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this is how we do it (in the morning)

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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?

9 responses »

  1. O hates getting himself dressed although he is totally capable. We've made it a race now to see if he can get dressed before one of us can get Bea dressed and now things go much quicker. We usually have lunches packed since everyone tends to get leftovers from the night before. Generally we cook everynight, have dinner by 6:30 and then have time to play/take a bath before bed. Breakfasts are usually made in big batches (pancakes all made can be frozen and then nuked on weekday mornings). What also works – I'm usually 30 minutes late for work because I can't stand getting out of bed . . .

  2. I always think of Swistle's plate-spinning analogy in the morning. Getting one thing going while I move on to something else is key.

  3. I think one of the keys here is, like you said, not to sit down. That's when I find that I waste the most time in the mornings. I'll have to remember that!! 🙂

  4. Yeah… you just figure out a routine that works for you and go with it. I have a little more time in the morning, leaving around 8AM, so I usually cycle the wash and unload the dishwasher before handing the (dressed, fed, packed) kids off to Homer to take to the bus.

  5. I get that a lot, too when I'm working. Um…we just DO it? LOL It's not so arduous now that they are older. Mary and Keith make their own breakfast and pack their own lunch. When I was working I had to wake up Izzy 15 minutes sooner than the other two because it takes her sooooo long to get out of bed and get dressed in the mornings–and then I would have to do her hair since hubby refuses to touch it. One nice thing about my being unemployed–we can all "sleep in" a few minutes later!

  6. Ugh. I am a horrible morning person, so I cannot wait til the fall to see how I manage having to get ONE (1) child off to preschool a few mornings a week. With a new baby in the mix. Honestly. Horrible horrible morning person. Seven is the absolute earliest anyone in our house is ever even awake.

  7. Um. I have no kids and no commute. I get up 10 minutes before I have to start working, let the dog out, let her back in and dump some food in her dish and leave her with it. I usually shower on my lunch break. I have it easy, I realize.

  8. you are the second asshole in one day to post something that made a song get stuck in my head. montell jordens this is how we do it omfg could i be more 8th grade

  9. Genial fill someone in on and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you as your information.


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