Each school night, we follow the same routine:
7:00 Vitamins/medicine for everybody. I start prep work for the next day:
- Set out clothes for Anya and myself (Kai will wear jammies until after breakfast)
- Pack Anya’s lunch, setting the refrigerated items in their designated place in the fridge
- Verify that all homework is done, all forms signed, etc. I almost always take care of this stuff immediately after school, but I feel better if I double-check.
7:30 Tidy up kitchen and prepare for bedtime.
- Get our bedside water (Anya and Kai) and ginger tea (me) ready
- Set out jammies, plus a diaper for Kai
8:00 Brush teeth (mine and the kids) and shower. Usually the kids shower with me (which is all sorts of fun when I’m shaving); sometimes R takes one and I take the other, and occasionally they opt to take a bath and I shower all. by. myself. (Which is, at this point, a very strange, slightly lonely feeling.)
- Jammie up and get into bed
- Read a story or 5
9:00 Lights out; watch cooking show and nurse Kai until the kids are asleep (which usually takes less than 15 minutes).
- Catch up on email, social media; maybe play a game
- Drink a cup or two of tea
- Listen to my deep sleep meditation
In the mornings, I also have a routine:
6:00 Get up. (Or, as has been the case during our recent spate of late nights, hit snooze until 6:15.)
- Put in contacts, wash face, fix hair, put on sunscreen if I’m walking/makeup if I’m not walking
- Get dressed
- Fix a cup of tea
- Make Anya’s breakfast
6:30 Wake Anya.
- While she’s eating, brush her hair
- Administer our morning medications (allergy medicine, and recently a probiotic for her poor tummy)
- Finish my tea
- Help her dress
- Finish packing her lunch
- Ensure she has everything she needs for school
7:00 Drop her at school; go for a walk if time/weather allows
A bit rigid for pre-K? Perhaps. But you have to understand what mornings were like when I was a kid. Lots of fussing. There were usually tears. It was a stressful way to start the day.
I like that our mornings are stress-free zones. Yes, she occasionally fights me. She does not want to wake up and go to school; who does? But our mornings are nowhere near as frustrating as mornings were when I was a child.
So I will continue my overscheduling, even if it interferes with spontaneity and weeknight play time. Because all days should start — and end — well.