Don’t let the door hit you in the—

Mornings are crazy.  We manage to get out the door, but not without a bit of stress.  Can anyone identify?

Here’s how a typical (hectic) morning in the Stuart household looks:

Up at 7:00 – I know, I know…We should get up earlier; things would run so much more smoothly.  I got it!

After breakfast is eaten, beds are made, teeth are brushed and kids are dressed, it 7:55.  Awesome – we’ve got 5 minutes before the bus arrives.  Just enough time for my blood pressure to level out.

Oh, but wait!  It’s getting colder, which means we need coats on, and oh yeah!  The hall closet is so packed with coats that by the time I dig one out that actually fits, it’s 7:58.  Up goes the blood pressure and, at this point, I actually begin clapping my hands.

Yes, sometime in the last year, I actually morphed into the mom who claps her hands at her children.  “C’Mon guys, we gotta go out.  Let’s go, go, go!”  clap, clap, clap.

By the time we manage to get out – usually Landon is the one who ends up outside without his shoes or coat on…poor third child – my heart is racing and I feel like I need a stiff drink.  Don’t worry – I don’t imbibe.  At least not yet.

Once child #1 is packed off to school (loaded down with hugs and kisses – I’m not mean mommy), it’s time for mommy to get dressed because I’m usually shivering out on the front porch barefoot in my pajamas.  Once I get myself dressed and ready and finally get the poor third child fully clothed, I usually discover that Tia has shed her socks and shoes somewhere in the recesses of our house.

And by the time I get her shoes back on her feet, Landon has shed his shoes somewhere in the recesses of the house.  So I threaten Tia within an inch of her life if she removes her shoes again, I clap my hands a few times for good effect, I locate Landon’s shoes and I pack the two younger kids in the car, not even bothering to put Landon’s shoes back on his feet.

At this point, I usually notice that the dog’s food and water bowls are bare and guilt sends my running back in to fill them. 

When I come back out, it’s not uncommon to find Tia jumping around in the car rather than sitting in her seat with her belt buckled.  Thus necessitating the need for more clapping. 

My hands are getting raw.

I hop in the car and then it hits me.  Where are my keys?!  Where are my KEYS?!?

With the clock an ever present reminder of just how late we really are, I search, I tear, I mutter and growl, I stomp around the house, I pass the key ring hanging just inside the door where Lee always tells me to hang my keys when I come in and I glare at it for good measure.

(This evening, when running late for russian school, I may or may not have muttered a few choice words under my breath as I frantically searched for my missing car key.  All the while Lee looked at me in mild amusement and wisely stayed out of my way.  I found it in the bottom of my purse, by the way.  Only after I checked there for the third time.) 

Usually, though, I find them someplace really obvious, like the pocket of my jeans, or on the bathroom floor, or under the crumbled mess of snacks in the bottom of the diaper bag.

And somehow, I make it out the door, dropping Tia off with seconds to spare (loaded down with hugs and kisses, of course).

And many days I head to the gym where I drop Landon off and I fight the urge to curl up in the fetal position in a dark corner and suck my thumb.

Seriously, while I make it seem absolutely awful, our morning routine is not horrible, but it is hectic.  Getting three kids dressed and ready to get out the door can be stressful.

So what about you?  How do you make it out the door in the morning?


  1. Anonymous says

    Amen sister! I have struggled with all those same issues too. One thing that has helped a ton, is to drive the kids to school instead of the bus. Even though we are usually out the door withing minutes after the bus passes, it just seems to take most of the stress out of the am, because we aren’t yelling saying, “hurry up the bus is gonna come”. We can relax and leave when we are ready. I also try to set clothes out for the next am or locate shoes, and prep backbacks…but I have to admit, this has NOT been happening lately. Chase gets up early, but Brooke and I sleep till 7:30!!! yes, you read correctly, 7:30. I know, that that is where most of the am stress comes from, but I cannot get myself out of bed any earlier! So, I DO feel your pain, and agree mornings are yuck!!

  2. oops, that is me:)

  3. girl…i can’t imagine with 4. i’m so OCD and type A that i…wait…maybe i shouldn’t admit the following. deep breath: i sit out EVERYTHING the night before (even for my poor little toddler and 6 month old). i mean: cereal ON highchair WITH spoon. diapers laid out on top of clothes (and yes, i go so far as to unfold the diapers – ach!), bottle premade in fridge, sippy full of milk in fridge, vitamin IN closed cereal bowl)…and yes, after breakfast, i get breakfast for the next morning ready and i set out their jammies (and diapers) for the night…AHHHHH!!!!!! i will be a nightmare OCD person when they hit school and have lunches, bags, coats, homework…i need counseling just thinking about it! ha!

    i mean, i even make my coffee (put it in the pot) for the next day and put my creamer AND sweetener in the mug. i think i’m insane.

  4. No – Whitney, I think you’re super mom. If only I did that. I do try to be organized, but alas, I always seem to fail miserably.

    And I am supposed to tell everyone this: After Lee read today’s post he was all, “No way – you haven’t done justice to the fact that for 6 years I’ve been telling you to hang your keys up so you could find them. You need to tell them that I’ve been telling you that for SIX. YEARS!”

    So – yeah, he’s been telling me that for six years…(eyeroll)

  5. I’m a hand-clapper these days, too. Ugh. And I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who waves to the bus driver in my pjs!

  6. Love it, this sounds way to familiar to me as well. I too am a hand clapper along with saying we are running late, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!! Poor Paige it is wearing off on her now, she will look at me some mornings and say “are we running late mommy?”
    I have a key rack right inside our garage door and I have to admit I always put them either there or in my purse, try the key rack you never know you might learn to love it! 🙂

  7. Honestly this worries me! Right now my kids are 3 1/2 and just turned 2 SO I am noticing my neighbors in this next phase of motherhood and they are just SO busy! Hopefully I learn some tricks before my girls get to that age. BTW I love your blog I am glad I found it!

  8. Melissa Cable says

    not so sure about the drive the kids instead of bus, cuz then you just bump your time later and instead of yelling at 7:55 you’re just yelling at 8:25 :). My only thing is that they are dressed, shoes on, back pack together, everything before they sit down to eat. That way I know their ready, they may just have to eat on the road if they choose to be slow pokes. keep up the good fight- clapping and all 🙂


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