I love reading about the morning routines of other parents and how they manage work, family and personal events in an effective way. Although it took us a while to establish a consistent schedule, we’ve settled into a nice flow that has been working for us for a while. Here’s what a typical workday looks like.

4:30 am: M gets up at 4:30 like clockwork and usually starts crying in his crib, which wakes Mr. Ice Cream up. We haven’t set an alarm since he was born (which backfired twice). Mr. Ice Cream brings Max downstairs and heats up his morning milk. It’s crucial that we do this immediately because once he is out of his crib he gets really impatient about eating. I wake up soon after and groggily make my way downstairs and lay down next to M. Mr. Ice Cream makes us each a latte (love that Nespresso!), changes M’s diaper then comes and lays down next to us. We usually spend about 20 minutes lazing around on the floor with M until one of us glances at the clock and realizes it’s time to get moving.

Mr. Ice Cream goes up to shower and gets ready while I start breakfast. We have always been really regimented about our breakfast routine, and that has not changed since M was born. We scramble 7 eggs with spinach (1-2 eggs for M), bacon, fruit and I’ll usually add half a bagel with cream cheese. While I’m getting breakfast ready, M likes to “brew” his own pot of coffee, which usually keeps him occupied until I’m ready. I sit down and start eating with M. Once Mr. Ice Cream comes down we trade off and he finishes breakfast and clean up with M while I get ready. The night before, I’ve started going through my closet and picking out my outfit. This small effort has dramatically reduced the time spent staring at my clothes in the morning.

M preparing coffee with his keurig
M preparing coffee with his keurig

Depending on how hectic the morning gets, sometimes M watches a little Thomas so we can finish getting ready or sometimes we have a little extra time to take him outside so he can “mow the lawn.” He loves pushing the lawnmower around our driveway, but gets frustrated when he takes it onto the lawn because it doesn’t roll easily on grass. In the summer, it has been really nice to give him some time outside before it gets too hot.


6:30 am: Out the door. To minimize the morning chaos and the likelihood something will be forgotten, I always gather M’s things the night before. Whether it is his swim wear for water day or he needs more diapers, I always make sure to put those items in plain sight in the car. Usually anywhere in the front seat guarantees that we won’t miss it. M’s daycare is 5 minutes away and he is usually the first one there. Luckily drop offs are easy because M loves seeing Mrs. Donna the morning teacher.

Since M is such an early riser, we have shifted our schedules earlier which has turned out to be a big time saver. Driving in at 6:45 am cuts 4 minutes off our communte compared to driving in during morning rush hour and 3 minutes off the drive home (data according to Moves app). Seven minutes may not seem like a lot, but 35 minutes a week translates to time we get to hang with M.

7:15 am: Mr. Ice Cream and I get to work. Mornings are my favorite time of day to get stuff done. And since I’m usually in before most people, I am typically really productive and can cross a lot off my to-do list.

4:00 pm: Leave work. Both of us work in academia so that affords some flexibility. Of course there are days when a meeting runs late or a deadline is looming and it’s impossible to leave at 4. When we can anticipate those times, we drive separately. I love that Mr. Ice Cream and I carpool to work because it’s such a great time for us to catch up on our days.

4:45 pm: Pick up M.

5:15-5:45 pm: Bike ride. We recently bought bikes and a child seat and have been enjoying family bike rides. Mr. Ice Cream and I have been down on ourselves lately for not establishing a consistent exercise routine, so bikes were the solution to that problem. We bought an extra base so we can easily move the child seat between bikes. (And don’t worry, M has an adorable helmet that he wears!) This is my favorite time of day when we get to hang with M.

Evening bike ride.
Evening bike ride.

6:00 pm: Dinner. Mr. Ice Cream and I try to eat with M because both of us grew up in households where dinner was always a family affair, but it’s tough. Days when we do are usually when we have meals delivered through a local company so dinner prep is simple. But eating dinner so early has its downsides in that we usually require dinner #2 around 8:30. After dinner M usually starts showing signs of exhaustion.

Tired after running around all day.
Tired after running around all day.

6:30 pm: Bathtime. M loves playing in the bath and could sit in there for hours if we let him. Afterwards it’s “diaper time” where M runs around like the happiest little boy in just his diaper. I don’t know what it is about his clothes coming off that makes him deliriously happy, but it’s adorable. During this time we also run after him with his toothbrush in an effort to brush his teeth.

7:00 pm: Bedtime. Mr. Ice Cream and I switch off between putting M to bed and starting dinner. Lately M’s favorite bedtime books have been “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” and “Mighty Dads”. He has a cast of superheroes above his crib and before we put him down he likes us to name all the superheroes on his wall (Iron man, Captain America, Superman, Batman, Spiderman). Once we put him down, he typically cries for 2-5 minutes and then falls asleep.

7:30 pm: Dinner. Mr. Ice Cream and I eat dinner and wind down from our day. If we have work then this is the time when it gets done otherwise we usually like watching a show together. Right now we are hooked on “Stranger Things” and “Mr. Robot.”

9:00 pm: Shower. I love listening to marketplace and taking a long shower to relax. During this time Mr. Ice Cream cleans up downstairs. Then we switch and while he showers I get things ready for the next day.

10:00 pm: Bed. We start thinking about going to bed around 9:30, so realistically that means 10:00-10:30. We watch CNET update or check out the latest Hyper videos while brushing our teeth. Then we read for a little before falling asleep. These days M pretty much sleeps through the night so we’ve been enjoying uninterrupted sleep until our mini alarm clocks starts the day again at 4:30am.