Toothpaste gate – a typical morning for working families

working families morning routine

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The goal:  everyone needs to leave the house – 2 children to get to school by 8:45 latest, one baby to nursery, 2 adults to go to work.  How hard can it be?

The alarm goes off, 7:00.  Hit snooze.  Baby D came in at midnight and I tossed and turned with him in the bed until 5am when he would not be pacified anymore and wanted to sit up and chat – loudly.   And crawl around the bed.   He fell asleep at 6:15, think I dozed off around 6:30.

7.10 hit snooze.   Phoebe comes in and thankfully goes out again.  Snooze until 7.30 – remind DH he needs to get up.   7.40 – tell DH he really should get up if he has any hope of getting the kids to school on time.   7.45 – he begrudgingly gets up. I don’t have to go until slightly later but end up getting up too to help. Baby D is awake.  I get cross that I’m doing it all again when I told him to get up on time.   I get breakfast for the 2 older ones – usual struggle trying to get them to commit to a breakfast choice – should I give them a choice?  Probably not.  DH appears like a bear with a sore head, barks at them to get dressed.  Confused, they are trying to eat breakfast then they try to comply with getting dressed.  I am muttering under my breath about how he should have got up, he needs to be more responsible – this does not help.  I get dressed and shove some toast in for myself.  I help William get dressed, he’s struggling to get his pants on the right way round – I tell him once he gets to 7 (he’s 6) he has to get dressed by himself – well, here’s hoping.  DH has managed to get Phoebe dressed, I start looking for her hairbrush, last seen with Baby D who has proudly learnt what a hairbrush is for and loves to carry it around brushing his fuzzy hair – v. cute but he transports it into places unknown.  I find the hairbrush behind the kitchen door aka no-mans land.  Start plaiting her hair, Baby D now has hold of P’s toothpaste (no lid) and toothbrush.  He knows what this does too, I manage to rescue the toothpaste before he squeezes it all out, let him have the toothbrush, figure it will be a good teething toy and he can brush his own teeth, win-win.  One plait down, glance over at Baby D, he’s frothing at the mouth a bit and using the toothbrush as a drum stick on our sofa, small wet patch appears (we got leather sofas some years back, fabric sofas are a no-no with children, at least for me).  I place the hairbrush down next to me and said wet patch, DH comes in with coffee, I barely notice him in my tired morning confused state, he sits down on the hairbrush and looks at me like I’m the worst sort of human – I’d barely noticed the wet bit and was laughing at him sitting on a prickly hairbrush!  He shouts, “Why didn’t you clear that up?!” Clear what up, I thought?  Ah, the toothpaste/spit patch!  I explain I was doing P’s hair and hadn’t had the time to reach out one of my other arms to the kitchen and get a cloth etc.  He moves to the armchair with a growl.  I worry about his blood pressure.  We’ve forgotten to get cat food, it’s run out – give them a slice of ham each to pacify them.  Somehow manage to get them ready, I dress the baby ready for nursery, the children are loaded into DH’s car.  I see his sandwiches for lunch on the side, forgotten and forlorn.  I grab my toast and eat it on the way to work in the car.

Every day both of us think we need to be more organised.  We try, we have a box for their schoolbags, kit needed, books and things, we have their coats and shoes in a cupboard.  Even on rare days when we’re out and ready on time, there’s always something that holds us up – delays getting shoes on, finding shoes, ‘I need gloves,’ ‘and my special hat,’ ‘no not that one,’ ‘I need a poo,’ a meltdown (from me) or something else bizarre.  Yes, we should get up earlier but even when I do there’s a complacency vibe and we still get that rushing around like headless chickens part.  I’ve had various suggestions:
  • Prepare the night before – we’re so exhausted putting them to bed and Baby D is sometimes still awake by the time I go to bed so any precious time in the evening is spent staring zombie like at the TV or, shock horror, talking to each other.
  • Set the clock 15 minutes earlier and go by that time – this may work if I could trick myself into believing it was the time but I can’t un-know that I’ve set it!
  • Let them sleep in their uniform – seriously, who does this?
  • Keep a set of organiser drawers with uniform laid out in each one and things they need – this would work if I used separate uniform each day but I don’t, if it’s still visibly clean it goes on again the next day.

Have you got any tips for me?  Help!  I think neither of us are morning people and we take a while for our brains to warm u and get going so that doesn’t help, plus we probably have that time vortex problem where we think things will take 5 minutes when really they take 10.  When evening came around toothpaste gate was forgotten (except I wrote a blog post about it..) and all was forgiven, until tomorrow…

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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  • Reply Emma Jones

    Great post. I’ve actually wrote something similar. I keep wet wipes in the car now for the inevitable toothpaste stain or chocolate cereal still around their mouths. My daughter is nearly 9 so pretty much sorts herself out so it’s does get easier except when she tells me once we are in the car she needs her hair up as it’s a PE day. Argh! #kcacols lifeinthemumslane

    January 10, 2016 at 11:03 pm
    • Reply Midwife and Life

      There’s always something! I’m forever losing the wet wipes too…

      January 10, 2016 at 11:10 pm
  • Reply Harry's Honest Mummy

    This comment in your post had me laughing my socks off as I actually heard myself saying it:

    Set the clock 15 minutes earlier and go by that time – this may work if I could trick myself into believing it was the time but I can’t un-know that I’ve set it!

    I have to be really disciplined in the evening to get things done for the morning but I do lapse – often – as I really struggle to hold down a routine. CBeebies keeps me on track with my schedule. I can only hope it gets easier for you as the little one gets older and you start getting more of the evening back to yourself. #KCACOLS

    January 11, 2016 at 9:08 pm
    • Reply Midwife and Life

      Ha ha, let’s hope so!

      January 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm
  • Reply tracey bowden

    I have absolutely no tips for you as we to fail to get up pretty much every morning with the drama and ‘ I should of done this last night’ going on but we are never late for school though amazingly! #KCACOLS

    January 12, 2016 at 11:59 am
    • Reply Midwife and Life

      Ugh, it’s awful! Apparently it gets easier but I doubt it!

      January 12, 2016 at 12:51 pm
  • Reply Maria @ Suburban Mum

    Sorry but this did make me laugh! I am usually up at 6.30 mon-weds as I start work at 8 so I don’t get the pleasure of seeing DH getting the boys up and ready and out of the door. Come thurs/fri it is my turn and I am usually up at 7.15(ish) to get the boys ready whilst DH lays in bed until the last possible moment and gets up at 8am to get ready himself to go to work.

    He actually told me the other day that when he does it things are “calm” and he doesn’t shout at them….hmmph!!!

    He also once told me off for not shouting up to him to make sure he got up in time (the cheek of it!)

    We do both skip breakfast or tea or anything like that usually and save that for when we get to work/done the school run. We literally get the boys up , dressed, breakfast in them and then we aim to get out of the door.

    We don’t put the TV on in the mornings either.

    I hope things work out for you but for me school run mornings are always going to be stressful no matter what! lol #KCACOLS

    January 13, 2016 at 3:59 pm
    • Reply Midwife and Life

      I agree, always stressful! It was meant to make people laugh, including me!

      January 13, 2016 at 4:11 pm
  • Reply Mommy's Little Princesses

    *Hugs* Oh gosh your house sounds exactly like mine in the morning *total chaos*. I have tried the whole getting us all up early thing and that itself doesn’t always work. However I find if I get up and get ready while the kiddies are still asleep I have a bit more time as I don’t have all three of us to get ready, and I can focus more on them and their needs. I have Ella’s book bags and school bags ready and waiting in the hallway so that she can pick them up after putting on her shoes.Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!xx #KCACOLS

    January 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm
  • Reply A Moment with Franca

    I love this post Jenny!!! This is just what really happens in my house too. I was actually having a conversation the other day with my hubby about what to do to improve this situation but everything we do we fail at it lol. The only positive thing is that Bella’s teacher lives in front of us so she kindly picks up Bella in the morning and takes her to school. She normally stops by at 8:10 am but Bella is never ready by that time. Normally the teacher waits another 5 minutes so we have until 8:15 but if we don’t have Bella ready by that time that is it, we have to take her. I don’t know why is always a struggle. Sienna wakes up every morning around 7 am so she is kind off my alarm but not for the other ones as I come back to bed with her and breastfeed her for another 20 minutes and then when she got enough is time to wake up as there is no other option so this is the moment that DH stands up! But then is breakfast, change Bella (she doesn’t do anything on her own, grr), wash their teeth etc!!! Same than you. It is crazy!! No matter what we do, we always ended up shouting every morning!! I wish we can change this too!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m glad to have you back for this week. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

    January 16, 2016 at 11:42 am
    • Reply Midwife and Life

      Thanks, I’m glad it’s not just me, feel so disorganised sometimes and I try so hard. I hear it gets easier, I’m changing the way I work so I can take them to school each day and be a bit more relaxed but I bet I’ll still end up rushing around!

      January 16, 2016 at 11:47 am
  • Reply Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    Sorry, not fresh tips from me. I’m in awe of the fact you still manage to get five of you out the door reasonably on time. I’ve just started putting the breakfast bowls out in the morning and that helps because I used to have to try to get everything ready while holding the baby. There’s now a banana waiting on her highchair in the morning to occupy her while I sort out cereal and milk for everyone else. Small victories 🙂 #KCACOLS

    January 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm
    • Reply Midwife and Life

      Yes definitely, hooray for small victories!

      January 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Sara at Handy Herbs

    I am sure we all suffer the same things in the morning! I try very hard to have everything that is possible organised the night before – packed lunches done, breakfast table laid, p. e. kits ready in hall, etc etc! It’s still pretty chaotic though! #KCACOLS

    January 16, 2016 at 12:52 pm
    • Reply Midwife and Life

      I think there will always be an element of chaos, and then we’ll miss it when it’s gone!

      January 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm

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