#HappyBirthdayToMyEldestDaughter – Today is my eldest daughter’s 12th birthday! This morning while playing on pinterest at 4 am, (Don’t judge me, it’s the only time my house and life are completely still) it hit me that I have been a mommy for twelve whole years. It really does feel like it was yesterday when I was anxiously anticipating her arrival. My world has completely revolved in the last decade+2.

One of the major changes in the past twelve years has been my so-called routine. I used to have one. I promise you, I DID. I remember rising at 6am in order to be at work at 8am and carelessly choosing to work out before or after work (which was totally dependent upon what’s showing on tv or when and where happy hour was happening that night).

Twelve years and two daughters later:

The only routine I have before work is the routine I plan in my head. I always check off the major boxes. You know, bathing, brushing teeth and getting dressed. Everything else is up for negotiation depending on how far in advance they remember to tell me they have a game after school or if they volunteered me to pick up donuts for the entire grade. Although I don’t compromise on the getting dressed aspect of my morning to do’s, how long I have to complete tasks is a different story. Last week, I literally ran out of the house barefoot with 2 different pairs of boots, a coat, work bag and pocketbook filled with everything needed to curl my hair and put on my face at the office (since I ran out of time at home). It was a choice between getting my girls to school on time or putting on shoes. They win every time.

This is what my routine looks like in my head when I wake up every morning at 4 a.m.

  • Make a nutritious shake in the Vitamix for my family and me.
  • Prep dinner.
  • Make a quick but balanced breakfast and have the time to actually chew and swallow while seated.
  • Organize a to do list for the rest of my day.
  • Pick out clothes, you know, the nice ones that actually need to be ironed/ dry cleaned.
  • Take a relaxing shower that will set the pace for my productive day ahead.
  • Walk to the car in an orderly fashion and drive off slowly to drop the children off to school.


What my REAL routine looks like when I wake up every morning at 4 a.m.

  • Put in a load of laundry or if I “passed out” the previous night, rewash the clothes that have been left in the washer overnight.
  • Attempt to slow down my mind that runs constantly and have a quiet moment, UNTIL I remember that I had to help the youngest daughter study and I fell asleep before I could finish my report for work that is due in 5 hours.
  • I love to cook and bake from scratch so I find additional time in my morning, ie. finish working before 5 am, then I will usually prep or cook dinner and bake a treat. (This is especially true since we can sometimes get home late when one of them has practice or a game after school.)
  • Wake up my eldest daughter who religiously and intentionally sleeps through the blaring alarm.
  • Try to hop in the shower before the water goes cold and hop out before anyone attempts to scream “MOMMY” at the top of their lungs because they can’t find socks, complain that the uniform doesn’t fit properly, fight with each other over who is supposed to feed the guinea pigs, or reminds me that I am supposed to give them $80 this morning for school because they forgot to ask for donations from family and friends.
  • After getting 5 minutes from beginning to end max in the bathroom each day to get ready for work, I run out of the house 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave and hope that we don’t get stuck behind a school bus on the way to school. I don’t know when is the last time that I’ve warmed up my car before heading out.

Would I change a thing? NOPE! My birthday girl went to cheerleading camp this summer for a week and I was bored out of my mind. My lack of routine is my routine and it’s the one and only way my house runs like clockwork. In a few years when I’m an empty nester, I’m sure I’ll look back at our crazy “routine” and laugh but for now I’ll refer to the routine “in my head” when I am seeking a moment of sanity.