Forbes magazine recently highlighted the morning routines of 12 women leaders. These routines include:
“4:45 Wake up and have a bowl of quinoa cereal. I do an hour or so of 3rd or 4th series ashtanga yoga.”
“6:43 Alarm goes off. No snooze. Pull on John Eshaya sweatpants and clogs.”
“6:50 Make coffee (fair trade); microwave Zen Bakery muffin (vegan) First breakfast.”
“6:45 Head down to the home gym for a workout.”
“6:45 I pour my coffee and make breakfast and then sit by myself in my living room. Sometimes with the Post or WSJ, sometimes the news, sometimes my iPhone. Breakfast could be a smoothie or ezekial toast with cashew butter, or oatmeal with chia seeds and almond butter.”
Almost all of the routines of these high-achieving women include luxuries like drinking warm coffee, doing yoga (without a toddler rolling around under her) and eating quinoa smoothies for breakfast.
The article is meant to show how people thrive from the consistency of routines, but for most moms, the reality of the morning routine is, well, a little bit different. Most of us don’t get time to ourselves to read the news or workout. I rounded up a couple of friends to share their morning routines. I think it’s safe to say that many of our mornings as moms look less like those in Forbes and more like this:
1. Kate Parlin, Writer at Shakespeare’s Mom, Non-Morning-Person, and Mom of Three
6:00 Wake up to iPhone alarm. Choose an attitude of peace and productivity for the day. JUST KIDDING. Curse iPhone alarm for being so freaking hard to snooze. And for possibly waking up the children in my bed.
6:30 Shuffle to the shower. (On a good day. Some days, there is no showering.) Get dressed in my “WhateverTheHellBrandTargetSells” sweatpants.”
7:00 Go downstairs to let the dogs out. Step in dog pee on the way. Curse dogs. Clean up pee. Assemble the children’s organic kale smoothie – oh who am I kidding? Assemble regular old cereal and milk. Throw in a banana.
7:15 Check to make sure the twins have extra underwear in their backpacks. They don’t. They do have a plastic eggplant and an acorn. Run upstairs to frantically search for underwear. This is considered “exercise.” Run back downstairs to make coffee.
7:30 Go back upstairs to get three-year-old twins up and dressed for preschool. Do everything twice. Shepherd the twins downstairs to eat breakfast. Say, “Please finish eating!” Say it again. Try not to yell, “YOU HAVE ONE JOB RIGHT NOW AND IT IS TO EAT CEREAL. HOW IS THAT A HARD JOB?!?” Supervise teeth-brushing, putting on of shoes, and zipping up of coats as husband brings two-year-old downstairs.
8:15 Maneuver three small bodies out the door and into car seats. Break up a thousand whiny fights. Feel sweaty and anxious. Chug more coffee on the way to preschool and think, Oh, hey. I didn’t get to eat breakfast. Again. And look at that. I’m wearing slippers. Looks like today is not going to be the day I become a “leader.”
2. Rachel Cashen, First-Time-Mom With a Newborn Baby
4:30 Baby cries. Reach over and put pacifier in mouth hoping she’ll go back to sleep. Pacifier falls out four more times. Wonder if scotch tape can hold the pacifier in.
5:00 Finally feed baby while constructing a business plan for a service that delivers coffee and donuts to new moms. Plan to definitely get a donut today. Try to sleep and hope to total the nights sleep at a minimum of four hours.
5:30 Baby cries again. Baby eats an organic breakfast made from last night’s kale and spinach salad with prosciutto. Just kidding, I had a breakfast sandwich from Dunkin Donuts.
6:00 Baby still awake. Stares at me while I change her diaper. I detect she’s spied daylight out the window and senses it’s time to greet the day. But not with coffee and donuts.
6:30 Baby showing no signs of sleeping. She’s still staring at me. Maybe she wants a donut. Hand baby to her well-rested, chipper daddy while he enjoys a leisurely breakfast and browses all his iPhone notifications he’s missed while sleeping the entire night.
7:00 Shower at warp speed, thinking I hear baby screaming the whole time. Turns out it was auditory hallucinations due to lack of sleep. Throw on husband’s sweatshirt and spit-up spotted sweatpants.
7:15 Celebrate getting dressed! Realize baby still in milk-covered onesie. Select a pair of skinny jeans for her because one of us should be able to wear them, and it won’t be me.
7:30 Husband leaves for work and asks me to do four things today. Promptly forget all four things because, donut.
8:15 Pack all necessities (three pacifiers, nipple cream, breast pads, at least 17 diapers, wipes, burp cloths, extra blanket, cell phone charger) into diaper caddy for an exciting day trip from bedroom to the living room. Find leftover donut in the fridge and say, “Carpe diem!.”
3. Katie, A Working Mom and writer at Mom in Leggings
6:00 Alarm goes off. Hit snooze, pull covers over head.
6:30 Alarm goes off again. Pick up phone and start browsing Facebook while husband goes down and starts making breakfast.
7:00 Roll out of bed. Put on sweatpants for a college I didn’t even go to. Two-year-old and I sit down at table just as husband slides a plate with eggs and toast on it in front of the kid. I covertly try to browse Facebook while feeding my daughter—who mysteriously forgets how to use her fork every morning—until her whining to watch a YouTube video overpowers me.
7:15 Herd two-year old into the bathroom to get ready while she stands around at the base of the stairs complaining that her feet are too big to climb the stairs. I try to convince her that her feet are a totally reasonable size for climbing the stairs. Finally get her into the bathroom and on the potty. Sit on the side of the tub and read “Everyone Poops” for the millionth time.
7:20 Attempt to get two-year-old into her clothes, which means she lays naked on the floor rolling herself in the bathroom rug like a burrito and screaming “LEAVE ME ALONE!” Tell her if she puts her clothes on, I’ll let her watch another YouTube video. She’s willing to cooperate.
7:30 Clothes are on. Hand her tooth brush, while I start going after her snarled hair with a comb. Two-year-old decides to brush bathroom mirror with her toothbrush. Then decides to brush the faucet with her toothbrush. Then refuses to let me help her brush her teeth with the toothbrush. Rips the toothbrush from my hand and whacks me in the face with it. Make silly noises until my two-year-old submits to having her teeth brushed.
7:45 Two-year-old argues against seasonally appropriate foot wear, insisting the shoes that fit her just fine are “Too big! Too big!” Bribe with YouTube videos again. Load her into the car. Blow kisses and wave husband and two-year-old off. Go back in the house and log on to work. Do all the work.
2:30 Finally take a break, eat lunch, take a shower.
4. Christina, A Mediocre Housewife
6:00 Kids jump in our bed then fight over who gets to lay on the left side of Daddy. Daddy escapes into the shower and leaves both girls who are now fighting over who gets the right corner of a blanket. I desperately try to go back to sleep despite the chaos.
6:30 Get up and put on 10 year old sweatpants with holes in them from campfire embers. Head downstairs to make coffee (whatever was on sale) and get breakfast ready. By “breakfast” I mean a synthetic breakfast made from the finest sugar General Mills can produce. Spoons are optional.
7:00 Consider starting a new routine where I wake up before everyone else, exercise, read the news and enjoy a quiet breakfast of ezekiel toast smothered in some kind of nut butter. But then laugh at how hilarious that sounds and clean up Cookie Crisp out of cat food bowl. Reheat coffee. Eat an Eggo.
7:15 Kids ask for different breakfast because they don’t want cereal. Blend up some almond milk, coconut water, banana and steamed baby spinach shakes. Kids say, “Ewwwww, It looks like poop!” then leave the table in disgust. Hand out gummy vitamins instead. Reheat coffee.
7:30 Do the dishes. Get kids a snack because no one ate breakfast. Reheat coffee.
8:00 Get everyone upstairs to get dressed. This involves a combination of chasing, blocking, dodging and occasional leaping. Try to reason with three-year-old to get her to wear pants. Realize a three-year-old can’t be reasoned with.
8:15 Get myself dressed while drinking cold coffee. Begin countdown to bedtime.
Regardless of how you start your day, rest assured that you’re in good company with a fellow mom out there. One who dreams of hot coffee and morning yoga, and who is probably wearing slippers and cheap sweatpants.
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