I get asked a lot how I accomplish things with 3 small children and a full time job. It always catches me off guard; I don’t think that I am doing anything that is extraordinary—I just do things. My aunt was amazed, recently, that not only were my children awake and at my mother’s by 7:30 am, but that they were groomed, and dressed, and were ready for the day. Yesterday I facebooked that I had a whole meal going (meatloaf, mashed potatoes and the whole deal) plus I had baked cookies. A friend commented that when she was working, that her family was lucky if they had cereal, or sandwiches for dinner, and she only has one child.
I don’t know, I guess I am flattered, though again, I don’t feel like I am at all special. How we operate differs a little bit based on the day—Mon and Wed I have an extra 30 min in the AM because Hub takes the girls to daycare/preschool. Tuesdays and Fridays I leave by 7 to get the girls to my mom’s. Thursday is a fantastic day because the girls stay home with Hub, so I don’t have to get anyone up or dressed. Bud is pretty independent in all of this—I leave his clothes out and FIL is there to guide him through breakfast and making the bus on time.
Aside from those little things though, here is a typical morning for us:
- 5:30 AM- my alarm goes off. I snooze it once or twice and am out of bed before 6.
- Make coffee, pack Bud’s lunch and school bag (these are things that I could do the night before, but they work as a motivator for me to get out of bed in the morning. They are necessary. I will have to do them regardless, and if I don’t get out of bed, I WILL BE LATE!)
- By 6:15/6:20 I am in the shower. Out no later than 6:30.
- Start to wake the girls up while I get dressed and groomed. Start to wake Hub up as well.
- 6:45 really push Lucy to get dressed already, change and dress the baby. Brush Lucy’s hair. Make sure bags are in the right car and ready to go.
- 7:00 leave (or 7:30 as the case may be—I will use the extra 30 minutes to maybe put on makeup, or give the girls some pony tails—or even just let them sleep in a bit.)
The key in the morning routine is that I never sit down. I pour a cup of coffee and take a drink every time I pass the kitchen counter. I take my breakfast with me to work. The girls eat breakfast at school or grandma’s. It is all about being a well oiled machine.
We have routines for the evenings as well. And Hub has a pretty good housework routine because he is home during the day quite a bit. We plan meals, eat dinner together on most nights, and usually have time to play a game or read with the big kids before bed.
For the most part, we put very little effort in to keeping things going; it’s just a matter of keeping up on that little effort to make it work.
What works for you in the morning?