The Morning Routine of One Regular Mom

The other morning while trying to simultaneously — do the dishes, get the cat away from the pile of unfolded laundry and also check the morning news — this article popped up as “recommended for me”:

The Morning Routines of 12 Women Leaders

As I was in the midst of my own morning routine, I thought it would be interesting to compare. If, like me, you do not have the time to read the whole article — let me give you the highlight reel from a few different mothers, at least the ones Forbes picked.

Their Morning Highlights:

  • Mom A: 4:45am Wake up and have a bowl of quinoa cereal. I do an hour or so of 3rd or 4th series Ashtanga yoga.
  • Mom B: 7:15–7:45am Make breakfast for family. When producing or directing, I rarely made it home in time to cook dinner, so I shifted the focus to breakfast. I make buttermilk pancakes, eggs in a frame, and for over a decade, we have Crepes Thursday. I make the batter the night before (so the flour absorbs the liquid) and then customize for each family member with fresh-toasted pecans, Nutella, marshmallows, and bananas.
  • Mom C: 5:44am My internal clock, without fail, always wakes me 60 seconds before iPhone alarm goes off.
  • Mom D: 6:30am Breakfast with husband

Now to be fair there were a few — "ask kids to get shoes on…..ask kids to get shoes on again" pieces in here but overall, there was a lot of breathing, working out, reading several newspapers and making complicated breakfasts. I began to temporarily think that I was the odd woman out here. Was I just not able to pull it together? Was I a bad mom for not having "Crepes Thursday"?

So, after I dropped my temper tantrum throwing 3 year old at daycare that morning I asked another mom — “did you do any yoga this morning?” she almost snorted her coffee out her nose. I felt a bit better.

I went to work and after getting nothing done other than tidying off my desk, I went back to Google to look up more “morning routines” and it was more of the same. It still made me feel like shit. So, I thought — I will add my morning routine to the list to balance things out. When I make it to being one of the Top 12 women leaders — this is the story I will share.

My Morning Routine

  • 6:45am: Alarm goes off. Curse the Gods that it has only been an hour since I had just been up with a weepy 3 year old who refused to go back to bed without a back rub and song at 4:45am
  • 6:50am: Still laying there. I am not meditating or breathing but deciding whether or not to weep due to lack of sleep.
  • 6:55am: Forced to get up. My 5 year old is on the toilet and I heard him tell his brother to pee in the bath if he can’t hold it.
  • 7:00–7:15am: Navigate 4 bodies in one bathroom as showers, teeth brushing, shaving and yelling all take place at the same time.
  • 7:15–7:30am: Get dressed, brush hair. Help kids get their clothes on and get downstairs. My 3 year old has a banana. I don’t even know where he got that.
  • 7:30am: Make breakfast. Your choices are fruit, cereal or yogurt or any combination of the three because Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I like to offer a comfortable variety — I now call Continental Breakfast in order to compete with that woman’s Crepe Thursday.
  • 7:35am: Take naked 3 year old back upstairs — as he has somehow managed to undress himself.
  • 7:45am: Kids take 10 minutes to read books, play a quiet game or wrestle and break furniture. This is time I now have to spend changing my shirt. I thought I could get away with the yogurt stain but realized I have apple sauce all over my pants.
  • 7:55am: We start to get ready to leave for daycare and school
  • 8:15am: After successfully finding shoes for both kids, having them get their coats on by asking less than 25 times and with both school bags in hand I am feeling victorious. We are early! I look forward to a pleasant stroll and enjoying quality time with my kids.
  • 8:30am: Burst back through the front door. We were halfway to daycare when I realized I forgot both a lunch and permission form. Found both. But now we are required to jog to get to school on time.
  • 8:35am: Feel like I won the lottery when our neighbour asks if she can walk my oldest to school so I can head directly to daycare. YES! Thank you! MY NEIGHBOUR IS AWESOME!
  • 8:45am: Get to daycare and spend 10 minutes trying to get a pair of indoor shoes on a 3 year old who insists that he doesn’t like the way his shoe looks next to his other shoe.
  • 9:00am: Back home and ready to get to work. Spent an hour cleaning desk and then wrote a blog post instead of working on program development.

Now I just have to sit and wait for Forbes to call. I am ready for my morning interview.

Allison Venditti

Career Coach, HR Expert, salary negotiation whisperer, pay transparency and equity advocate. Founder of My Parental Leave and Moms at Work, Canada's largest organization committed to helping women earn more money, land better jobs and build community. Allison was named The Globe and Mail Report on Business Top 50 Changemakers 2022, is a regular speaker and media expert with over 100 interviews in 2021.

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