Drink coffee. Reheat. Repeat.

When did this become my morning routine??

I used to be a morning person. I would literally skip down the stairs as the sun crept up over the horizon, make a pot of coffee, and enjoy the solitude that only the earliest minutes of daylight can offer. I would write, pray, listen to music, watch the news, sit in silence, whatever I wanted to do basically. I would even enjoy those couple cups of coffee slowly and intently. I savored them, in fact. Even through the first baby, this was my routine. My me-time. My time to take in the universe and to take in the small but awesome world around me. And to take in myself.

ENTER SECOND CHILD. This is where the story shifts, hence the all-caps. 14 months…the first time she slept through the night. And even then it wasn’t consistent. We’re talking 14 straight months of getting up several times a night for extended periods of time. And then for the day…EVERY day… around 4 am. Now, I have never been the co-sleeping, coddling, helicopter-type mom, but I am here to tell you, after over an hour of bloody-murder-style screaming at 2 a.m., you gotta do what you gotta do. And what you gotta do is sleep. This quickly became a hot-button issue for me, as all the other “normal” babies were sleeping soundly by 6 months, and “what if you just let her cry it out?” I still to this day laugh in the face of people who suggest this, FYI. And yes, I’ve read “Babywise.”

But I digress…probably because the memories literally make me shudder. Long story short, years 0-2.9 were a complete whirlwind. However, once she turned 3 years old, it was safe to say those days were completely behind us. She hit a great stride. She could sleep more peacefully and consistently, communicate more effectively, and really just enjoy life more fully. It seemed too good to be true. As I write this, she is about to turn 4, yet still I wake every morning completely in awe that she slept through the night and how amazing that feeling is for me personally, both as a mother and as a human being requiring a certain amount of sleep to function. She has turned into such an intelligent and strong-willed (ya think?!) little lady. I’ve never met anyone with more sass, more confidence, and more tenacity, and I look forward to (but am certainly not rushing) the days when these qualities will serve her quite well in this world.

My point is…it’s funny how kids change us. Once she showed up, my old morning routine ended. I actually miss it tremendously, and I would love to get it back, but unfortunately I still haven’t recovered from the years of no sleep. It’s become so hard now to wake up in the mornings. I set alarms, but I usually push snooze and drift back down until the familiar pitter-patter on the stairs jars me from some crazy dream.  Although I don’t judge myself for this lack of self-discipline, regaining time to myself in the mornings is something I am working towards everyday.

There’s certainly still a routine, however; it has just taken on a new form.  It is now…quite literally…drink coffee, reheat, repeat. In between each of these acts lies a certain amount of duties, including but not limited to…laundering peed-on sheets from the night before, raiding the fridge for Go-gurts or grapes or applesauces or eggs or hot dogs or whatever they may be craving that morning (which of course they will want at different times so right when you sit down you will have to get back up), making pancakes (but only with chocolate chips of course), negotiating arguments between “Mickey Mouse” on Disney Jr. and “Transformers” on the Roku, packing lunches if you’re lucky and they are in MDO that day, thinking about getting to places on time, and don’t even mention thinking about getting a shower, putting on real clothes and makeup, and having your own life. And here’s the worst part, although I’ve come to terms with it…there is only time for one cup of coffee, if I’m even lucky enough to remember it’s in the microwave.

This is the new routine. But you know what I have learned? Embrace it. Does it suck some days? Yes. Are the days long? Yes. Are the years short? Yes. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, there will be plenty of time in the future for those sunrises and cups of coffee that can actually be drunk before they get cold. Now is not that season. And I’m ok with that. What I can do is enjoy the time I have with them at this age and take time out for myself at other times of the day…that’s ok! In fact, that’s essential! But for now, the morning routine is…

Drink coffee. Reheat. Repeat.