I love reading about the morning routines of other parents and how they manage work, family and personal events in an effective way. Although it took us a while to establish a consistent schedule, we’ve settled into a nice flow that has been working for us for a while. Here’s what a typical workday looks like.
4:30 am: Max gets up at 4:30 like clockwork and usually starts crying in his crib, which wakes Aaron up. We haven’t set an alarm since he was born (which backfired twice). Aaron brings Max downstairs and heats up his morning milk. It’s crucial that we do this immediately because once he is out of his crib he gets really impatient about eating. I wake up soon after and groggily make my way downstairs and lay down next to Max. Aaron makes us each a latte (love that Nespresso!), changes Max’s diaper then comes and lays down next to us. We usually spend about 20 minutes lazing around on the floor with Max until one of us glances at the clock and realizes it’s time to get moving.
Aaron goes up to shower and gets ready while I start breakfast. We have always been really regimented about our breakfast routine, and that has not changed since Max was born. We scramble 7 eggs with spinach (1-2 eggs for Max), bacon, fruit and I’ll usually add half a bagel with cream cheese. While I’m getting things ready, Max likes to “brew” coffee on his keurig, which usually keeps him occupied for a while. I sit down and start eating with Max. Once Aaron comes down we trade off and he finishes breakfast and clean up with Max while I get ready. The night before, I’ve started going through my closet and picking out my outfit. This small effort has dramatically reduced the time spent staring at my clothes in the morning.
Depending on how hectic the morning gets, sometimes Max watches a little Thomas so we can finish getting ready or sometimes we have a little extra time to take him outside so he can “mow the lawn”. He loves pushing the lawnmower around our driveway, but gets frustrated when he takes it onto the lawn because it doesn’t roll easily on grass. In the summer, it has been really nice to give him some time outside before it gets too hot.
6:30 am: Out the door. To minimize the morning chaos and the liklihood something will be forgotten, I always gather Max’s things the night before. Whether it is his swim wear for water day or he needs more diapers, I always make sure to put those items in plain sight in the car. Usually anywhere in the front seat guarantees that we won’t miss it. Max’s daycare is 5 minutes away and he is usually the first one there. Luckily drop offs are easy because Max loves seeing Mrs. Donna the morning teacher.
Since Max is such an early riser, we have shifted our schedules earlier which turned out to be a big time saver. Driving in at 6:45 am cuts 4 minutes off our communte compared to driving in during morning rush hour and 3 minutes off the drive home (data according to Moves app). Seven minutes may not seem like a lot, but 35 minutes a week translates to time we get to hang with Max.
7:15 am: Aaron and I get to work. Mornings are my favorite time of day to get stuff done. And since I’m usually in before most people, I am typically really productive and can cross a lot off my to-do list.
4:00 pm: Leave work. Both of us work in academia so that affords some flexibility. Of course there are days when a meeting runs late or a deadline is looming and it’s impossible to leave at 4. When we can anticipate those times, we drive separately. I love that Aaron and I carpool to work because it’s such a great time for us to catch up on our days.
4:45 pm: Pick up Max.
5:15-5:45 pm: Bike ride. We recently bought bikes and a child seat and have been enjoying family bike rides. Aaron and I have been down on ourselves lately for not establishing a consistent exercise routine, so bikes were the solution to that problem. We bought an extra base so we can easily move the child seat between bikes. This is my favorite time of day when we get to hang with Max.
6:00 pm: Dinner. Aaron and I try to eat with Max because both of us grew up in households where dinner was always a family affair, but it’s tough. Days when we do are usually when we have eat smart meals delivered so dinner prep is simple. But eating dinner so early has its downsides in that we usually require dinner #2 around 8:30.
6:30 pm: Bathtime. Max loves playing in the bath and could sit in there for hours if we let him. Afterwards it’s “diaper time” where Max runs around like the happiest little boy in just his diaper. I don’t know what it is about his clothes coming off that makes him deliriously happy, but it’s adorable. During this time we also run after him with his toothbrush in an effort to brush his teeth.
7:00 pm: Bedtime. Aaron and I switch off between putting Max to bed and starting dinner. Lately Max’s favorite bedtime books have been “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” and “Mighty Dads”. He has a cast of superheros above his crib and before we put him down he likes us to name all the superheroes on his wall (iron man, captain America, super man, batman, spider man). Once we put him down, he typically cries for 2-5 minutes and then falls asleep.
7:30 pm: Dinner. Aaron and I eat dinner and wind down from our day. If we have work then this is the time when it gets done otherwise we usually like watching a show together. Right now we are hooked on “Stranger Things” and “Mr. Robot”.
9:00 pm: Shower. I love listening to marketplace and taking a long shower to relax. During this time Aaron cleans up downstairs. Then we switch and while he showers I get things ready for the next day.
10:00 pm: Bed. We start thinking about going to bed around 9:30 so realistically that means 10:00-10:30. We watch CNET update or check out the latest Hyper videos while brushing our teeth. Then we read for a little before falling asleep. These days Max pretty much sleeps through the night so we’ve been enjoying uninterrupted sleep until our mini alarm clock goes off at 4:30 and wakes us up for another day.