Each night after I tuck my precious little angels into bed, I make my list of things to do for the next day. I say my prayers and words of gratification and then try to fall asleep. I am usually awoken several times in the night by my baby and sleep has escaped me for the past two years. My intention is to set my alarm 15 minutes early so I can get a jump start on my day. I want to slowly get out of my bed, do a light stretch, take some deep breaths, brush my teeth and comb my hair.
Unfortunately, once my alarm sounds my clumsy, unpolished fingernails hit the snooze button and my original plans are out the window. I am forced to leap into action like a horse out of the gate. I rush to wake up my oldest children who growl at me as I approach their beds. I run downstairs to cook sausage and eggs to meet my sons request. He is a growing boy after all.
While breakfast is sizzling I walk my dogs and then fill their bowls with water and food. I dash back upstairs to wake my children who are still sleeping. I begin to pack the lunches and unload the dishes. At this point I am yelling from the steps, “Wake up!” They respond sourly, “I am awake.” This exchange often startles my sleepy baby who will require lots of attention. She is usually wet from being on her feeding tube all night and needs to freshen up. Breakfast is now burning as my children finally roll in to eat. “Where is my science book?” “I can’t find my coat.” “Pass me the ketchup.” We barely make the bus. Ding ding…Round one is over.
It is time for round two. My eight-year-old and six-year-old daughters usually awake with a smile as they hop out of bed and put on their clothes. Trouble begins when they decide to change their outfits again and again. “Mom I can’t find my purple polka dot leggings, where are they?” “Mom she took the sweater I was going to wear.” Fight number one erupts. Once our fashion drama ends our hair drama begins. My eight-year-old is very neat and particular. As I comb her hair and place the bow on top she yelps, “there is a lump in my hair, get it out.” I patiently work the lumps out. My six-year-old would rather go natural. Armed with a brush in one hand and detangler in the other I chase her around the house trying to tame her wild mane. I am now sweating and out of breath.
As they eat their breakfast, argument number two will begin over which piece of sausage is bigger or who gets the last banana. Milk spills all over the table and the baby begins to fuss. I remind myself to remain calm. Twenty more minutes and this will all be over. My girls always inspect their lunch boxes and decide to change what I have packed. “Mom, I don’t eat apples anymore.” I respond, “Really, you just ate one last night before bed.” “Well that was then…now I don’t.” I repack lunches.
Finally, it is time to put on our shoes and coats. This can be tricky when your daughter has a sensory issue. Aligning her socks just right so her shoes fit comfortably is very challenging and may require multiple tries. We are almost out the door when I hear, “Mommy the dog stole my hat.” “Mommy today is my show and tell day please help me find something.” I finally get to do my breathing because without taking deep breathes at this point I may loose my mind.
We pile into the car and drive to the bus stop which is located a quarter of a mile away. I would love to walk there in the morning, but time prevents us from a leisurely morning stroll. Lets face it – morning and leisurely do not happen when you have children. I kiss my girls good-bye and wave as the bus rolls away. It is now 8:05 a.m. and I feel like I put in a full day at a rodeo. I pat myself on the back because I survived another morning. All four children have made it out the door with food in their bellies, partially groomed, and ready for school. The struggle is real for mommies everywhere. Now, I will go brush my teeth.