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Morning Routine With Four Kids

4 Little Ones Make This Mom's Morning Routine a Real Juggling Act

Colleen is a writer and stay-at-home mom who lives in St. Louis, MO, with her husband, three sons, and daughter. Her typical weekday morning involves getting four very different personalities up and out the door while trying to maintain her sanity, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

My Morning Juggle

6:03 a.m.
My alarm goes off for the first time. I look over at my sleeping husband. His alarm will go off in two minutes, and he will snooze at least once. We should really sync our alarms. This waking up every few minutes is just stupid.
6:30 a.m.
I finally get out of bed, brush my teeth and get dressed. I wander the dark hallway down to the first bedroom. I rustle my 10-year-old and 8-year-old from their slumber, and the crabbing begins. I toss uniforms onto the bed and hope that they can actually put on all of the items without being asked a second time.
6:32 a.m.
I head further down the hall and wake up the 5-year-old. He is a bit easier. Just a few hugs, a kiss, and a back rub, and he is ready for the day. I put his clothes on him because buttons and belts are tougher for his chubby little fingers. He tells me he loves me and that he is hungry and that he'll turn on Netflix in the kitchen until I come down.
6:35 a.m.
I head to wake up the baby, if she hasn't already climbed out of her crib. To my surprise, she is still snoozing. I get her dressed, comb through her rat's-nest hair and throw on a bow. Now we head downstairs for breakfast.
6:40 a.m.
Since I snoozed only three times this morning, we have enough time to eat more than just a Pop-Tart. Nothing fancy like pancakes or eggs, but I can make a bowl of oatmeal or a frozen waffle with a little bit of syrup and not panic too much. The 8-year-old can't seem to wake up and has draped himself across the floor with a blanket on. He may or may not be awake by the time we get to school.
6:45 a.m.
Husband appears all ready for work, kisses the kids and me goodbye and gives well wishes for the day. He is a chipper morning person. I could take lessons from him.
6:50 a.m.
I remember that I haven't given my oldest his ADHD meds. This would have been a disaster at school — thank God I noticed the pill container on the counter.
7:00 a.m.
Everyone has finished eating, and it's time to start the brushing of teeth. We have four bathrooms, but everyone insists on jamming themselves into the first-floor half bath where there is barely enough room for one person. Someone has to pee, so the screaming ensues. "I need privacy!" "I need to brush my teeth." "I can't find the toothpaste." I remove two bodies from the bathroom, grab the toothpaste and they start brushing in the hall. One spits in the kitchen sink and splatters the front of his uniform shirt with toothpaste spittle. There are no more clean shirts, but thankfully it's cool enough for a sweatshirt to cover the stain.
7:05 a.m.
The yelling begins. Why can't we just be civilized and brush our teeth? Nothing should take this long. I am starting to wonder if they'll ever be able to function without my breathing down their necks.
7:10 a.m.
I realize that I didn't make lunches last night. Damn! Now I have to rush. I didn't go to the store yesterday either, so I have no bread. Peanut butter wraps for everyone. I have about 20 grapes that I dispense among three boys, find chips and a treat, and stuff the lunchboxes in backpacks. I ignorantly assumed that they would have gotten shoes on and found sweatshirts while I made lunch. Not a chance, so now I'm rushing to get them out the door.
7:18 a.m.
I haven't had any breakfast, and now I am starting to get crabby. I grab a protein shake and a banana for the car, hoping this will hold me over during my Pound class at the Y.
7:25 a.m.
We're finally piling into the minivan, everyone in car seats, and the 8-year-old announces he forgot his book report book. I get out of the car, unlock the door, search for the book and get back into the car. I curse under my breath — we'll never make it to school on time.
7:28 a.m.
I get on the road for the 15-minute ride to school. We have 22 minutes until the bell rings, so we should make it. There's traffic, perfect. Now I start to panic and am checking the time every 30 seconds. I hate being late, and I hate my kids being late because it is undoubtedly my fault.
7:32 a.m.
We listen to our favorite songs and get pumped up for the day. Clean versions of Post Malone songs make me happy. Although I would definitely listen to dirty versions if they weren't in the car.
7:39 a.m.
I warn everyone about their behavior and my expectations for the day. There is a science test today, so I quiz the 10-year-old; looks like he's got it all down. The 8-year-old is finally awake and talking.
7:48 a.m.
I roll into the parking lot with two minutes to spare, rush everyone out of the car, get a kiss from the 5-year-old and ignored by the other two. I wave as they run in the door, and a little piece of my heart breaks because I love them so much. I am also almost late for my class at the gym, so I need to rush . . . again.
8:00 a.m.
I arrive at the Y with five minutes to spare. I drop the baby off at the play center and go into class. I feel thankful that I am able to have these crazy mornings with my kids and look forward to 3 o'clock to hear all about their day.
Image Source: Colleen Dilthey Thomas
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