Every single morning, I feel as if I’ve run a marathon before 9:00 a.m. I’m typically sweating, out of breath, and feeling very much done for the day. However, there’s no one with signs cheering me on or a medal upon my completion. My marathon is the morning struggle. And it’s real.
I’m an early riser (as is my toddler), so we’re typically up by 5:30 a.m. Sometimes I get in a spin class, which means I’m back home and ready to really start by day by 6:45am. However, my plan for the next hour is hardly parallel with my daughter’s plan.
My plan: shower, eat a quick breakfast, have some coffee, put on makeup and clothes, and be out the door.
Brielle’s plan: play with her toys, watch tv, watch me in the shower, play with my makeup, try on my shoes, and maybe go to school with some clothes and shoes on, maybe.
The stress of getting us both ready for the day can sometimes be suffocating. First of all, it’s a race against the clock. I know I have to be in my car by a certain time to make it to the office or to beat traffic or get wherever it is I have to be. But then, I have to balance that race with patience for my two-year-old. I try SO HARD to not lose my cool when she asks me 20 questions while I’m in the shower. I try SO HARD to maintain a soft voice when she drops, cracks, and ruins my makeup… because she just wanted to be like mommy. I try SO HARD to keep it together when she asks (every single day) why she has to wear shorts or pants or shoes. I try SO HARD not to burst into tears when she says things like “Mommy, just play with me a little longer.” All the while, knowing that we need to get out.the.door.
Most days after I drop her off, I need a minute in my car, alone, to just breathe. Sometimes I cry because I wonder if I was patient enough or if I should’ve played with her just a little longer. Sometimes I laugh, because the truth is, she says some of the funniest things. (“Mommy, it’s time for your coffee”). I often feel as if I’ve completed a day’s work, and yet my real work day hasn’t even begun. I quite literally need to hit reset before I start the day again.
I know our mornings are some of our most precious hours together, so I will continue to try SO HARD to embrace this time and keep my cool. But it’s a struggle. And it’s real.
Ashley Vallillo Manzi lives in Hoboken with her husband and two year old daughter. She is a family law attorney with Ziegler Zemsky & Resnick. With focus on prenuptial agreements, divorce, alimony & child custody, Ashley sees her role as "helping someone arrive at a new beginning." On the weekends, Greg, Brielle, and Ashley love to go out for brunch, playing in Church Square Park, or chasing the birds along Sinatra Drive. With lots of friends and family (her siblings live here too!) this family is always on the go.