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Now that I’m back to work, I’ve adjusted to the new normal of being in an office environment, and with that comes luxurious conversations about spreadsheets and revenue reports, adult gossiping by the water cooler and highly coveted private bathroom time.
I’ll be honest: it’s fantastic!
Don’t be fooled, though. As a working mom, I’m paying the price in other ways. The down-side to my new normal: the morning routine.
Here are a few wake-up calls on how your morning routine will change once you go back to your job.
Don’t count on getting your eight hours. E.V.E.R.
More often than not, you’ll be met with bitter disappointment. There will still be 3am wake-ups, nightmares, and monsters to contend with.
And while every “be-consistent” bone in your body will scream “Don’t let her sleep in your bed!!!!”, you’ll cave. You’ll do it and suffer perpetually getting kicked in the back all night long.
No mom has any will power at 3am, so forgive yourself and just go with it.
Waking up early to get ready? You may not be alone.
Yup, it’ll happen sometimes. You may have carved out some “Mommy-Time” in the mornings, but occasionally, your toddling train wreck may be right there with you, flushing the toilet just as you’ve snuck into the shower, or wanting to “help” with your make-up.
Bonus points for painting daddy’s face while he’s still sleeping. Because reasons.
Getting the kid dressed is an Olympic sport.
If you’re lucky enough to choose an outfit your snot machine will actually wear, getting them into it requires discipline, agility and speed.
There’s nothing like trying to put pants on a kid who’s turned themselves over and wriggling like a fiend, so you’re practically wheel-barrow-ing them around the room trying to get the damn pants over their ass.
And you’re supposed to transform into a professional adult after that? Yup. And you’ll own it because you’re a rockstar mom.
Breakfast is hit and miss.
One of the most frustrating things your kid can do in the mornings to refuse to eat breakfast. You could make dozens of healthy options and they’ll still look at you like, “Pffff, not likely, Mother.” They just dig their little heels in and won’t budge.
Ugh, and then there’s the mom-guilt. Nothing like sending your little angel to daycare with nothing in their stomachs to make you feel like a crappy mother.
I’ve been there, Mama. My best advice is to try some fruit, but sometimes, the kid just ain’t hungry. It happens, so just try to go with it.
The working mom’s morning routine is a hectic one. Just try and go with the flow.
Making lunches. I hate it too.
I’m there with you, mommy. I hate making lunches. Packing something that these ankle-biters will eat and that won’t put another kid in the hospital doesn’t leave very many options in our house.
Not only that, but the containers are never clean when you need them, the ice pack is never put in the freezer the night before. If breakfast goes the way of number 4, then you’re trying to get your kid to eat and make a healthy lunch at the same time.
Damn near impossible. All I can say is that sending the kid without one isn’t an option and the teacher does not want to deal with your “hangry” child, so you’re out of luck, Mommy.
If you’re running late, prepare for an epic tantrum.
It never fails. You’re running extremely late for work and your kid decides to have the biggest munchkin meltdown in history. You’re better-half is in the shower, so you’re on your own.
Stand your ground. You are still more patient than your kid. Do the best you can, and make sure you’re wearing waterproof mascara for the inevitable ugly mom-guilt cry in the car on the way to the office.
I love working, and I love my kids. The chaos in the morning just comes with the package, and no matter how much I organize, there’ll always be something that keeps me from getting to work on time. Sometimes it’ll be a fussy eater, sometimes it’ll be a getting-dressed wrestling match.
But every so often, it’ll be a quick pretend tea party under the covers. And working moms always have time for that.