Primping is fun — at least I’ve always thought so. Most people enjoy looking their best, and before I was a mom, scarcely a day went by when my eyeliner and blow-dryer didn’t see the light of day.
In my pre-baby days, I rose early enough every morning to enjoy a long, hot shower, after which I’d break out the moisturizer and a box full of makeup. I’d carefully apply the cosmetics, occasionally shaking things up by trying a new look, and then move onto the hair portion of my routine. After working leave-in conditioner through my damp tresses, blasting them with hot air and then smoothing everything down with a flat iron, I finished with a spritz of glossing serum.
The outfits I wore to the office always were chosen the night before and, if necessary, ironed or misted with Downy Wrinkle Releaser. I picked out complementary jewelry and matching shoes and laid everything out so it was easily accessible in the morning.
I prepped the coffee pot and set the timer before going to bed, so my daily dose of caffeine was ready and waiting come time to walk out the door. I’d grab my purse, keys, phone and head to the car, where I’d use my drive time to eat a protein bar and catch up on the news via talk radio.
Those were the days. I knew my mornings would be busier once I became a parent, but I never would have suspected that I’d need to get up at
5:30 a.m. just so I could peel into the parking lot at work and make a beeline for my computer by 9 a.m.
Now, my morning routine consists of a quick shower, during which I frequently imagine I hear my baby screaming, and a longing gaze at my makeup box. If I have time (like on days when I only hit the snooze button once because I got six hours of sleep instead of four), I dust some pressed powder across my face and swipe my lashes with a mascara wand, but that’s no longer a daily occurrence.
I let my hair air dry while searching furiously for clean, work-appropriate attire that matches and isn’t too wrinkled. Dealing with the selection of corresponding accessories just seems too daunting — I’m lucky I remember to slip on my wedding ring. If my baby girl is still sleeping, I’ll brew some coffee, usually having forgotten to set the pot’s timer the night before.
While getting the baby’s milk, clothes and daycare bag ready to go, I’ll yell at my husband repeatedly to get up. He usually obliges as I dress and feed Reese, administer her medicine and pack up all of her gear for the day. As my husband grills me about which of his blue dress shirts is clean, I dump food into our pets’ bowls and, much to her relief, finally send the dog out into the backyard for a few minutes.
I help my husband and the baby make their way out the car, and by
7:15 a.m., they’re on their way to daycare and work. I head back inside the house to clean up from breakfast, throw a few dishes in the dishwasher, pack my lunch and let the dog back in. By the time I’m settled in my car — after having run back into the house a time or two to retrieve forgotten items — I’m ready for a nap. Usually, though, I just settle for a quick stop at the gas station, where I’m known for decimating their supply of hazelnut roast.
I gulp down the coffee, use my drive time to return phone calls and arrive at work, where, exhausted, I plop down at my desk and “begin” my day — having already been up for nearly four hours.