Recently, I returned to work from maternity leave after spending a beautiful summer at home with my family. It was a perfect few months. My husband is a teacher, so he has summers off and was able to be home with us for my entire maternity leave. It couldn’t have been planned better! But the summer came to an end, and my husband and I both had to go back to work. To be honest, part of me was looking forward to us going back to work. I was excited to have another purpose in life besides “mom”.
I was mentally prepared to return to work. I was prepared to have to get up with an alarm clock, dress professionally, wear make-up, and look presentable. I was ready to return to my desk and do the job I was hired to do. What I was not prepared for was having to get two kids ready and out the door in a timely manner.
My husband leaves for work before either of the kids are awake, which leaves me to go through the morning routine by myself. When it was only my son, Ryan, I would wake him up, change his diaper, get him dressed, spend some good, quality time together, and we would be out the door. Our morning routine has changed quite a bit with having both Ryan and his new sister, Brenna.
This morning, for example, Ryan had wet the bed. He woke up about an hour earlier than normal because he was soaking wet and uncomfortable. I quickly started the bath and let it run while I took his pajamas off, stripped the sheets, and brought him to the tub. While I was helping him bathe, I heard Brenna fussing. I told him we had to be all done with bath time, so I pulled the plug in the bath tub. He had a full-on tantrum. He started screaming with tears streaming down his face, and threw the sponge at me. I quickly wrapped him up in a towel and brought him back to his bedroom to put his clothes on. By this point, Brenna was screaming because she was hungry. I picked her up to soothe her, but Ryan’s jealousy kicked in he started to cry even harder. I brought them both to our living room and I gave Ryan his favorite truck, his sippy cup of milk, and turned on Moana. (Thank goodness for Moana!) Thankfully this calmed him down enough so I had time to feed Brenna. Once I was done feeding her, I changed her diaper and got her dressed for the day. Then I packed my lunch, packed her milk, put Ryan in his car seat, and Brenna in hers. Finally, we were ready to leave for school. That’s when Brenna made a funny noise and I noticed the front of her clothes turning a yellowish-brown color. Isn’t that always the case? Your kid decides to have a blow out just as soon as you’re ready to go? I took Ryan out of his car seat (not wanting to leave him in the car while I changed Brenna), ran upstairs to grab a new diaper and outfit for Brenna, and changed her right there on the floor. Then I packed them back up into the car, and we headed to school.
This is just one example of the past mornings we’ve had, but there have been many more similar to this. Some not as bad, and some far worse. It’s chaos, it’s frustrating, it’s hilarious, it’s beautiful. I know one day I will look back at these mornings and crave them. I will miss the bedlam of getting my two happy, healthy, wonderful children ready for school, so for now I will enjoy every second of it. I will laugh my way through the commotion that is my new morning routine.