I do not wake up at 5:00 in the morning singing with the birds and then the birds hold my bath towel in their beaks and tie my hair into bows. Nope. None of that happens to me. I wake up about a half an hour after my alarm has gone off, staring at the clock wondering how in the world I am going to make it out the door and get to work at a reasonable time. Let’s rewind for a minute.
I cannot remember a time in my life when it took me less than an hour to get ready in the morning. I’m an 80’s baby, so for a while in elementary or middle school I had those poofy bangs. You know the ones. Half curled under and the other half curled backwards. You had to use a curling iron and a lot of hairspray to achieve the perfect look and with my baby fine hair, it was not an easy task. One too many rounds with the curling iron after already hairspraying and it was basically back to the shower to start from scratch. Then it was on to high school. It only took me a couple of days to realize that most of the girls were wearing makeup, so off to CVS I went to get the necessities. Which obviously included brown and white eyeliner. If you were a teenager in the 90’s then you know exactly what I mean about the eyeliner. Brown on the bottom with a line of white above it. Who didn’t love that look? The point is that I am someone who likes to spend time getting myself ready before heading out to face the world each day. Then I had two kids.
I will now begin referring to the six months to a year after having Annabelle as “rock bottom”. I swear, I woke up on that first morning after my maternity leave was over, took a shower and was like, “Yup. I showered. I have two kids and I will get them both to daycare alive and I have showered. That is as good as it gets.” For the first few months with two kids under two years old, my personal routine involved showering, putting my wet hair into a clip and getting dressed. I couldn’t even bring myself to put my contacts in. Mostly because I had run out of them and could not find the time to even order a refill or think about picking up said refill should I ever have ordered it. Then one day during “rock bottom”, I looked in the mirror and barfed. (That is an exaggeration, it was probably more of a gag.) Serious lack of sleep without at least trying to perk it up with some makeup or something does not look good on anyone. So I started small, a little concealer around my eyes and some mascara. If I was really feeling inspired, I’d throw on some bronzer. After a little while, I located my hair dryer. It was under my bathroom sink You know, behind the bath toys, nosefrida, butt paste, baby shampoo, etc. The point is that it was there. And I remembered how to use it. I am now able to shower, blow dry my hair, style my hair without just throwing it into a clip, put my contacts in and put on mascara every day! What’s even better is that I am still doing all that and getting both kids to daycare alive and getting myself to work.
Getting two young kids out the door each morning is hard. H.A.R.D. It is like trying to run through a maze blindfolded in the dark. Except you don’t bump into dead ends, you find small children executing new and different ways each day to try to make you crazy. One will ask you for a drink and when you get that drink, they won’t want it anymore. You will leave it with them in case they change their mind and then they will come and find you in five minutes to tell you that they want their drink. The best part is that they have hidden it and suddenly can’t remember where they put it. While you look for it, the other child that you have just gotten dressed will be removing all of her clothing and insisting upon wearing her Rapunzel dress. If only those birds from the princess movies would come in at that moment. They would sew a new dress and dress your child while they simultaneously find the other child’s missing drink. Then you would all dance out the door singing and all would be well with the world.
Those singing birds have not come to my house yet. But I have found a way to spend a little time on myself in the mornings and still get both kids out alive. I hope that you all can do the same. Or get the singing birds.