My Morning Juggle
Wake up to the sounds of my 1-year-old crying. Go to her room to nurse her back to sleep.
Return to bed. Like out of a horror film, discover my toddler has taken my place under the sheets. Scoot her toward the middle and go back to sleep atop the sliver of mattress that remains.
Wake to husband's iPhone alarm. He sleeps through it. Every. Single. Day. Give him a forceful nudge, which does nothing. For fear of waking the sleeping child between us, I clamor to find his phone beneath a pillow. I push the "stop" button no less than 17 times before the phone accepts my request. Everyone is miraculously still asleep — except me.
Grab my phone off the charger and see that I have 5 unread text messages. They were all from a group text made up of three local mom friends. The late-night topic? How to make the horn topper on a unicorn birthday cake.
Move on to scrolling Instagram. Fall back asleep.
"I'm HUUUUUNGERRRYYYY!" Like clockwork, the toddler awakens, full of energy . . . and demands. Thankfully, my husband is enough more of a morning person to usher her into the kitchen so I can sleep a bit longer.
Lie awake. Consider getting up to help husband but remind myself that self-care is important. Grab my phone and flip through Instagram some more.
Sounds of birds chirping fill the room. Oh, nope, it's actually my iPhone alarm. Fools me every time.
Get out of bed. Realize I'm only wearing underwear, a result of sleeping next to a tiny space heater. Put my pajama pants back on.
Enter living room. Husband decided to make pancakes, which means every surface is sticky, and let the toddler watch some animated Trolls-adjacent kids' movie while he stared at his laptop. I calmly and effectively remind him of our joint, research-backed parenting philosophy toward "quality" screen time, but it must have been translated as "WHY DO YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING TO MY IMPOSSIBLE-TO-REACH STANDARDS?! I'M MEAN AND UNAPPRECIATIVE!" I try to hone my methods on my toddler, warning her that the TV is turning off in 30 seconds. She negotiates. "OK, it turns off in one minute." . . .
Get toddler a snack because four full-size pancakes were not filling enough. Hear baby cry. Immediately try to do all 573 items on to-do list before I need to go get her.
Hear baby cry, for real this time. While walking to her nursery room, step in something wet. It's dog pee. Call husband over to investigate. We determine that the pee is unfortunately old enough that we still have to take the dog on a morning walk. He volunteers in exchange for me changing baby's diaper. I don't know who wins this one.
Greet baby. She's more excited to see me than anyone else in this house, so I reward her with snuggles. Husband returns from walking dog. Immediately leaves me alone with two children so he can go shower.
Tell toddler to change out of her PJs. She begs me to put her underwear on for her. "I don't know how to do it!" she screams. I assure her she does. After 10 minutes of coaching, she has the Thomas the Tank Engine
undies at her ankles and just needs to pull them up to complete her mission. "You can do it!" I say. She throws the undies at my head.
Set baby on play mat. Speed clean the kitchen, determined to have our nanny believe we are better at this than we are. Baby cries out of neglect. I rattle a toy in front of her. It buys me a few more minutes of syrup removal. Forget that I told pantsless toddler that she can't have another snack until she's dressed and give her another snack.
Resort to whispered bribery by offering to let toddler watch an iPhone video if she just puts some clothes on. Of course, husband is right behind me, isn't he?
Husband leaves for work. Promises to return.
Continue cleaning kitchen. Eat toddler's cold, soggy pancake scraps. Drink husband's stale, room-temperature coffee remains. Sneak a few Skittles from my secret candy stash because can't I have anything that's just mine?
Nanny arrives. World has meaning again. I tell her generally where I last saw the baby and proudly decry that the toddler is dressed only to have her come out of the bathroom stark naked after going potty.
Begin my often-unattainable daily personal hygiene routine of brushing my teeth without making eye contact with the mirror.
Sit down at my desk in my bedroom to start my day. As a work-from-home mom, I spend the first minute checking my calendar for any meetings so I know whether I have to make my bed or sneak in some dry shampoo and mascara.
I then spend the next seven hours and 59 minutes of my workday marveling at how other moms actually manage to leave the house at all.