I’ve always been an obnoxious morning person. I can’t help it. I love the quiet possibility of a new day, the color of sunrise and a steaming cup to wrap my hands around. And usually, I love what life looks like before 8 a.m.
In recent years I admit that I haven’t appreciated mornings with the enthusiasm I used to—multiple night wake-ups for years on end have turned the a.m. into more of a struggle. But fresh sunlight and cool morning air still have a special place in my heart.
I love the idea of being up before the children. In my imagination I would be dressed, my bed would be made, and I would have already sorted a load of laundry before they rise. Mornings like this are like a comet—they only come around every once in awhile. 😉
In reality, most nights I have been up too many times in the dark. I awaken to thumping feet and a squeaking door. I fight the lure of sleep and drag myself out of bed to meet the parade of little ones with wonderfully disheveled hair.
All four of our children share a room, so usually when one emerges, the others follow like ducklings wrapped in every blanket they own. Then the baby starts feeling left out and yells to be collected from his crib.
Everyone ends up on the couch, a bundle of legs and blankies and yawns. Some days they stare with unfocused eyes until they fully wake. Other mornings they fuss at each other for being near one another’s space. Today Daddy cuddled with them, which is always a treat.
I swing my 13-month-old baby onto my hip and shuffle to the kettle for tea. Sometimes little tummies need food right away, so I’ll get a snack for whoever is too hungry. Many mornings my middle children sip a cup of peppermint tea with honey before breakfast.
The morning begins. Sometimes we read a quick story. I change diapers. I suggest that the older children clothe themselves today because we have a guest. (Normally my older boys would be only wearing shorts until we absolutely have.to.leave.the.house) Today Daddy does the diaper chore and spends some time with the kiddos
destroying playing in their bedroom.
I locate my now-lukewarm mug of tea and head to the stove to cook some scrambled eggs. While I whisk, the children realize how hungry they are and communicate it by loud voices and living room gymnastics. Must. Feed. Them. Now.
Breakfast time! I search frantically for sippy cups and get the kids’ drinks. Who had the Lightning McQueen sippy yesterday?! After a prayer, I read a quick devotional and passage from the Bible. This reading is something I do every morning while the kids are (kind of) sitting in one place.
Breakfast is, of course, an exercise in who can make the most ridiculous noises in their cup or with their eggs as usual. Hubby and I chorus “Everybody eat a bite!” every 90 seconds or so. You know how it goes.
After plates are cleared the children tumble outdoors to get their wiggles out. I rinse the dishes, wipe off the table, and follow them outside. We check the garden, marvel over new growth and water flowers. Most summer mornings I hang a load of laundry on the line. Generally, we soak up the fresh air and Colorado sunshine.
It’s “Poop Hour.” (Is this a thing in anyone else’s house? Anyone?!) I take the little ones inside and change more diapers/soiled undies while my husband starts a Saturday project with the older boys in tow.
Most days I sneak away to change into real clothes and then brew a cup of coffee. Today, I’m staying in my husband’s pj pants until it’s time for swimming lessons. 🙂
I watch the kids from the kitchen sink while I load the dishes into the dishwasher. Help older boys solve a squabble. Dash outside to catch the toddler from climbing too high on the fort.
Our day is officially underway. Soon the baby will take his morning nap, so I print off coloring pages (Paw Patrol, of course) to pacify older siblings.
I take a minute to look over my list and do what I do every day: try to take over the world, (Pinky). But you know, I’d even settle for that never-ending pile of laundry beside the washer.
Thanks for joining us before 8 a.m.
> > > Major shout-out to Meg with Margaret Koning Photography for capturing our routine so beautifully. If you have a “chapter” of life that you’d like to remember in a particularly real, yet beautiful way, I can’t recommend her enough! For more pictures, and a peek into Meg’s perspective of this before 8 am shoot, be sure to check out her post here.