274 + 176 + 43 weeks
If Mila or Ryan wakes up first, David usually gets up to take care of their breakfast while I roll over and pretend to sleep. If Margot wakes up first, he stays in bed a little longer because she only wants breakfast from me. It’s about half and half, so we get to take turns “sleeping in.” As the rest of the family rolls out of bed, we eat our respective breakfasts–usually cereal, yogurt + granola, or a peanut butter sandwich–and get the day going.
The two little ones get fresh diapers. While David gets ready for work, I check emails and peek in Mila’s backpack to make sure she has everything she needs for the day. Then I put together her lunch (hummus, cucumbers, fruit, and either crackers or half a pita), help her find clean school clothes, and do her hair while David entertains the baby. Mila gets a squeeze and a kiss (“Be a good friend and learn something new!”) then she and David walk to school.
While they’re gone, the little ones and I play for a bit. David comes back home, finishes whatever he needs to do before he takes off, then kisses everyone goodbye and leaves. Then our respective work days begin.
For now, we’ve settled into a comfortable stride. Every gets fed, dressed, and off to where they need to be. Some days feel more frantic than others, but mostly it works for us.
Sometimes I feel guilty that our morning routine isn’t different. It might be nice to sit down across from David at the dining table and eat breakfast together instead of eating in shifts in the family room. Maybe we could actually cook some eggs or oatmeal, something that would stick with us a little longer. We could say a family prayer. Start our day a little less haphazardly.
Like I said, though, it mostly works. We’ve got this tag team morning parenting down pretty well. You take this kid while I put my contacts in. I’ll feed that one while you help the other get dressed. It’s familiar. It’s not perfect but it’s functional.
When we were first married, our morning routine began extra early. I worked from 6 AM to 3 PM, so I’d be up and showered and gone by 5:40. David’s classes didn’t start till later so he could sleep for another hour or two after I left. He also tended to stay up later than me, working or doing homework. It wasn’t our favorite, but we made it work.
Then there was the year I taught 8th grade and David was in school; I kept a teacher’s schedule while David had a student’s. After that I worked retail and we both had schedules that varied day to day. Eventually our first baby was born and David was commuting 45 minutes to work on weekdays. These days we actually get to sleep in a little, comparatively speaking, even though the kiddos still get us up earlier than either of us would prefer.
(We’ve never been morning people.)
Still, as our routine has changed over the years, we’ve made it a point to do one thing every morning. Whoever leaves first kisses the other goodbye: “Have a good day, love. I love you.” Whether it’s 4 AM or not till a weekend afternoon, we do this every. single. day.
I think it makes a difference. There’s something very reassuring about those words, that small repeated action. I’m not sure if it makes our marriage stronger or if our marriage is already solid so we are happy to do it. Maybe both. Either way, it’s always been part of our morning routine, and even though I know other things will change, I hope that never does.
What does your married person morning routine look like? Do you wake up early to exercise or eat together? Is one of you up long before the other? Does your work schedule keep you apart in the morning or do you start your days at the same time? Most of all, I’d love to know: what little traditions do you have that make you and your spouse’s morning go smoothly?