Approaching the end of my maternity leave last year, I had no idea how I was going to manage juggling an early-rising baby with getting myself dressed and ready for a busy day at the office. It took some getting used to, and as my now-toddler continues to become even more active, there are always new challenges. I’ve learned a few things that I can pass along to those new mamas out there who are heading back to work. Or even those mamas who are looking for a few ideas to make their mornings go smoother.
1. Prep everything the night before.
I mean everything. After I put my son to bed and before I even sit down, I prep our essentials for the next day. If I don’t do it right away, well, you know what happens. The essentials include my son’s daycare bag with his meals and snacks for the day, grab-and-go breakfasts for my husband and I, my outfit for work, my work bag, and anything else we need for the next day. I’ve found that if I leave things until the morning, the hectic factor increases tenfold making it impossible to get out the door on time.
2. Distract the baby/toddler!
When my son was less mobile, I used to keep a bouncy seat in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. That way I could have him with me wherever I was and keep him entertained. I still bring my son into the bathroom with me every morning, but we retired the bouncy seat many months ago. We now have a shelf of toys, books and other favorites in there so he can entertain himself. I can then quickly shower and get ready.
He’s at the stage where he is obsessed with running water. So letting him stand on a stool at the sink and play with his bath toys under a barely dripping faucet is enough to distract him for the 5-7 minutes it takes me to shower. Let’s not talk about my water bill. I keep reminding myself that, like everything, this is a phase.
3. Master the 5-minute mama face.
As I’m sure many mamas can relate, there’s a stark difference between my makeup/hair routine before kid(s) versus after kid(s). I can no longer spend the time I used to. Multitasking products that require little skill or precision in their application are my go-to’s. Moisturizer and SPF are a must for my skin. A tinted moisturizer (like this favorite) does all that and more. I follow it up with a few dabs of concealer (hello, dark circles), swipes of neutral eyeshadow, and quickly curl my lashes (to hide the lack of sleep!). That and a little lip gloss and I’m good to go. On mornings where I have extra time or need a little pep in my step, I might throw on a little blush and mascara, but that’s not an every day thing.
Every day is different and, of course, some mornings don’t go as planned. Mamas just have to power through and remember that tomorrow is a new day. You can check out the morning routines of some FCMB contributors here.