Aidan started doing them a couple of years ago and it was a big adjustment for both of us. It took at least a month before 4:15am didn't feel completely brutal.
Middle schoolers have time to come home after practice, high schoolers do not, especially given the fact that we live so far out of town. So, this year Aidan had to learn how to be ready for his entire day at 4:15. Me too - it meant adding LUNCH to the morning routine. And a second breakfast that could be eaten in the car.
Then, Bridget started doing morning practices, and that meant another breakfast, and another body to roust from the bed, and a second pool to get to by 5:00am.
Our general routine is that I get up at 4:15 and head upstairs to wake the kids. Aidan wakes up pretty quickly, Bridget not so much. Aidan knows immediately what he wants me to fix for first- and second-breakfast, Bridget not so much. They are both guilty of rolling over and going back to sleep, which I don't have time for, and that makes Mama cranky.
We have from 4:15 - 4:40 to get up, dressed, pack one lunch, make 3 breakfasts, and get whatever they need for practice (water bottles, clean towels, shoes, equipment bag, etc.) and get out the door. You can see why any deviation from The Schedule makes Mama cranky.
I start the breakfasts (could be cereal, toast, bagel, oatmeal, or egg sandwich), and then start texting the kids to see if they are up yet.
It is generally known that if I have to stop what I am doing, and head back up stairs and wake up sleeping children, that Mama gets Extra Cranky.
Sometimes, it doesn't go so well. Like when Bridget decided to curl up in a ball on the dining room floor and cry herself back to sleep.
It's times like those that Mama has to take a deep breath and decide whether the right approach is cajoling, yelling, or letting everyone go back to bed.
One of my biggest saviors has been making breakfast sandwiches in advance and freezing them. Yep, took me about 3 years to figure this one out, I am slow that way.
I brown a pound or so of deer sausage, and crack a dozen or so eggs. Ray bought this cute little pan that is perfect for an egg & sausage patty.
I assemble them all with a slice of cheese and put them into a zip top baggie, suck out the air and freeze them.
About 1:10 in the microwave and it's a good start to their day.
I actually don't mind morning practices. It makes the evenings less crazy, and we often are all home at a decent hour for dinner together, which I love.