“We have to leave in 8 minutes, can you guys put your shoes on and wait out here? I’ve just found pants and socks for the 4 of you, now it’s my turn OK? I’ll be quick.”
You may have just lost 1 of your 8 minutes explaining that, but fear not, you can still cover a lot of ground in 7 minutes.
Toss everything from your morning readying regime into a heap on the counter and begin with the most important items first… because when that timer is up, it’s over my friend, and nobody likes getting stuck with only half a head fixed up and ready to take on the world.
Brush your teeth. That part is never optional. For you, for your kids, for all of the people ever. Enough said.
Wash your face – because it’s 98% probable that you have honey or maple syrup somewhere on there; left over from the breakfast you just prepared and served to a hungry crowd.
Sunscreen comes next. Because of my Scottish heritage, complete with pale skin and freckles, I never had a faint hope of not being burnt to a crisp by direct sunshine… or the sunshine hiding behind the clouds, or probably the moon too.
Also, you’re going to inevitably forget your hat and sunglasses during the mad scramble out the door, so go ahead and slather a little bit of that sunscreen on your eyeballs too.
You have 5 minutes left.
At this point you need to make sure your feet are planted firmly on your bathmat because it’s been a few minutes now, and you can hear that a Nerf gun war has begun in the other room. It will eventually be coming for you… rogue bullets shot from the hands of little boys will soon begin flying at your calves.
Maintain your stance.
While you’re fearlessly avoiding bullets, make sure you put on some earrings, even if you do NOTHING else from this point on.
It’s the same principle as ‘start cooking onions,’ even if there’s absolutely NOTHING else happening yet for dinner at the exact time your hungry husband is walking in the door after a long day at work. “Oh, that smells great! Whatcha making?”
Earrings and onions my friend.
This is your final phase, your make it or break it phase. It’s at this point where you start drawing and painting things onto your clean face.
It’s the point where your toddler has decided to join you and is standing on the ‘thankfully’ closed lid of the toilet seat, handing you items out of your make-up bag.
He will somehow always manage to open your mascara before handing it to you while frantically repeating, ‘mama, mama, mama…’
Your hand will be shaky. Yell at yourself to stay steady and keep your head in the game, since you DO NOT have time to wash your face and start from scratch again.
Last, and perhaps most important of all, remember to zip up your bag of supplies and put it away, or it will be an open invitation for a spontaneous toddler art project at a super inconvenient time.
And just like that your last minute has come and gone. It’s time to move on whether you’re ‘finished’ or not. So give yourself a quick glance in the mirror, briefly reflect on how long and leisurely it used to feel when you ‘got ready’ before your title of Mom.
Smile about it, find it funny, whisper a ‘good enough,’ and then REALLY hear your kids when they tell you that they think you’re the most beautiful lady in the whole world.
Because to them, you really are.