Roll your eyes at me all you want, but I can’t live without my routines. Seriously, I’ve lived life without and I’ve lived life with. I’ll choose the routine every time. That doesn’t mean I don’t do things spur of the moment—I do. But my routine does save me from having a train-wreck of a morning that leads into an even worse day.

Let me paint the scene. I get up at seven and drag the oldest child from bed for his shower. I then struggle to find clothes for both children only to discover that all their uniforms are in the wash…we have to leave for school in 45 minutes max. I spot clean and vow to do laundry that day. Now running behind, I throw lunches together…no juice boxes. I guess I’ll be a bad mom and the kids can have a pop…then I realize the child has been in the shower twenty minutes, I yell at him to get out. I yell at the other one to get up—he has five minutes. There’s a mad rush of lost shoes, hastily stuffed together backpacks and I hand each child a cup of milk and a baggie of cereal to eat on the road. I’m tired and crabby. I sign papers and hand out pills on the way to school while I drive. Then there’s the discovery that the younger child has forgotten his lunch and the other didn’t bring gym clothes and then the yelling begins…and child one gets sullen and child two cries. We’ve left late so they’re late for school.

Ugly. It’s happened. I’m not proud of it, but it has. Total meltdown mode.

Let me paint you another picture. I get up at six and leisurely read my email while I sip the coffee I set to brew before I went to bed last night. I might even do a little work. A half hour later, I wake whichever child wasn’t the first to shower the day before. He does what he has to and gets dressed in the clothes that he’s laid out the night before. His brother takes his shower and follows the same routine. They both grab their lunches that I’ve made the night before while cooking dinner and put them in their already packed backpacks. Pills are taken, a hot breakfast is eaten because, hey! I had time and I decided what to make, yes, the night before. I send them into the bathroom to clean up whatever mess they’ve made while I wash the breakfast dishes and we actually then leave in enough time that they get to school ten minutes early.

I like version two better. The kids like it because, really, who wants to be yelled at? And they know what is expected of them and what they need to do each night and each morning. If nothing else, they’re being better prepared for their future.

Maybe it’s getting up earlier…I guess that’s part of it. But really, no clothing stress. No homework stress. No lunch problems. No lack of breakfast. I get my coffee which is very necessary. Everyone’s happy and my house is cleaner too. I think the routine wins. I’m not stressing because things are getting done and I’m not doing extra running or having to think up excuses for the office about why the kids are late. Again. I can come home and settle right into work with a sigh of pleasure because today…I was the good mom. And I vow that tonight, the good mom will return so that tomorrow we can have another good morning.

But for now, I open my computer and scroll to the sex scene I abandoned last night and get to work…

Things to do today:

1. Look at your routine.

2. It’s getting cooler. Time for crockpot recipes. Get something started today. At my house it’s beef stew and homemade bread.

3. Check out the discussion about series at Get a Grip.

4. Check out the demotivational posters at Evil Editor. I cracked up. Yeah…I’m a bad person. What can I say?


8 thoughts on “Routines

  1. I also set up the coffee pot every night. We used to have a timer that automatically turned it on every morning, but it wore out and we just haven’t gotten around to replacing it.Can TOTALLY relate to version #1! S had finally learned things go smoother when she goes to bed at a reasonable hour, and her mom isn’t a total bitch in the morning when she gets up on time! Who knew mornings were actually going smoothly 3 weeks into the school year? Mom’s only had to get nasty once, knock wood!


  2. If one little thing goes wrong in the morning, I have a total meltdown and everything goes to crap.However, I can’t use my crock pot anymore, because I didn’t clean it out the last time I made something in it and, in a fit of pique, I buried the dish part of it in the back yard under the pine tree and told Joe I accidentally broke it.


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