I had thought mornings with a family would be my partner and me sitting at the table leisurely drinking coffee and brunching together while reading the paper. And, if we had kids (I thought maybe 1-2 if any) they would cheerfully get ready needing occasional help with buttons and socks.
Turns out, I don’t read a physical paper, if I get to eat at the table I’m lucky, and I don’t buy clothes with buttons unless my kids can manage them on their own.
In fact, for a while there, our mornings were anything but peaceful and we didn’t know it but not having a simple morning routine impacted our night time sleep.
Every day my 11-year-old and 13-year-old, wearing headphones, stumble into the living room, bleary eyed and groggy. Barely able to form a coherent sentence, they each head outside where they stand for 30-90 seconds barefoot in the grass with their faces to the sky, taking deep breaths most certainly NOT talking to each other. By the time they come back in they’ll be full of teen chill and on their way to the kitchen to feed the bottomless pits that are their stomachs.
Meanwhile my husband is in the kitchen in some stage of coffee making, from putting the kettle on and grinding beans to pouring two mugs of the steaming black brew (and bringing one to me). Then he hides in the kitchen for 10 seconds to breathe in his liquid energy alone for a fleeting moment.
Our 3-year-old is declaring what song selection she wants and I connect my phone’s bluetooth to the stereo and press play so she can twirl through the house to be constantly in motion for the rest of the morning getting ready for school. The 9-year-old is chatting about her dream or what she’s looking forward to in her day, brushing her hair and packing All The Snacks for school. My eldest is probably packing up to head to dance class and my next two biggest are still in bed but will drag themselves outside barefoot in another hour or two.
As for me, I’m on the couch nursing my youngest who can’t function well in the morning until she’s had two boob-fulls which is not unlike me and coffee. When I get the chance, I’ll head outside for a minute, get my feet in the dewy grass and fill my lungs with the crisp morning air before heading out with my cup of coffee in hand and the baby in stroller to take the preschooler to school.
I’m Jessica, a relationship and parenting coach and mom of 8 girls in the Pacific Northwest.
That’s 8 girls with 2 bathrooms, 9 beds, 2 dogs, 5 bedrooms, dozens of shoes, countless pairs of socks, infinite mountains of laundry, and so many dishes.
Mornings in our house are a special kind of chaotic.