Early in my career, my work day began at 10am and I remember how absolutely excruciating it was to get up at 8am…I actually had to set my alarm for 8am (not knocking moms who still have to do this, ahem, Berkowitz…she is blessed with kids who sleep, so yes I am insanely jealous and will continue to talk shit about her to make myself feel better). Anyway, fast forward 10 years and 2 kids later, during the week when 8am rolls around I have lived an entire life!…Please someone invent a magic pill that I can take and blink and be at work by 9am!! This feat is absolutely impossible for me and I’m not ashamed to admit it!
I want to give a little glimpse into my mornings in hopes someone; anyone can shed some light on how the hell you make it to work on time with kids! When you have one foot out the door and you can see that golden light from the garage door, but then your two year old dumps milk all over her ruining the 2nd outfit you forced her in because all she wants to wear is an Elsa dress… and then you turn to see your sweet little baby smiling up at you in his car seat covered in spit up (which you decide not to change him since it’s only all over his shirt) and you know you’re going to be late once again, well…you my mom friends are not alone. I don’t care who you are…whatever type of mom, getting out the door when you HAVE to leave at a certain time is a downright bitch.
Side note… moms who have real jobs and don’t have any flexibility with when you can get to work…I bow to you, I salute you and I’m pretty sure you have superhuman powers.
Let’s begin. We’ll start with 6:15am when my husband’s alarm goes off waking him from his all-night hibernation, and waking me from the 5th nap I’ve taken after dealing with my 4 month old all night. After arguing for the next 15 minutes about who gets to shower first…my argument being I have growths coming out of my scalp since my hair hasn’t seen shampoo in 2 weeks, he wins with “why don’t you try to get a few more mins of sleep while I shower”. So sweet one might think, but what he really means is “I’m going to use all of the hot water, stretch for 15 minutes, shave, stretch some more, then just stand with my back to the hot steam to help myself wake up from the uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep I just got.” Thanks Scott. Sure, I’ll go back to sleep…nope, baby’s up again, time to feed him and get this day started! By the time Sam is fed, my 2 year old is up (Scott is still in the shower) as I walk into her room she immediately starts screaming for “dada”. Look, my dear, I carried you for 9 months, was up all night with you for a year, ruined my beautiful model figure for you and you want your DAD…give me a break. Scott finally emerges from his day at the spa just in time for me to forgo my shower because it’s too late. I get dressed as fast as possible finding something to throw on that at least appears clean, throw my hair into a greasy bun, attempt some mascara so when I step off the elevator at work I don’t get the “ohhhh Colleen, are you sick again?” no you d*cks, but thanks for letting me know that I should never go in public without makeup again! After we’re all dressed, I run out to the kitchen praying I washed my pump parts and bottles the night before…this only happens half the time. Give Annie whatever she wants to eat and throw her in front of Mickey. Go through the checklist:
Pump parts – check
Diapers for annie- check
Extra clothes for Sam-check
Snacks for the car ride home to contain my screaming toddler-check
(interruption, phone goes off) Text from my mom: “Did you know that the 2017 hair trends are roots and blunt bangs, you’re already on trend with the roots (laughing emoji) Gee…I wonder what the weather is like there, warm and sunny here. Oh don’t forget, be nice to Scott. He’s so nice to you. You’ll never find anyone else who can deal with you. Call me sometime”
I make a mental note to tell my mom that I can actually respond to texts and she doesn’t need to send me musings like an 1830s telegram. Also note to remind her to never bother me again before 9am.-check
Moving on…after all the screaming, protesting, packing, washing, outfit changing, Scott and I declaring we’re getting divorced for the 75th time that week, we finally get the kids in the car! It’s 8:03 a new record!! Turn on the car…….mother f*%#$*……I have to get gas.
I go through my mornings like I’m running a marathon, get in the car exhausted and often times immediately start checking work emails. I leave my kids at daycare with an insane amount of mom guilt because I once again just tried to survive the morning to get to work at a decent time. I recently called one of my best friends crying because the little time I do have with my kids, I feel like I rush through to get to the next thing on my list. She gave me great advice (thanks Marge) and told me to cherish that time with my kids even if it is just in the car. Make a fun playlist and sing together, go through Starbucks and get a cake pop for breakfast, take the phone/electronics away and engage with them. Since I’ve done this I noticed our drop-offs have been without tears. Annie runs into school excited to be with her friends, and I leave happy knowing we had some fun even if it was during a 10 minute car ride. So yes, we rush and rush through life. We try to give 100% as moms, as wives, as coworkers, as friends and I’m here to tell you that it’s just not possible and sometimes you miss what’s really important….in my case it’s quality time with my kids. Stop and take advantage of whatever time you have with them even if it is just a short car ride. Even if it means once in awhile, you’re going to be a little late to work. My emails/phone calls/etc will still be there. But those toddler and infant years will not. Maybe you can’t afford to be a few mins late to your job, that’s okay. Find that quality time that fits your schedule with your kids and just be present.
Thanks for reading!
Colleen (the third)