Manic mornings in a house full of night owls

Hope springs eternal that tomorrow morning’s routine will run smoother than today’s.
Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager.
Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. [ Courtesy of Lynn Cristina ]
Published Oct. 24, 2019

Mornings are tough in a house full of night owls. To say we have a routine is certainly a stretch, but we do seem to repeat the same struggles each day.

I am not a morning person, but I am in charge of rallying the troops. I typically hit snooze several times before I rush to get myself ready. It is always me against the clock and the preschooler. Will I be ready before she wakes up?

Our day starts off quiet and calm as I muster my best attempt to wake the girls. I go in, give them hugs and kisses and gently tell them its time to get up. This approach never works. I flash back to my childhood when my mom spilled ice water on me once to get me out of bed and off to school. I take deep breaths as I realize they are just like me. After multiple shouts my pleas turn to nagging and then off with the covers! Mrs. Brady is gone, and Mommie Dearest is here.

Our little zombies stumble out of bed to head downstairs. “Wait a minute!” I yell, you need to go to the bathroom and get dressed. Why do I need to tell them to go potty? This should be a natural instinct. They refuse to go and I resort to the fact we are raising tiny camels.

Thankfully Emme is pretty good about getting dressed — she just moves at a turtle’s pace. This is somewhat helpful as I am off in her little sister’s room having our daily episode of wardrobe wars. It is so frustrating because she picks out her clothes the night before. By morning she is offended by her outfit choice and must start the selection all over. I give in and let her dress herself. There is no reasoning with Addy; it’s like going nine rounds with a pint-sized version of Mike Tyson.

If we are lucky, we have time to sit down and eat breakfast. Like a short-order cook, I shout out a variety of options only to hear silence. Okay, you get what I make. When the bagel arrives, they want cereal. Well then, you should have answered me. The breakfast battle begins.

My hubby and I just pass by each other amidst the chaos. Not enough coffee or time for full conversations but I do like to be acknowledged when I’m talking. I finally just told him to yell “heard” like back in the day when we both worked in restaurants. I just want to know that I am not talking to myself. He makes his coffee and is out the door.

I rush the kids through breakfast, so we can move on to grooming. Why is it when I try to brush their hair or help with their teeth they act like I am chasing them with a chainsaw? This is basic self-care. Come on people!

I am pretty sure I tell them to put on their shoes and socks no less than 23 times. Then I hear, “Mom, Diesel has Addy’s socks!”

This really is problematic because Addy will only wear her white Puma socks, and this is the last clean pair. We need to leave ASAP; I have no time to chase the dog. He is freaking fast and uses our living room as his agility course. Nobody can catch him.

Finally, in a desperate move, I leap onto the dog and take him down with a body slam like a wrestler. Not my finest moment, but I have the soggy socks back and the girls are cracking up.

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Time to load up the car. Why are they so slow? Maybe it is because Emme’s backpack weighs more than she does. Am I the only person in this house with more than one speed who can multitask? Move, move, move we have got to go. Addy insists on doing everything herself which is also part of the problem. “No mommy, I do it.” Sorry we are 5,000 hours late — my 3-year-old had to buckle herself into the car seat.

Now, we are finally on the way to school. Like any good coach, I go over all the failed plays of the morning to discuss how we are going to improve as a team. The girls humor me and tell me everything I want to hear. Will tomorrow be any different? Nope!

Lynn Cristina is a mother of two who works full time as a marketing manager. Contact her at or on Instagram @lynncristinablogs.