Welcome to The Everymom Before 9am, where we’re exploring the challenges of weekdays and shedding light on all that goes into mornings with kids. We’re asking mothers how they manage their mornings, from the time they wake up until the time they leave the house (if applicable). We hope by sharing a variety of stories, maybe we can help each other find hacks, shortcuts, and, at the very least, support in knowing we’re not alone.
Today: An elementary school art teacher (who’s up at 4:30am!) from Kansas City, Missouri with a toddler in full-time daycare.
City: Kansas City
Relationship status: Married
Gender Identity: Female
Work hours: Full-Time
Work location: Outside of the home
Awake time: 4:30am
Out the door time: 7:50am
Commute: 40 minutes (17-minute drive to my son’s daycare, 6 minutes to chat with his teacher, and 17-minute drive to work)
Number of cups of coffee drank before leaving the house: 1
Partner’s age: 41
Partner’s gender identity: Male
Partner’s work hours: Full-Time
Work location: Outside of the home
Child 1 age: 3
Childcare: Full-time childcare facility
Pets: 2 dogs
I’m a working mom (an elementary school art teacher!) in Kansas City. Every minute of my mornings are calculated—hope you’re ready for this!
4:30am: My alarm goes off and I allow myself to hit snooze one time. I have an eight-minute snooze. After the snooze alarm rings, I grab my phone and start scrolling through anything that will wake up my brain (Instagram, Facebook, news). Once the clock strikes 4:45am, my time is up and I peel myself out of bed.
4:45am: I head downstairs and turn on the local news to listen to while I get dressed for my morning workout. I keep the predicted weather forecast for noon today in mind since I’ll have to dress for my outside recess duty at work. I do my workouts at this time nearly every morning in the comfort of my own home. It’s the one time of day that I can have to myself and this is how I choose to spend it. It keeps me sane and gives me an opportunity to do something for myself.
4:55am: I get started with a high-intensity interval training or weight training burn work out. My workouts typically last until 5:45am and from about that time until 6:00am, I cool down and stretch.
6:00am: I always jump in the shower by 6:00am so I can beat my husband to it. He starts to stir around 6:30am so if I’m out of the shower by 6:15am, we make our morning routines staggered enough so we can both get ready for work.
6:15am-6:45am: I have a simple makeup and haircare routine that I’ve been able to get done in about 30 minutes. It usually means makeup is done and product is put into wet hair and left to air dry by the time I get to work but it gets the job done!
6:45am: If my toddler son isn’t already up, I start to wake him at about this time. He usually wakes up on his own about this time every day. He is a busy 3-year-old boy, and he is not a morning person. I wake him and put him on our bed and turn on a Mickey Mouse show so I can get dressed for work.
I have a simple makeup and haircare routine that I’ve been able to get done in about 30 minutes. It usually means makeup is done and product is put into wet hair and left to air dry by the time I get to work but it gets the job done!
My wardrobe is one you might call “minimalist.” I usually wear some sort of skinny black pants with a sweater or button-down. I always have a belt on with my top tucked in (at least the front half) because it makes me feel a little more put together and professional looking when I’m actually a hot mess. I wear either flats or booties to march around in all day. I have to stay somewhat comfy because I am on the go teaching art to little ones and I don’t sit and things get messy on the job!
7:00am: I get my son dressed and cleaned up for school. I wrestle him into his clothes, get those teeth brushed, and then flatten his bedhead!
7:10am: My toddler and I (and our two dogs) head downstairs to the kitchen so I can start making his lunch and my lunch and coffee.
7:20am: I fix breakfast for my son. He usually eats bananas and blueberries with either some toast or pancakes. What do I eat for breakfast? I’m usually shoving a protein bar in my face while I’m multitasking all of the morning tasks that need to be done before heading out the door.
7:25am: Once he’s set up with breakfast and his Mickey Mouse show playing on the TV, I get the dogs their food and fresh water. And then let them outside in our backyard. I then run upstairs and gather all the dirty laundry off the floor and put it in the laundry basket and make the bed. If I’m moving fast enough, I can usually get the dishwasher emptied out too! My husband is usually showering and out the door for work by 7:30am.
7:35am: I go through the checklist of all the things that need to be packed for both my son and I for our days at school. I get all of our bags packed and clean up the toddler’s mess from breakfast and let the dogs back inside. If I’m lucky, the dogs will have forgone the “I’m going to dig in that mud hole again in the yard and come inside with dirty mud paws and make mom clean it up” move.
I make sure everything is tidy before leaving. No toys can be left out because the dogs will chew them up while we are gone. And nothing can be left on the counters because one of them counter surfs and gets that too. Oh, and make sure the bathroom door is shut because they’ll shred the toilet paper to smithereens all over the house. Some people think I keep a clean house, but the reality is my dogs want to eat everything they see so it all has to be tucked away. This is where I mention how much I love my dogs!
My wardrobe is one you might call ‘minimalist.’ I usually wear some sort of skinny black pants with a sweater or button-down. I always have a belt on with my top tucked in (at least the front half) because it makes me feel a little more put together and professional looking when I’m actually a hot mess.
7:45am: I load my son in his carseat with all of our bags and drive him to school. Most days I can get him to school in 17 minutes.
8:05-8:10am: I drop him off at school. I get him inside and hang all his things on his hook and have a quick visit with his teacher. I’m burning about 6-7 minutes at drop off.
8:15-8:35am: I drive to work. I usually listen to country music and just stare at the road. I never make phone calls during this time if I don’t have to. This 17-minute drive is the last time I will have solitude and peace and quiet for the next eight hours … until I make the same drive back after school to pick my son up.
8:35-8:55am: My contracted start time at school is 8:35am, and you bet I’m rolling in right at 8:35am. I rush in and drop my bags on my desk and start to prep my classroom and materials for my little art learners.
8:55am: Run to the bathroom as this is my last chance to go pee until about 1pm (LOL).
9:00am: The school bell rings and I greet all of my “other kids” as they walk into the building.
By this time, I’ve already been up for nearly five hours with my smartwatch reading close to 6,000 steps and my workday has just begun. Phew!