Words by Dena Dyer


A few months ago, I started working at a “real” job for the first time in several years. Prior to that, I’d been a part-time writer, speaker and teacher who did most of my work from home. Although I quickly came to love my job and the routine of going to an office of my own, the transition was quite an adjustment.

Like most working women, I never feel caught up at work or home. Recently, to try and understand just how others juggled work, family, and other responsibilities, I subscribed to a motivational e-newsletter which included typical morning schedules from successful moms.


5:30 a.m.—Wake up, sans alarm, and do five quick Sun Salutations. Hello, morning!

5:45 a.m.—Blend a kale, nut butter, and almond milk smoothie with chia seeds. Yum. ? Drink it while reciting several empowering affirmations.

5:55 a.m.–Pack a healthy lunch in my bento box.

6:00 a.m. Head out the door to the gym.

6:30 a.m.—Spin class, followed by a super-quick shower.  

8:00 a.m.—Stop by Starbucks for my usual: Iced, Half Caff, Venti, 4-Pump, Sugar Free, Cinnamon, Dolce Soy Skinny Latte.

8:30 a.m.—Arrive at work. Check in with assistant, return important emails.  

And so on. After reading approximately four of these perkier-than-they-needed-to-be timelines, I had a few questions/observations:

  1. I’ve never met anyone I trusted who wakes up without an alarm.
  2. These women must have nannies, because where are the children?!
  3. If I did a spin class at 6:30, I would be so tired by 8 a.m. that I wouldn’t get any work done.
  4. Half-caff? Don’t get me started.


Ultimately, I a) unsubscribed from the newsletter and b) decided to write down my own morning routine, just for grins.

6:30 a.m.  My alarm goes off. I hit snooze. The sound of my husband’s shower soothes me back to sleep.

6:40 a.m. Hit snooze again.

6:50 a.m. Ditto. My hubby kisses me on the forehead as he heads to work. Wish for the thousandth time I had trained him to bring me coffee in bed in the mornings.

7:00 a.m. If I don’t get up now, not only will my son be late to school, but I will be late to work. Shuffle groggily to my coffee maker and start the brew.

7:05 a.m. Realize I forgot to put a new K-cup pod in the machine, so I now have a cup of weak coffee made from leftover grounds. Yuck.

7:10 a.m. Finally get my now-strong cup of Joe. Resolve to start getting up earlier so I can savor it longer. Start putting my lunch together.

7:15 a.m. Get my daily exercise (legs) from walking back and forth from the kitchen to my son’s room, where I try to rouse him from the sleep of the dead. Complete the workout (lungs) by yelling increasingly unrealistic threats at him.

7:25 a.m. Shower, taking deep breaths to calm myself down. Cut myself while shaving my legs. Realize—too late—that none of my skirts are ironed so I cut myself unnecessarily.

7:50 a.m. Drive my son to school, trying desperately to remember how cute he was as a baby and how good he used to smell.

8:15 a.m. Drop him off, realizing that we both left our lunches on the kitchen counter. Scrounge around in car cushions to give him lunch money, hoping that I still have a Fiber One protein bar in my desk.

8:35 a.m. Arrive at work.

About Dena

About Dena

Dena Dyer is a professional writer and speaker, as well as the author of eight books and hundreds of articles. Her most recent book, written with her husband Carey, is Love at First Fight: 52 Story-Based Meditations for Married Couples. In her day job, Dena is the Director of Education for Brazos Pregnancy Center. She and Carey have been married nineteen wonderful years, and a couple more they don’t talk about. They live in Granbury with their two sons (Jordan and Jackson) and a spoiled dog, Princess. Dena loves coffee with hazelnut creamer, traveling, reading, shopping at thrift stores, and watching British television.