task at hand.
It’s marathon time.
No, I’m not running an actual marathon, I just have a lot to accomplish in the next four hours. I have two little boys —a 3 year-old and a 3 month-old. I also work full time and have to get everyone ready for the day.
For the next few hours, I will attempt to juggle ALL the balls. I always drop a few. Or all of them on a really bad morning. But I somehow manage to pick them all back up and get everyone out the door—sometimes we are even on time.
I start each day by stumbling downstairs, making my coffee and a bottle for the baby.
I get the baby out of his crib and feed him while drinking my coffee and catching up on DVR.
I know catching up on This Is Us at 5 am on a Wednesday morning sounds odd, but it is most likely the only chance I will have to watch TV all day.
I burp the baby, and bless his poor little baby heart, he’s a puker. I normally get spit-up on me at least twice before 5:30 am.
I change his diaper, place him in his Rock N Play where he will sleep peacefully for the next few hours, clean out his bottle, pick up a few of my 3-year-old’s toys that are still scattered on the floor from the night before, fill up the dog bowls with food and water, take my vitamins, throw some dishes in the dishwasher and put on my tennis shoes.
I head to the basement and get in a 30 minute workout.
This is literally the only 30 minutes each day where I won’t have a child, my husband, a co-worker, or even the dog in the same room asking me questions or just screaming “MAMA” over and over.
I head back upstairs to take a shower. I hop in the shower and try to take my time but I normally hear the phantom baby cry. You know the one. The one where you stick your head out the shower curtain because you swear you heard one of your kids crying but it was all in your head.
Or I’ll have my 3-year-old wander in the bathroom just to sit and stare at me. Or sometimes the dog comes in—also to just sit and stare at me. Cue me exiting the shower after approximately four minutes.
The next 45 minutes or so is always a pure disaster so I will give the brief version of attempting to feed and dress my toddler.
He never wants what I give him for breakfast. He doesn’t like it. It’s too big. It’s too small. Strawberries are gross today. He wants goldfish. But in a bag, not a bowl. This is usually where I begin to slowly lose my mind. I usually just give him goldfish because I have to pick and choose my battles.
My husband and I normally have to double team him when we get him dressed. Or somedays I just let him wear his pajamas to the babysitter’s house.
There are much larger problems in the world than my child eating non-processed food and wearing matching clothes.
Then I have to pack the diaper bag, change the baby, who always spits up on me one last time for good measure, put him in his carrier, and make sure my toddler isn’t smuggling anything —normally some sort of silverware—in his pockets.
At this point, I pass the kids off to my husband. He manages to get them in the car and takes them off to the sitter. As he is walking out the door I’m shouting out directions.
“Henry goes to your parents today! Simon goes to the sitter’s house! I’ll pick up Henry from my mom at 5 pm. I put a check in your wallet to give to Becky!”
After he walks out the door, my mind has to shift from mom mode to work mode.
I go upstairs and try to get myself ready for the day. Hair, makeup, clothes. It usually ends up being a hurried mess of me throwing on some makeup, blow drying and attempting to fix my hair, then finding an outfit that has no spit-up on it.
All this time I’m also checking my calendar for meetings, trying to plan out the rest of the day or texting a co-worker to remember this or that.
Before I know it, it’s time to head out the door. I throw on some shoes and haphazardly throw random items in my purse/computer bag/diaper bag—water bottle, my breakfast, computer, phone, phone charger, etc.
I get in my car and head to the office. When I get to sit down in my office chair, I usually take a sigh of relief. I made it. It’s time to “officially” start my day.
So why do I this?
Sometimes I ask myself the same question. Some mornings I get so frustrated, so annoyed. Some mornings I yell. Some mornings I want to throw my hands up in the air and just say, “forget it!” But that’s not a choice. Because I love working and I love my job. So I’ll keep on keeping on.
And one day when my kids are grown, I might look back at this time of my life and miss those crazy mornings.