Are you a morning or night person? Well, being a parent of small children you better be willing to be both, but especially a morning person. The second that sun comes up my kids are up, and so starts our morning routine. It has taken us four years to figure out what works for us with many arguments about who got more sleep or more time to get ready along the way, but now we have a system that works SOOOOO well (although Ryan's new job may throw a wrench in it, but that's besides the point), so I thought I would share it with as part of the Real Talk Real Mom Series.
1. Plan to both get up at the same time. This is a huge tip because getting up at the same time will eliminate any resentment as to who got more sleep than whom. Ryan and I wake up at the same time - 6:30am. I work out at 5am three times a week, so those mornings I'm up alone and I get less sleep. However, regardless of the day, both parents must be awake by 6:30 no matter what.
Now, I know what you're thinking, "But, what if your kids get up before then?" Well, Levi and Elle both are awake by 6am, but we let Levi play in his bed and Elle waits for us to get her up. Just be consistent with the timing and they will get the hang of it.
2. Don't plan to tackle the kids at the same time. Take turns! One parent gets ready while the other makes the oatmeal, pours the cereal, changes the diapers and gets the kids dressed. Then we switch after 45 minutes. I will also say that this getting ready time is PRECIOUS for the parent upstairs. It's ALONE time. The kids are not allowed upstairs while Ryan or I are getting ready. This ensures that we can have a moment to center ourselves, go to the bathroom in peace and listen to NPR. You know, the important stuff. Haha! (The next day we switch who gets ready first and who does breakfast first).
3. Check in half way through the morning with each other. There is a changing of the guards at 7:15 so that the other parent can get dressed. By this time the kids have eaten and are dressed, so that means it's the other person's turn to tackle chores like packing lunches, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash bins, making sure everyone goes potty, teeth are brushed and diapers are changed. Before we switch though we always check in and tell one another any chores that didn't happen or any chores that did happen beyond our usual tasks.
4. Try to both take part in the send off. By 8:10 we are out the door. We both help carrying everyone out the door, buckle the kids in and give kisses. I love this part because it reunites us before we all go about our days. I wish we could lay around in our jams, drink coffee, eat breakfast together, etc., but not every day is a weekend. So, doing a joint send off gives me a touch of family fuzzies daily. Most mornings Ryan does drop off and I do pick-up. And, when everyone leaves, I take the next 20 minutes to drink my coffee, read, pray and breathe. By 8:30 I sit down to tackle work. Doing this everyone morning centers me and brings me peace.
Everyone does their morning routine differently. Be sure to read the other timelines and advice from the moms participating in the Real Mom Series. The Effortless Chic, The Life Styled, Oh Lovely Day, Design Addict Mom, The Fresh Exchange, A Daily Something, Hey Mama Co, Freutcake, Parker Etc., Sacramento Street