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 busy mom in Charlotte, North Carolina who works full-time outside of the home and has a toddler son in daycare.
State: North Carolina
Relationship status: Married
Gender Identity: Female
Work hours: Full-Time
Work location: Outside of the home
Awake time: 5:30am
Out the door time: 7:45am
Commute: 45 minutes (30-minute drive + 15-minute daycare drop-off)
Number of cups of coffee drank before leaving the house: 1
Partner’s age: 33
Partner’s gender identity: Male
Partner’s work hours: Full-Time
Work location: Outside of the home
Child 1 age: 18 months
Childcare: Full-time daycare
Pets: 1 dog
5:30am: Husband’s alarm starts to go off despite the fact that he doesn’t get up or get in the shower until closer to 6:30am. He sets four alarms per day. Some are two minutes apart (please keep in mind the nine-minute snooze sesh per alarm), which has me seeing red from behind my eyelids before 6am.
5:45am: I’m up and in the shower because, unlike my psychopath husband who prefers sirens going off for an hour, I hit snooze one time and then get up.
6am: Get out of the shower and begin my robust (LOL) makeup and hair routine. Put on CC cream, so much bronzer (I’ve kicked my 2000s tanning habit without losing the desire to be perfectly sun-kissed in winter), and a little mascara. My hair routine is a 30-second hold of the dry shampoo nozzle with either a shot of the hairdryer for volume afterward or some quick curls to distract you from the leftover grease.
6:30am: My husband is now up and in my way in the bathroom, so I step out to change. He’s cheated death twice with me already—must be his lucky day.
6:31am: Decide on some variation of the same five clothing items I wear weekly. Some call it a capsule wardrobe, I call it hating what I own with a few exceptions. My work dress code is “Dress for Your Day,” so if I have meetings I might might wear a dress, boots, and tights, but I’m likely in black skinny jeans and a blouse of some sort. Either way, it’s a gamble. My 18-month-old son is obsessed with feeding himself, and it’s not a tidy experience. Insert a quick Hail Mary that my child spares my outfit if I’m feeling cute.
Decide on some variation of the same five clothing items I wear weekly. Some call it a capsule wardrobe, I call it hating what I own with a few exceptions. My work dress code is ‘Dress for Your Day’ so if I have meetings I might might wear a dress, boots, and tights, but I’m likely in black skinny jeans and a blouse of some sort.
6:45am: Get everything I need for departure fully ready before waking up my son. Wrestling a toddler into his coat and glasses while he stumbles around (he has horrendous vision), while holding my to-go coffee, and looking for my keys and laptop is my actual worst nightmare. I do literally everything possible before waking up my miniature boss, which includes tracking down my laptop from wherever I wrapped up work the night before, shove my prepped breakfast of overnight oats into my purse, and pack the diapers/wipes/extra clothes that daycare never seems to have enough of (I’m one “friendly reminder” away from having my Shipt order sent directly to them).
7am: My husband checks for deer in our yard and then lets the dog out and feeds him before heading out the door for work. “OMG you have deer, that’s so cute,” you say? Sure, they’re cute until they stomp on your dog during mating season. They get shoo-ed away most mornings. My husband has an hour commute and doesn’t get to see our son before he leaves, but he got delegated the dog because #limits.
I get the toddler’s breakfast ready and my coffee brewing. My son has had a lot of issues with choking, so at 18 months old, his meals are still very mushy and very messy. Luckily, he’s a creature of habit and can do scrambled eggs and oatmeal most days. We tried baby-led weaning and ended up calling 911. Daycare has reported several scary moments too so don’t @ me on this.
7:15am: Wake up the king of the the castle, sing the “Happy Baby” song (I made it up when he was born—it’s nauseating so I’ll spare you the words). Quick diaper change that he barrel-rolls through, and then I put him in the outfit that I dream of wearing on the reg (is “on the reg” a thing still?): joggers, a long-sleeve tee, and the cutest baby Vans you’ve ever seen. We get breakfast going.
7:30am: My son picks out his eye patch—which he wears daily due to eye issues—and then we wash his hands and I let him walk himself to the car. This is so I can practice patience, not rushing him around constantly, and so that he understands that we have a routine. In reality, he’s walking because I have a sleeve of diapers, a couple packs of wipes, my coffee, and my laptop bag in my hands and the kid can walk.
I do literally everything possible before waking up my miniature boss, which includes tracking down my laptop from wherever I wrapped up work the night before, shove my prepped breakfast of overnight oats into my purse, and pack the diapers/wipes/extra clothes that daycare never seems to have enough of (I’m one ‘friendly reminder’ away from having my Shipt order sent directly to them).
7:45am: Roll out to daycare which is right across the street from my work. It is five miles but takes 45 minutes to get there between traffic and drop-off. We listen to “Baby Shark,” name all of the kids in class that we are excited to see, and then point out every tree between home and school.
8:15am: Mayhem of daycare drop-off, reminding the teachers what time he can take off the eye patch and what he can/can’t eat. Saying “Hi” to all of the kids and the parents exchanging exhausted looks, and then back in the car to try and make it to work before the boss gets in. If I beat her, she’ll never know what time I got there which means I don’t have to feel as guilty leaving at 5pm. If I don’t beat her, I know it will be a late pick-up day because my boss has made passing comments about people leaving before 5pm and I want to get promoted at some point this year.
8:30am: Swipe my badge to get into my office’s parking deck and hike to the building.
8:45am: Settle in for some coffee and either a chance to catch my breath or jump right into work depending on if I beat the boss.