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Morning Routine With a 6-Year-Old and 9-Year-Old

The Morning Routine of a Hot Mess Mom Who Desperately Tries Not to Be

Cristina Margolis and her husband live right smack in the middle of Silicon Valley in California with their 6-year-old and 9-year-old daughters. Since Cristina's husband works full-time as an analyst and she works part-time as a writer at home, Cristina handles the morning chaos with the kids. From early wake up to racing to beat the tardy school bell, this is what a typical morning looks like for the Margolis family.

My Morning Juggle

6:00 a.m.
I hear the alarm on my iPhone go off, make a grunting noise, roll over, and hit the snooze button.
6:09 a.m.
My iPhone alarm go off again, so I wipe the drool off of the corner of my mouth and get out of bed.
6:10 a.m.
I sigh deeply as I stare at the outdated clothes in my closet. I make a mental note to visit the women's clothing section of Target soon. I end up picking out a vintage Mickey Mouse T-shirt and comfortable mom jeans.
6:12 a.m.
I head to the bathroom to do my business and spend an unnecessary amount of time scrolling through Facebook on my iPhone. I panic when I realize how much time has passed, so I get my butt off of the toilet (and in gear)!
6:20 a.m.
I brush my teeth and wash my face. I take a closer look in the mirror and notice that the bags under my eyes are becoming increasingly darker. "Hello darkness, my old friend." I put makeup on so that I don't look like a raccoon. There, that's better.
6:25 a.m.
I comb and style my hair and long for the days when my hair was thick and could hold curls. I spray the hell out of my hair with a volume enhancing hairspray and hope for the best.
6:30 a.m.
I tidy up my bathroom and hear Google Home's alarm go off in my kids' room.
6:35 a.m.
I peek down the hall to see if my kids are awake. They're not. Let the first yelling of the day commence!
6:40 a.m.
After threatening my kids with no screen time for the day, they quickly get out of bed and begin getting dressed in their school uniforms. I rebutton my 6-year old's blouse, because all of her buttons are off by one. I listen to my 9-year old complain about her cardigan being scratchy (she's not trying to annoy me, she actually has sensory issues).
6:45 a.m.
I help my kids brush their teeth, wash their face, and do their hair. The 6-year-old is sad because her hair isn't long enough for me to braid in a ponytail like I did for her big sister. She calms down and settles for a cute Minnie Mouse barrette.
6:55 a.m.
I head downstairs to the kitchen and pop two waffles in the toaster. I give both of my kids their daily gummy vitamins and make sure my 9-year-old takes her medication for her ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). I remind my 9-year-old to put her RE-vibe bracelet on because it helps her stay focused better in school.
6:58 a.m.
I butter the waffles and get the syrup out for the kids, and wash and slice some strawberries for them. I pop a strawberry in my mouth, and that's my breakfast. I know, I'm bad.
7:00 a.m.
While the kids are eating breakfast, I start the coffee machine and put their lunches together, which consists of sunbutter and jelly sandwiches, cut up grapes, corn chips, fruit snacks, and milk. I made their lunches last night to save time in the morning.
7:10 a.m.
The kids are done eating and they clear the table. I give them each a "screen time coin" for it, which means they have earned 15 minutes of screen time later that day. I tell the kids to put their lunches in their backpacks as I have my morning coffee. It's the best two minutes of my morning.
7:12 a.m.
The kids are giving our dog belly rubs and I see that their lunches are still sitting on the counter, so I tell them again to put their lunches in their backpacks.
7:15 a.m.
I don't know why this simple task takes three minutes, but it does. After the kids put their lunches in their backpacks (or so I thought. I'll get to that later), I remind them to go potty before we leave for school.
7:17 a.m.
I clean up breakfast and then gather up my purse and car keys only to see that both of my children have our dog's white fur all over their dark green cardigans. Ack!
7:19 a.m.
I start frantically rolling our lint roller all over my kids' arms and chest. How does one little dog make such a big hairy mess so fast?
7:20 a.m.
I tell my kids to get their shoes on, grab their backpacks, and get in the van. My 9-year old asks if she can bring her iPad in the car. The answer is no. I can't remember where I put my purse and car keys, so I'm running around the house like a maniac.
7:25 a.m.
I find my purse and car keys on one of the kitchen chairs and shout, "Bye, honey! I love you!" to my husband, who woke up a few minutes ago. Lucky!
7:26 a.m.
I get in the car and make sure my kids buckled themselves properly. They didn't. I adjust the straps on their seat belts and notice that my 9-year-old is wearing sandals. I ask her why she isn't wearing her regular school shoes and she says she couldn't find them.
7:29 a.m.
I go back into the house and find my 9-year-old's shoes on the stairs. Thank God nobody tripped on them and got hurt. This is when I notice that my 9-year-old also left her backpack in the house. Argh!
7:30 a.m.
I get back in the car and toss my 9-year-old's backpack and shoes to her to put on and back out of the driveway as I lecture them about responsibility.
7:32 a.m.
Immediately after my lecture, my 6-year-old asks if I can turn on a movie. The answer is no. We're going to be at school in five minutes, so I turn on the radio instead and embarrass them by singing and dancing along to Cardi B's "I Like It."
7:37 a.m.
We arrive at school and park. My kids grab their backpacks and I adjust their jumpers and cardigans. I hold their hands as we cross the street. We say hi to the crossing guard. She's the best.
7:40 a.m.
I bring my 9-year-old to her class' line. My 6-year-old and I give her a hug, and I tell her I love her and that she will have a great day.
7:42 a.m.
I bring my 6-year-old to her class' line and ask her if she needs kissing hands, although I know her answer is always yes. I give each of her hands a kiss and then we embrace in a nice long hug. I tell her I love her and I will wait for her to get into her classroom. I'm happy she's still at the age when she's not embarrassed of me being at school.
7:45 a.m.
I stay for the school's morning assembly, say the Pledge of Allegiance and Hail Mary prayer, and then pretend like I know the school's pledge. I get ignored by my 9-year-old, who is now chewing her best friend's ear off. I wave and blow kisses to my 6-year-old and she does the same to me as she walks into her classroom. I wish she could stay little forever.
7:55 a.m.
I say hi to some of the other moms and make small talk with them as we walk back to our cars.
8:00 a.m.
I get in my van, get a big whiff of coffee, and wonder where the smell is coming from. I look down and see that I spilled coffee on my shirt earlier. I also notice my dog's very white fur on my very black shirt. I wasn't even playing with our dog this morning! How does that even happen?
8:01 a.m.
I drive home as I listen to the Love Trap on the radio, one of my guilty pleasures. Another woman's boyfriend has been caught cheating. Jerk!
8:06 a.m.
I arrive home, take off my sneakers and put my comfy rainbow slippers on. I put a load of laundry in the washing machine, which includes my coffee stained shirt. I get my laptop out and start writing my next article. I feel fortunate that I'm able to work from home so that I can be there for my family and have time to do household chores during the day.
8:15 a.m.
I get a phone call from the school's secretary. My 9-year-old forgot her lunch. I look over at the kitchen counter, and yep, she sure did. I sigh deeply and save what I've written of my article so far. I grab my purse, car keys, and 9-year-old's lunch, and head back to the school so that my daughter doesn't starve.
8:20 a.m.
I arrive at school and face-palm myself when I realize that I am still wearing my rainbow slippers. I take a deep breath, make a mad dash to the school office to deliver my daughter's lunch and hope I don't run into anyone I know.
8:25 a.m.
I run into everyone I know and explain to them what happened and what my morning has been like so far. I admit that I am totally a hot-mess mom, and am reassured by one of the other moms that all mothers are a bit of a hot mess. It's just that some moms hide it better than others.
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