This Is Why I’m Genuinely Exhausted at the End of the Morning Rush
An unfiltered look at our daily get-ready-for-school routine
I sent the kids off to school this morning, and then I went back to bed and heaved a sigh of relief.
When my husband came back from dropping them off at the school 20 minutes later, at around 8 AM, I looked at him and said:
I’m exhausted. Literally exhausted. And the day has just started.
My husband just nodded and said:
I can believe it.
I was having trouble believing it, so I reviewed the morning’s events in my mind. Today wasn’t much different from other days at my house.
So, here’s basically what our morning rush looks like.
My alarm goes off. I know I don’t technically have to wake up this early, but it helps me to slowly wake up and just make sure everything’s opening like it should — like, my eyes.
Shortly after my alarm goes off, I turn the TV on to Hallmark Movies and Mysteries so I can watch Hart to Hart. They’re funny.
I need funny early in the morning.
I wake my husband up shortly afterwards with a gentle singsong:
Coffee, breakfast time.
This is basically my (somewhat nice) way of telling him to get up and out of bed and fix my coffee and breakfast, while I stay tucked in bed watching my show.
Yes, my husband brings me breakfast in bed every morning. He has ever since we’ve been married— and maybe even before that.
I am truly blessed.
I’ve eaten my breakfast, drunk my coffee, scrolled through Facebook on my phone, and checked email just to see if there’s anything urgent I need to deal with.
There’s usually nothing urgent to deal with, email-wise, at 6:30 in the morning.
At this point, I’ll consider waking my girls up. But then I usually decide against it because I’m enjoying the absence of total chaos.
I really do think about waking the girls up now, and I start believing that it’s definitely necessary to do so. So, I drag my butt out of bed to walk into their room and call out:
Wake up, girls. It’s time to get ready for school.
They hardly ever wake up for real, but they usually are stirring at this point.
I grab two packages of Little Bites muffins out of the box, rip them open, and hand one to my older girl (yes, who’s still in the bed). The younger one usually isn’t awake enough to take the package out of my hand. So, I take a muffin out and set it gently between her lips, which usually cues her to start eating.
My eight year old is a champion at eating while sleeping.
Sometimes, I will ask her if she’d rather have cereal instead of muffins (the ten year old hasn’t eaten cereal since she was two years old and in daycare, so I never bother to ask her). If the younger one says she wants cereal, I tell her to get dressed first and go eat at the kitchen table.
I’ll let them eat muffins in bed in the morning, but cereal with milk?
Not a chance.
Usually, around this time, I’m panicking because the kids are still stuffing food in their mouths. And they may or may not be attempting to put their school uniforms on (the ones that I’ve retrieved and laid next to them on their beds, so they don’t even have to get up for that).
At this point, I’m calling out to them to:
Finish eating and get dressed.
Because I know we have about 30 minutes until my husband starts making comments about how they’re going to be late. And they still have to get dressed, brush hair, and brush teeth.
And I still have to throw a couple of Lunchables in their lunch bags along with their thermoses of water and encouraging/love notes from Mommy and Daddy. I started putting notes in their lunches last year at some point. I did it every day for a while, and then I got busy and forgot about doing it as much…until my ten year old said:
Mommy, you forgot the note in my lunch. And you forgot it yesterday too.
I didn’t even think she would notice. She did.
And I haven’t forgotten to put a note in her lunch bag since.
After I get the lunches in their backpacks (telling myself for the hundredth time that I should pack their lunches the night before, that way I wouldn’t be so rushed in the morning; I always tell myself that, but it never does any good), I sign their agendas and look for any homework or notes their teachers have sent home.
The rest of the half hour goes by in a flurry of activity.
- Making sure clothes and shoes get put on correctly.
- Making sure deodorant has been applied, as necessary.
- Making sure hair has been thoroughly brushed and styled — i.e., pushed and held back out of their faces with bobby pins, headbands, etc. This part usually does not occur without screams of protest as I try to remove certain stubborn tangles that certain children have basically ignored as they brushed their hair themselves. I’m pretty sure, at this point, the neighbors think we are torturing our children when we’re just trying to make sure they look okay to go out in public.
- Making sure teeth have been brushed (this activity also tends to have some fighting attached to it, as the eight year old typically refuses to use any toothpaste that isn’t fruit-flavored and laden with sugar) and fluoride mouthwash has been swished.
There’s a lull in the activity since the children are dressed and are basically ready to go. They rush to their Kindles to check what’s going on in their favorite games, like Minecraft and Roblox.
Their daddy and I do a few last-minute checks to make sure everything (and everyone) is ready to go. Then he starts reminding everyone that it’s time to go, or else they’re going to be late for school.
Daddy and daughters actually make it out the door and to the car. I collapse on my bed and grab my Bible (or the Bible app on my phone), and read a little and pray.
And, at some point during this quiet time, I realize how exhausted I am…as well as how thoroughly grateful I am that I do not work outside the home.
With morning rush over, I can actually lie down and take a 15-minute power nap. And, sometimes, that’s exactly what I do.
They don’t call it “power nap” for nothing!