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: A small business owner working from home alongside her husband as they try to schedule their respective workdays around keeping their 5-year-old son and toddler daughter occupied during this unprecedented time.
Relationship status: Married
Gender Identity: Female
Job Title: Small business owner
Work hours: Full-Time
Work location: At home
Awake time: 6:30am
Number of cups of coffee drank before 9am: 2
Partner’s age: 38
Partner’s gender identity: Male
Partner’s work hours: Full-Time
Work location: Usually outside of the home but now working from home
Child 1 age: 5
Child 2 age: 20 months
Childcare: Our two kids are home with us right now as we work from home, but we’re continuing to pay for full-time private kindergarten for our 5-year-old son and daycare for our 1-year-old daughter.
5:45am: My husband’s alarm clock goes off or he naturally wakes up a few minutes before. He would normally wake at 5:20am to get to work by 6:30am, but during this atypical work situation, he will wake up and start working around 6:30am downstairs in my office.
Two or three days a week, our 20-month-old daughter is in our bed, so my husband has to basically be tip-toeing around our room in the dark to not wake her. I usually get woken up, but can fall back asleep.
6:20-6:30am: My toddler daughter is very affectionate and often wakes up next to me saying “Mama!” or kissing my face. It’s hard to resist.
Each morning, she basically takes roll call of our whole family (“Daddy? Bubba?”) until I tell her the same thing: “Daddy’s at work and Bubba (AKA her older brother) is still sleeping.” If she is in her crib, I get her once she starts making noise that I hear on our monitor.
6:40am: My daughter and I make our way downstairs. I make a cup of milk for her and pour myself coffee #1 for the day. I will review emails on my phone and pick up a little in the kitchen or unload the dishwasher.
My daughter and I make our way downstairs. I make a cup of milk for her and pour myself coffee #1 for the day. I will review emails on my phone and pick up a little in the kitchen or unload the dishwasher.
I can sometimes sneak in watching half of a TV show that I have sitting on my DVR. I basically watch a one hour show in two sittings these days. My daughter plays downstairs or we end up reading a few books. I ultimately only end up watching 15 minutes of This is Us and I’ve memorized Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? because it’s read most mornings.
During this time, my husband is busy at work in my home office, already on the phone or answering emails. He works in the oil and gas industry as a drilling engineer and oversees oil rigs. Everyone works early in the morning in the oil industry and crew changes happen at 7am, so that call is really important.
7-7:15am: My 5-year-old son is now up and wanders downstairs looking for us. I can sometimes hear him upstairs playing with Magna-Tiles before he comes down.
I tell him to change out of his PJs about eight times before it actually happens. His clothes are laid out for him each day because I have learned it causes less arguments.
I tell my 5-year-old son to change out of his PJs about eight times before it actually happens. His clothes are laid out for him each day because I have learned it causes less arguments.
7:30am: I make some sort of carbohydrate like waffles, cereal, or a bagel for my 5-year-old because that is all he wants to eat these days. I try to get items that have built-in protein in them like Dave’s Killer Bread or Kodiak Cakes.
My daughter will want to eat at this point as well. I usually make her half an Eggo waffle to help acclimate her to eggs, per our pediatric allergist’s recommendation, since she is allergic to eggs. I can also usually get her to eat some fruit like apples or strawberries and convince my son to eat blueberries most days.
8am: Playtime begins for the two kids, and I reheat my coffee. We’re not pushing school-related things quite yet during this weird time, minus encouraging a lot of reading. I have Color Wonder markers out on their kids’ table downstairs to lessen the mess. I also have a play tent and fort built in my living room the past few days because it has created an additional play area for now.
8:15am: I sit down at my desk and start reviewing emails that need answered or I reevaluate my to-do list. I write down three items on a Post-it that I need to accomplish that day. I’m hopeful, but also realize it’s not realistic to work a full traditional day right now with two kids at home during school closures.
8:30am: My husband and I chat about a game plan for the day and discuss who has conference calls at what time, etc. He is in my home office working at a small built-in desk. I run my own business and work from home, managing public relations for various clients, so I am used to working from home since this has been my work environment for 2.5 years. I have a robust work set-up in my office with dual screens.
I write down three items on a Post-it that I need to accomplish that day. I’m hopeful, but also realize it’s not realistic to work a full traditional day right now with two kids at home during school closures.
By this time, the children are bickering, so we turn on the TV to distract them. Paw Patrol it is. I pour myself another cup of coffee. We normally limit TV to 30 minutes to an hour a day, but that is just not realistic in our current state right now.
8:55am: Paw Patrol is over. We bust out more art supplies, or I tell my son he has to play LEGOs or Magna-Tiles upstairs. He doesn’t seem interested. My husband offers my 5-year-old two quarters to clean up the playroom, so he goes to do that. My daughter has wandered into my office and starts pulling highlighters and things out of my desk drawers.
9am: I go upstairs and get the the kids occupied with more toys and answer more emails from my phone or laptop while they play.