Little Family AM Routine Notes

January 12, 2023

Life looks very different in the mornings now compared to years ago (omg – here’s a 2014 day in the life!). So I figured perhaps it would be interesting to capture this moment in time!

I don’t put morning stuff in my planner because it’s generally so routine!

Thursdays vs Other Days

I love Thursdays right now.

Honestly our mornings in general are pretty decent.

Monday / Tues / Weds / Friday I drive the kids to school. There’s usually a bit of a mad rush to wake them up, get them to eat something and then appear presentable enough (rather low bar, but still). Notably, after so many years of *them* dictating the wakeup time, it’s been lovely to settle into a rhythm where we typically have to rouse them! Once the breakfast/getting dressed/brushing teeth/getting shoes on whirlwind is over, the commute with them is pretty nice — heavy on the Taylor Swift, and we have a routine where I park and get to walk each of them to their respective buildings/classrooms.

(The school is not big so it doesn’t take very long but I usually get to see 1-2 of G’s teachers, 1 of C’s teachers, other parents, etc. I walk A to her classroom too but her teachers usually don’t get there until a few minutes later so she gets to hang with her fellow 4-5th grade friends. I am not allowed to kiss her goodbye anymore but that’s ok, she still permits non-public kisses, ha.)

Thursday however Josh drives, in part because he does surgeries/has clinic in a different hospital that day that is near the school. Sometimes I have BOBW recording or something at 9 am but other days like today I can ‘sleep in’ (until 5:30!) and delay my run until he leaves to take the kids. Going for a run from 7:45 – 9:15 am feels downright delinquent and I love allowing for a slower start to the day. To those of you asking about how I am fitting in higher mileage these days, my two weekly runs over an hour are typically Thursdays (1-1.5 hrs) and Saturday AM (2+ hours, often starting at 6-6:30 am). I am not sure why I never had any routines like this in the past when I worked part time or even when I had flexible days at times as a PD.

G, our nanny usually arrives between 12-2pm, ~10 am on Mondays; she leaves anywhere from 6 pm to very rarely 9 pm if Cameron has late soccer and Josh can’t get there to help. That said, Josh has been a soccer parent rock star and has been able to either take C to practice/games or meet him there. ((I have seen only a couple of games because I am home with other two and while I am supportive of C’s sports endeavors I am just never going to be able to sit there and watch practices with rapt attention; games I could generally handle but NOT while dealing with the other two, so it is what it is.))

Because I expect G to be on backup if/when things come up (illness etc), we continue to pay her what we paid her before, plus an inflation-related raise this year. I do this by essentially paying for ‘on call’ hours, whether she is here or not.

Things We Do the Night Before:

Have lunches made (90% of the time. A sometimes procrastinates and has to make hers in the AM; she does her own as it’s her preference but the others do not). ALSO Mondays / Weds C&G get school lunch. AND ALSO ALSO everyone gets pizza for lunch at school on Fridays. Lucky kids.

Set clothes out for G. She is . . . not fast moving in the morning. Anything to make the process of getting her ready easier is worth it.

Prep the coffee. ALWAYS. I joke with Josh that if I forget to set up the morning coffee I get up and question my will to go on living. I set it on a timer so it’s ready at my (early) wakeup time. Sometimes it sits too long but I kind of don’t’ care; bad coffee is better than coffee I have to deal with making in the AM.

Have backpacks packed up and by the door. Usually. Doesn’t take long and better than papers scattered everywhere anyway . . .


  • Reply Irene January 12, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    So interesting to hear how you work your child care right now. I guess I’m kind of amazed your nanny is happy with those hours regardless of how much you pay but I’m glad it works for both of you! I constantly wonder how people do evening activities. I hired someone to drive for one and it’s considerably more than the actual class (which I am happy to pay, it’s amazing to have someone we trust so much!). Each of my kids has a weekly therapy on different days and the Il one has lots of interests and energy while the younger one is pretty tired after a full day of preschool. They both like some down at home so it’s a lot to manage especially now my husband is back to traveling semi regularly.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 12, 2023 at 1:14 pm

      Curious what seems surprising to you — the later end times on occasion? Hours wise, the current set up involves working ~4-6 hours most days for more compensation than when she was working 5 10.5-hour days. (To clarify, I know I mentioned 9 pm and I agree that’s late, but that’s more of a rarity/worst case scenario — it’s usually more like 12p-6p, 2p-7p, etc and full time compensation). She doesn’t have kids at home so not missing own kid-time in the evenings.

      • Reply Irene January 12, 2023 at 3:11 pm

        Sorry that sounded judgmental and I didn’t mean it to! I just constantly hear that people have trouble finding after school/evening help but they probably aren’t paying full time comp. Anyway all that matters is you are all happy! I guess when my kids are grown I will not mind working evenings so much either.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 12, 2023 at 3:32 pm

          no problem at all, I think the issue is generally that no one wants to work part time like 3-7 pm — and I’ve similarly heard that people have a hard time finding or holding onto sitters with those hours. But those are not usually treated or compensated as full time positions.

  • Reply Sue January 12, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Ha I agree 100% on not having the will to live if the coffee is not ready when I get up!

  • Reply Julia January 12, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    Thank you for this! Im wondering what kinds of work does the nanny does now that there is less childcare. For instance when she gets there at noon is she prepping lunches for the next day or something?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 12, 2023 at 2:39 pm

      yep, emptying dishwasher, laundry, meal prep, lunch prep. It has morphed into more of a ‘household manager’ position over time, definitely.

  • Reply Coree January 12, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    I love peoples’ morning routines. When I’m in town, I tend to do the school run, but my husband does the breakfast, and my efforts to interfere are unwelcome.

    630- alarm, husband goes downstairs and makes tea, uses the loo, I suspect plays on his phone
    645- lights go on above my head, and T’s (we have ikea lights on a timer) we grumble. T comes in for a cuddle, we slowly get dressed.
    700- T goes downstairs and they have breakfast, I read and drink my tea
    730- I meet them downstair, brush teeth, help with shoes and jacket, husband gets our bikes out of the garage and turns all our lights on (it’s still pretty dark when we leave). We cycle to school, arriving at 8. I cycle home (sometimes adding a few miles), have breakfast, sit in front of my sad lamp with another cup of tea and do email.

    It’s really lovely most days, we enjoy the cycle ride, the fresh air, and exercise.

    When I’m in work city (where I have a room in a shared house), I sleep in, mostly because I need caffeine before I get out of bed. My housemate was grumbling that my alarm goes off and I don’t get up. But I’ve found a flask that keeps my tea hot for 24 hours so I’m going to start making it the night before and bringing it up to my room. So fingers crossed that helps.

  • Reply A January 12, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    Love hearing how your nanny’s role has transitioned. I think the world (to some extent) is getting behind how childcare is necessary for women’s careers to thrive and housework is the next step. Even if I couldn’t quite afford what you’re able to do, it’s helpful to see and put in practice in some small ways. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Alexis January 12, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    I love reading your routines! I don’t have any kids and was wondering how people get it done!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 12, 2023 at 5:07 pm

    I love posts like these!!! I wasn’t reading your blog in 2014 so it was interesting to go back and read a day in the life when the kids were soooo much younger! You were still getting up very early! Which is impressive with C being under 1 – but I think some people just have lower sleep needs than others. I got to bed at 9:30 and am up between 5:45-6 am. But my watch generally shows that I slept for 7-7.5 hours – I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. So kind of need 8-8.5 hours in bed to get enough sleep.

    For us, I’m up at 5:45 if I need to blow dry my hair. Otherwise, I’m up at 6. I wake the 4.5yo after I’ve showered so he can start breakfast – he watches one episode of Wild Kratts during breakfast. Not ideal probably but we kind of established this tradition of watching PBS when he was 1 – he’d watch while we got ready. And now we can’t break the habit. But it works out fine. My husband gets the toddler out of bed when he’s ready to come down and ideally we are out the door at 6:45. There is no margin in our mornings so I do as much the morning before. I get the coffee pot set up the night before, get my lunch ready to go, and my oatmeal is made/portioned out on the weekend so I can just warm it up. Pre-kids, I would get up at 5 to work out if absolutely necessary but it wasn’t something I did very often – maybe once/week. I would say I am a morning person, but not like you as getting up at 4:40 or 5 would be sooo hard and I would be majorly dragging by the end of the day.

    • Reply Jenn N January 12, 2023 at 7:27 pm

      @Lisa, I am the same way! I am generally asleep sometime between 10 and 10:15pm and wake up sometime between 6:30 and 6:45am (so about 8.5 hours “asleep”) but my Fitbit generally shows me only having slept for around 7.5 hours. Glad I’m not the only one!

      • Reply ys January 14, 2023 at 9:26 am

        Where do you get your kids’ lunch ideas? I find that to be so stressful for some reason. This is probably also due to the fact that I pack them in the morning. I should try to prep that at night instead.

  • Reply Suzanne January 12, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    It is so fun to read how other people spend their days, and what their routines are like! I love how we are all doing essentially the same things (with small variations, like kids/no kids, work out of the home/work from the home, etc) but we accomplish them so differently! Learning about your evolving relationship with the nanny is so interesting, too.

  • Reply Lori C January 12, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    I love to hear other peoples routines. What they do, and don’t do. I don’t prep coffee the night before (we have a Nespresso). And I don’t pack the lunch/ line up bags. But perhaps something to consider shifting to evening, so that I can change my “dont” workout to “do” workout 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 12, 2023 at 7:03 pm

      we used to have a Nespresso! I sort of miss it but it definitely woke the kids up MANY times!

  • Reply coco January 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm

    love this kind of posts too!
    I’m impressed that A can prepare her own lunch. what are samples meals she prepares? I need to tell Sofia to do that too. hahaha….

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 13, 2023 at 5:47 am

      oh nothing great!!!! trust me! she did do some lovely salads in a container this week but sometimes she just heats a frozen burrito and puts it in a thermos.

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