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When the alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m., I always feel like I’ve been run over by a dump truck. It doesn’t matter how many hours of sleep I got the night before. It doesn’t matter how hydrated I am, or what I did or did not drink before retiring for the night. Maybe it’s age — or maybe its motherhood — but it’s getting harder and harder for me to get myself going in the morning.

School days always start out with me lying in bed, giving myself a pep talk: I’m going to get up because coffee is brewing. I have to get up in order to drink it. I HAVE TO GET UP BECAUSE I HAVE TO GET COFFEE. I CAN DO THIS. I’M A STRONG, CAPABLE WOMAN WHO GAVE BIRTH THREE TIMES. I CAN DO ANYTHING I SET MY MIND TO.

During this self-motivation ritual, one of our boys inevitably bursts into our bedroom and jumps on his dad, which is precisely what I was hoping would happen, because seriously – how can he sleep through two alarms?! I want a prescription for whatever makes men sleep so soundly, stat. And, with that rough morning wake-up call, our school day routine is in motion…

6:40: Child runs into our bedroom and jumps onto our bed. I proceed to slide into the kitchen to get my first cup of coffee while my husband tries (and fails) to protect his testicles from getting stepped on.

6:42: Child shrieks as if he is already having the best day ever. Adults wonder if it’s too early for headache medicine.

6:45: I stumble from bedroom to bedroom, bumping into doorjambs, spilling coffee, wiping it up with my socks, and shaking my third grader awake. He hides under the covers. I consider joining him.

6:48: My kindergartner begins hammering me with questions like, “If a shark and a dinosaur got into a fight, who would win?” Followed by, “Mommy? MOMMY. WHO WOULD WIN????!!!!!!!!”

6:50: Announce that I can’t answer questions until after breakfast and usher the kids to the kitchen.

7:00: Serve breakfast amid complaints. The oldest hates oatmeal. The middle doesn’t like his oatmeal this hot. My husband silently reaches for a Pop-Tart. I wonder aloud why I bother.

7:05: Husband disappears to have his morning poop. I won’t see him again for approximately 30 minutes.

7:12: Text the following to my friend: How it is that my child can do long division but can’t seem to be able to brush his teeth?! IT ISN’T ROCKET SCIENCE.

7:15: Send another text to my friend: DOES YOUR HUSBAND POOP FOR 30 MINUTES? WHAT THE F**K DO THEY DO IN THERE?

7:16: Help one child button pants while simultaneously untangling another child from a t-shirt that he put on backwards. Emit guttural sounds of frustration.

7:18: Yell at the kids to put their shoes on.

7:19: Ask my kids why their shoes aren’t on.

7:20: Scream into a pillow.

7:30: Refrain from giving bus driver a full frontal hug of gratitude for taking my children to school. Choose to smile and wave instead.

7:35: Tell husband goodbye as he leaves for work. Re-heat coffee. Sit down to check Facebook.

8:00: Snap out of a social media-induced fog and realize my youngest kid is in the house and she has to get ready for her school now.

8:01: Scream into a pillow.

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