In terms of typical mornings of motherhood, I have been very spoiled. My daughter inherited both my love of sleeping in and spending mornings in solitude; she'd wake up long past the crack of dawn, and then entertain herself for hours while Mommy kept snoozing away. Once the tumultuous newborn days had settled out, we were often just starting breakfast by the time many of my mom friends were putting their little ones down for mid-morning naps. Once breakfast cleanup was over, it was a scramble to get out the door before noon. Often my planned morning errands were pushed off until after lunch and nap, if they happened at all.
Having another baby certainly messed with my night schedule, but my newest munchkin was content to go back to sleep, feeding after feeding, as long as he was snuggled into bed with Mommy. The not-so-wee hours of the morning were a time for catching up on slumber while Big Siser enjoyed a quiet morning playing without interference.
With the advent of preschool this fall, I was finally forced to dig out my alarm clock and face the dreaded hour of 7 am, with no hope of rolling over again once the baby's been fed. By 7:30, I'm downstairs putting breakfast together, and we're out the door by 8:45 - previously my pillow has only missed me that early on Sundays. It has been quite the adjustment - both in terms of getting everyone to bed on time the night before, and planning ahead to stream-line the morning process. Some mornings there's breakfast for three, other days I sneak away from the toddler only to wake him in time to strap him on my back and go.
Surprisingly enough, this early morning stuff is not half-bad once you get over the shock. I see sunrises as well as sunsets. My day begins with a short, slow-paced walk and a breath of fresh air. With only a two-hour window before preschool ends, there's little rushing about I can manage, so babe and I just meander on home for coffee and second breakfast. Even if nothing happens beyond breakfast clean-up before we head back out to pick up my preschooler at 11, I'm still no worse off, chore-wise, than if I'd stayed in bed all morning. Granted, I've had less sleep, but, oddly enough, my longer, yet slower, morning routine leaves me feeling more rested. The rush has diminished. The guilt of creating a panic through my own laziness is abated. And I can justify drinking more coffee.