Mornings are a great time for getting things done. However, if you’ve got little ones around, especially those who wake unpredictably, mornings are going to look a little different than they will in different phases of life. I know that my mornings (and weekends!) will have an entirely different vibe in 18 months when the little dude is coming up on 3 years. I also know that I travel enough (and have my husband around a reasonable enough number of days) that I can do other things with my mornings sometimes. One sort of day is not necessarily more emblematic of life than other days. All must be taken in context.
That said, here is what these summer-ish mornings are looking like now. The light comes early — long before 6:00 A.M. The baby has been waking somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30. That is quite a range. I just bought some black-out shades to see if they help push it toward the latter, especially since there is a new wrinkle in all this. In weeks past, I could let him gurgle and play for a bit in the crib (his big brother roommate does not seem to notice). Then a few days ago he discovered a new trick: launching himself out of the crib. So several recent mornings have started with a sudden howl as he landed on the floor, and then started whining for his “na na” (pacifier). I am still trying to figure out what to do about this. He seems quite little to not be in a crib. I might take off the foot-side rail of the crib so he can climb in and out that way, and then prevail upon the 6-year-old to please please not bring marbles or Legos or other such things into the room.
I usually get up with the baby. I tend to hear him first, and my husband is conked out from doing an epic split shift (working from 10:30 P.M. to 12:30 or 1 A.M. if he is home in order to not work from 6:30-9:00 P.M.). I have given myself a bedtime of 10:30 P.M. in order to be able to handle 5:30 A.M. wake-ups. I don’t always make it — sometimes my husband and I like to hang out together from 10-11 P.M. or so — but in this universe he gets 6-6.5 hours of sleep and I get 6.5-7.5 depending on how the night goes. I do more baby-coverage during the week, but then I have more weekend events that require him to cover.
In any case, I get up with the baby. We go downstairs and I make coffee — a nice Starbucks dark roast. I see if he wants to eat anything: yogurt, a waffle, raisins, etc. When my coffee is done I put in some real cream and sit there in my chair in the living room and watch him play. I look at the increasingly green, full trees out the large window. I try to absorb the little guy’s sheer cuteness. He has these pudgy little hands and big brown eyes. He does not play with anything for long, but he will often stop, come over and climb on my lap for a snuggle before getting down to go play again. It is not exactly meditation or yoga or journaling, but it is fairly chill all the same.
We do this until 7:00 when I go wake up my husband. He takes the baby while I go shower. When I come back down, they are often having breakfast together (breakfast #2 for the baby). Often one of the other kids is up by then eating too. Sometimes they have convinced my husband to make waffles or pancakes. I make my soft-scrambled eggs, and then go find any remaining children who are not awake yet. Everyone has generally eaten by 8:00 A.M. when our nanny shows up. We discuss any plans for the day, and then I retreat to my office, where I check email, blog comments, and my schedule, and make any logistical adjustments necessary.
At 8:32 I find my oldest two kids and they get shoes, bags, and jackets if necessary. By 8:36 we should be walking out to the driveway. We talk about our days for a few minutes until the bus comes, usually around 8:40. Then it is back inside for more focused writing, something I generally attempt to do until noon.
What are mornings looking like for you these days?