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New Mom Morning Routine

The Morning Routine of a Mom With a Long Commute

Rebecca lives in Palo Alto, CA, with her husband, 6-month-old daughter, and 10-year-old rescue Golden Retriever. Both parents work full-time, but Rebecca's commute consists of an hour-long drive to San Francisco. After four years on Caltrain, she's given up on public transportation. Here are the details of one recent morning, which involved a perfect storm of hungry mouths.

My Morning Juggle

5:16 a.m.
Daughter starts fussing. I roll over and look at the baby monitor. She's wide awake. I close my eyes and hope she puts herself back to bed.
5:38 a.m.
She gets louder. I look at my phone and decide to just get up.
5:39 a.m.
I take off my mouthguard, brush my teeth, throw on a robe, and go into the kitchen, baby monitor in tow.
5:41 a.m.
I make a cup of coffee, take my vitamins, and place a bottle of milk into the bottle warmer. I hear click-clacks. The dog is up and has followed me into the kitchen. I shut the bedroom door so my husband can keep sleeping.
5:43 a.m.
Baby is getting louder. I go in her room. She rotates around and locks eyes with me. We give each other enormous smiles. This fills my heart. It's my favorite part of a day. I put a few toys in her crib to buy some time.
5:45 a.m.
The dog. As soon as I walk back into the kitchen, she starts nudging my legs. I let her outside. I test the milk. Still cold. Put it back into the bottle warmer and finish making my coffee.
5:47 a.m.
Since I'm up early, I take my pump out of the bag and bring it to the living room. I plug it in. I go back into the kitchen to get my pump parts. I bring them to the living room. I go back into the kitchen and — crap — the dog is still outside. I let the dog back in. She's excited and wants a treat. She uses her body to barricade me in the kitchen. I nudge by her. I hear my daughter starting to get loud in her room. I bring her to the kitchen so I can feed her.
5:53 a.m.
I check the app my husband and I use to track our daughter's feedings. I see how much he gave her around midnight. I give her milk now and put her back down in her crib. Too early for her day to officially start.
5:59 a.m.
I go into the living room and sit down to pump. Ah — my coffee is still in the kitchen. I get it. It's lukewarm. It'll do.
6:02 a.m.
I start pumping and check work emails. It's a nice way to get caught up while I'm slowly waking up.
6:32 a.m.
I finish pumping and check the baby monitor. My daughter has fallen back asleep, and I'm happy. I bring my pump parts, now with milk, into the kitchen. I start to make bottles for the day. I open the fridge to pull out a now-defrosted bag of milk and see that it's spilled everywhere. I curse. I decide to clean it up later and see if I can salvage any milk. I do. Maybe an ounce. Then I clean the pump parts and pack everything back into my bag for work. I grab an ice pack out of the freezer, which I'll need for later.
6:42 a.m.
Time to feed the dog. She's been patient all morning. Her food takes four minutes to make — it's fancy — so she spins in circles excitedly while I tell her, "Shush." She doesn't listen. Every time she spins, her tail careens into the door with a loud "thwack." There's no way my husband is sleeping through this.
6:46 a.m.
Dog starts to eat her breakfast. I run to the bathroom to do my makeup. Tinted moisturizer. Eyeliner. Mascara. Bronzer. Done. Oh, deodorant. Now done.
6:50 a.m.
The dog has inhaled her breakfast and wants to go back outside. I let her out. I go through my two bags for the day — one a pumping bag, one just my purse — and make sure everything I need is there. It is. Oh, wait — my computer. It's still on the couch. I go get it.
6:51 a.m.
I let the dog back in. I straighten up the living room because the dog has taken all of the baby's toys and scattered them around the floor. She's also taken my husband's socks out of the laundry basket.
6:53 a.m.
I quietly creep into the bedroom, grab something that looks clean from my closet, and get dressed in the bathroom.
6:56 a.m.
I get the baby monitor and put it on the bed next to my husband. He's on duty until the nanny comes.
6:57 a.m.
I leave a note for the nanny and tell her how much our daughter ate.
6:58 a.m.
I'm in the car, Audible is queued up, and I'm en route. 101 freeway, what do you have for me today? How many fallen mattresses will we have to swerve around?
7:54 a.m.
No mattresses. Slow day, I guess. I park the car into a spot that isn't big enough for a car and contort my body to get out. I then retrieve my bags via the trunk because I can't squeeze them through the door.
7:59 a.m.
I arrive at my desk, reconnect my laptop, and sign back on, ready to tackle the day. I say hi to my team online, then do a quick bathroom check to make sure my makeup is reasonably applied. It is!
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Rebecca Brown
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