The morning I wish to achieve and the morning I actually have. Oh wait, those are about to change.
“This winter I will get up extra early in the morning,” I keep telling myself.
“I will stick to it,” I repeat.
“It takes 30 days to create a habit,” I remind myself.
“I can do this.”
I love those early mornings when I am up and accomplishing (twice as fast and twice as efficiently, I might add, than in the evening hours). The house is asleep and I get to have some “me” time before my “mommy time” begins. Those early mornings are energizing.
Some women are naturally morning people. But not me. I’m the push-snooze-one-time-too-many kinda girl. Especially on cold winter mornings. I’ve noticed how different my days are when I start them the right. I want more of that. I can do this, right? I know I can. Especially now, when daylight savings ends and we find ourselves with an extra hour each morning. (Yes, I know that feeling only lasts like a day or two, but hey, let a girl dream).
This routine (see below) is a wonderful way to start my day. I know it, because it has (occasionally) happened. My goal is, to make it into a habit.
The Perfect Morning
6:15 Alarm wakes me up. I press snooze.
6:23 I get out of bed. Put on my gym clothes and sneakers.
6:35 Drink a cup of water and daven berachos.
6:45 Hop onto the treadmill for a quick 20-minute run.
7:05 Take a shower. Put on makeup (blissful 10 minutes of putting on makeup all to myself, no toddler tugging at my skirt. Almost like a mini-vacation)
7:25 Throw in a load of laundry.
7:27 Wake everyone (but the toddler) with a cheerful smile and a loving back rub.
7:30 Get dressed while the kids roll over to the other side. (another blissful 10 minutes of quiet to myself)
7:40 Wake everyone up again. This time the toddler as well.
7:45 Head downstairs and put the toddler in the high chair, give him a bowl of cereal.
7:47 Daven while my coffee brews.
8:10 Drink my coffee. Sitting down. Check emails briefly.
8:15 Breakfast is served. Breakfast clean up follows.
8:40 Children put on coats, grab briefcases (snacks and mitzvah notes prepared the night before, of course)
8:45 Walk/drive (depending on weather) children to the bus stop.
8:50 Head back home. Dress the toddler.
9:00 Grab toddler’s and my lunch from the refrigerator (prepared the night before, again)
9:15 Drop off said toddler at playgroup.
9:16 My day begins. I am ready to tackle anything.
The typical morning:
6:15 Alarm wakes me up. I press snooze.
6:23 Alarm wakes me up. I press snooze.
6:31 Alarm wakes me up. I press snooze.
6:39 Alarm wakes me up. I press snooze.
6:47 Alarm wakes me up. I vaguely remember my good intentions. I press snooze.
6:55 Alarm wakes me up. I decide it’s too late anyhow now, might as well press snooze.
7:03 I press snooze and roll over again.
7:11 I have a very vivid dream involving a huge bowl overflowing with challah dough. I dream I forgot how to braid challos (panic sets in at this point) and therefore my mom comes to help me (I either baked way too many batches of challah during this Yom Tov season or read that cute “too much challah dough” book to my daughter last night).
7:32 The alarm clock rings again, this time I jump out of bed. I know I am in trouble.
7:32 1/2 I wake up everyone (but the toddler) in a not very cheerful way. No time for back rubs.
7:33 I shower and get dressed in 2 1/2 minutes (well not really, but it feels like it. Not enjoyable, at all).
7:45 Everyone is still asleep. Actually not everyone. Child D is missing from her bed. She’s probably in the pantry eating cookies. Wake everyone up again.
7:46 Find child D in the pantry as predicted. What I didn’t predict is that she accidentally spilled a box of Cheerios and managed to have them land on every single shelf of the pantry. True talent. I compliment her and send her upstairs to get dressed.
7:47 Start cleaning up Cheerios mess, then decide it’s not the right time; this needs an in-depth clean up.
7:55 Head upstairs and wake everyone up again. Head to my room to put on makeup.
7:56 Toddler wakes up shrieking.
7:56 1/4 Go to toddler. Find him drenched. He managed to open his sippy cup. Make mental note to sue this sippy cup company once and for all). Change and dress toddler. Strip linen. Throw in the wash. (Hey, it was only water in the sippy cup. See? There’s always a bright side. At least I don’t have to bathe him).
8:10 Go check on kids and realize Child C is still in dreamland. Offer a few words of wisdom and go back to my room to attempt to put on makeup.
8:11 Toddler pulls at my skirt. He wants to help me with my mascara. I give him an empty makeup pouch that has a zipper to play with. He is fascinated by zippers.
8:13 I look like my toddler helped me apply with my makeup but I don’t have time to care. Oops, that makeup pouch wasn’t empty. Toddler’s face is covered in lipstick. No wonder he was so quiet.
8:14 Wash toddler’s face. Brush his hair and then notice it is kind of sticky. Can it be Hubby filled the sippy cup with apple juice? I make a quick calculation whether I have time to bathe him then decide against it. Besides, apple juice is probably good for hair, right? Like leave-in conditioner or something. I convince myself.
8:17 Child B cannot find his shoes. What else is new. The search begins.
8:19 Shoes are found (right where they belonged, near his bed. Just covered by his blanket which fell off the bed. Sigh.)
8:20 I head downstairs and put the toddler in the high chair and give him a bowl of cereal.
8:21 Oops. Toddler spills his bowl of cereal. Apparently he doesn’t like Crispix.
8:24 Nobody’s in the kitchen yet. “Friendly” threats are offered via intercom.
8:25 Daven brachos while my coffee brews.
8:27 My phone flashes a text message. I make the mistake of looking at it.
8:33 6 minutes later: My coffee is now cold and none of the kids are in the kitchen yet.
8:34 Breakfast begins and ends within 10 minutes. No time for eggs. Or toast. Or oatmeal. Cereal it is.
8:45 Children scramble to find their coats. Where in the world did I put the mitzvah note I made sure to write last night?
8:46 Toddler wants scrambled eggs. Toddler gets a cookie instead.
8:46 We drive (rather fly) to the bus stop. We are on time. Phew! The girls’ bus arrives and leaves.
8:50 Boys’ bus not here.
8:52 Bus still not here. Is it late? We came on time.
8:55 No sign of bus.
8:57 I call a classmate. I find out the bus arrived 5 minutes early today. Sigh.
8:58 Head back home. Thankfully the toddler is dressed already. But toddler wants “eggys” (scrambled eggs) and throws a super tantrum. Yiddishe mama pulls out frying pan and makes scrambled eggs. Boys want scrambled eggs as well. Mama decides that at this point what’s the difference anyhow, another 5 minutes won’t change much. Besides, toddler likes to relish each bite and takes his time with his “eggys.”
9:15 Grab toddler’s and my lunch and head out to boy’s school.
9:30 Drop off boys at school.
9:45 Drop off said toddler at playgroup.
9:46 My day begins. I am ready for a nap.
11:13 I discover both my shoes are smeared with lipstick.
My conclusion: waking up early will leave me refreshed, in control and focused. I know I can use some of that, most days.