40 Things I (Reluctantly) Accomplished Before 9 A.M. Today, Because Motherhood

To celebrate and acknowledge the work moms do in the morning before the clock strikes 9, Romper is asking families to share their #Before9AM tales of triumph and woe on Instagram all month.

It took Heracles 12 years to get his to-do list done. In fairness to him, it was a long list (clean the Augean stables, slay the Nemean lion, steal the mares of Diamedes), but then again, most parents have obtained the girdle of Hippolata and prepared and served a breakfast consisting of the right colors and textures to their children before the BBC World News Hour finishes on any given day. Between wake-up (anytime from the pre-dawn onward) and the dong of 9 a.m., parents must complete hundreds of small challenges to achieve a child that has clean pants, has ingested some form of sustenance, and is not screaming. We asked Romper advice guru Jenny True to log the feats of strength she performed #Before9AM as the mother of a 6 month old, and suffice to say, it is some Greek mess.

If you can relate to more than 25, you're a level 100 demigod.

  1. Breastfeed baby.
  2. Play "my nose, your nose" game with baby.
  3. Hand off baby to husband so I can get another crackin' hour of sleep.
  4. Open curtains. Turn off white-noise maker and nightlight and humidifier.
  5. Change baby's diaper. Let him play with his wiener for a minute.
  6. Change baby out of pajamas he's peed through in the night.
  7. Strip bed because baby peed through pajamas in the night YES WE SLEEP WITH THE BABY COME AT ME.
  8. Hand off baby to husband to dress him IN WEATHER-APPROPRIATE CLOTHES PLEASE GOD HE DOESN'T HAVE A FORCEFIELD AROUND HIM. Withhold judgment of color/pattern combination husband comes up with.
  9. Add sheets to basket of my laundry. Bring to laundry room. Put load from washer into dryer and load from dryer into laundry basket to fold later. Start load of sheets.
  10. Meet husband in kitchen. Give baby Vitamin D drops.
  11. Wash bottle to bring to daycare.
  12. Get breast milk out of freezer for daycare.
  13. Get container of prunes out of refrigerator for daycare.
  14. Write check for daycare.
  15. Pick out change of clothes for baby since he peed through extra set on Friday.
  16. Get re-up packages of diapers and wipes out of closet for daycare.
  17. Put all daycare items in tote bag by the front door.
  18. Put breast-pumping equipment I washed last night in breast pump bag. Make sure I have all equipment in bag, including extra bottle with cap, since that's the one I forget most often, meaning I have to drive home VERY FUCKING CAREFULLY so breast milk does not spill out of open container. OPEN CONTAINERS USED TO BE SO MUCH MORE FUN. Get two inserts out of freezer for milk-carrying bag. Put breast pump bag by front door.
  19. Get lunch I made last night out of refrigerator. Put in plastic bag so salad dressing doesn't leak. Put lunch in tote bag by the front door.
  20. Make sure wallet, phone, and work badge are in purse. Make sure checkbook is in purse so I can pay therapist this afternoon WHY DO I NEED A THERAPIST YOU ASK​ MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE NONE OF THESE STEPS WILL INVOLVE PERSONAL HYGIENE WHICH MEANS NONE OF THESE STEPS WILL INVOLVE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.
  21. Put purse THAT'S FOUR BAGS NOW near front door.
  22. Tie up garbage and recycling and put by front door next to other bags.
  23. Eat breakfast husband prepares for me every morning. Take multivitamin and two fish oil pills.
  24. Put breakfast dishes in dishwasher. Put eggs back in refrigerator. Put bread back in breadbox. Put pans in sink to wash later. SOMETIMES SOMEONE ELSE DOES THIS PART BUT NOT ALWAYS.
  25. Brush teeth. Brush hair. Put on deodorant. Put on jeans and nursing tank top I wore yesterday and then slept in YES TECHNICALLY I'M NOT "PUTTING IT ON" AS IT'S ALREADY ON.
  26. Put on clogs or Vans, shoes that require no tying.
  27. Look at self in mirror.
  28. Decide never to look at self in mirror again WHO SAID HAVING A BABY AT 40 MAKES YOU YOUNGER LIARS!!!!!
  29. Turn off heat.
  30. If there's time, pick up living room: Put all toys back in box, restack couch pillows, bring dirty dishes into​ kitchen.
  31. If there's time, pick up kitchen: Put dirty dishes in dishwasher although it remains beyond me WHY OTHER PEOPLE CAN'T FREAKING PUT THEIR DISHES IN THE FREAKING DISHWASHER THE DISHWASHER IS CLOSER THAN THE SINK PUT THEM IN THE FREAKING DISHWASHER. Wipe down counters. Run dishwasher.
  32. Open dog door to backyard. Fill dog's water bowl.
  33. Breastfeed baby one more time.
  34. Put baby in car seat.
  35. Hand off baby to husband so I can take out garbage and recycling and put cans on curb.
  36. Drive to daycare. Take baby into daycare with tote bag of diapers, wipes, etc. Ask daycare provider how much breast milk she still has in freezer. Ask to see ingredient list on container of yogurt she gave baby yesterday to make sure there's no sugar in it. Give daycare provider chart of how to store breast milk. Cry in front of daycare provider about how hard it is to leave baby with daycare provider. Text husband, "Do you think I'm high maintenance?"
  37. Get gas on way to work.
  38. Drive to work, listening to Drake and crying with gratitude that people who don't have children make art that people with children can appreciate. Have conversation with Drake, telling him these things and ending with him giving me a hug.
  39. Replay conversation with Drake.
  40. Replay conversation with Drake.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.