Mornings

And just like that a new school year begins. Also please note, this is how my children pose themselves.

For as long as I can recall I have never been a morning person. Despite waking up sometime in the 5 o’clock hour for most of high school and even into college because of various obligations, I never enjoyed being an early riser.

Starting when we moved to California I was finally able to sleep in as late as I wanted for the most part. Even when Peanut started preschool it was only two or three days a week and if Wingnut and I couldn’t manage to get ready, too, it was no big deal. This school year I have two kids who both need to be to school at 9. They both need to be dressed and have their hair done and have eaten breakfast. It makes for stressful mornings. Especially since Wingnut is also not a morning person and resists every prod to move it along. I end up yelling a lot.

Have I mentioned I’m a yeller? I wish I weren’t but I am. I think, perhaps, it’s part of my Blue personality. Blue’s feel it’s very important to be understood. When my kids ignore me after telling them for the 6th time to *insert mundane instruction such as eat your food or brush your teeth* I start to think that obviously they aren’t understanding me and maybe it’s because they aren’t hearing me. So I speak louder. And louder. And LOUDER. Before I know it, the 30th time I repeat myself I’m yelling so maybe, just maybe, my voice will pass into their ears, pinball around their brains and actually be comprehended.

As a result, our school mornings don’t really start off on the right foot and after one full week of getting everybody out the door on time, more than a little worse for wear, I’m in need of a change.

Tell me, how do you make your morning routine work? Are you a morning person? Are your children? Also, I’m wondering, are you a yeller, too? How do you deal? Let me know.

3 comments to Mornings

  • Cyl

    It ate my original comment! Stupid Feedly.

    Anyway.

    Henry, Fred and I leave at 7:25 AM to get to school. They wake between 6:50 and 7:00.

    I am a “blue-wrangling-with-red-for-dominance” and you already know I am a yeller. But I do not yell in the mornings, for two reasons 1) it does nothing helpful; and 2) Nora is still asleep.

    Here’s my way. I go upstairs and wake the boys myself, gently. Fred can wake with just a word, but Henry waking is like a deep-sea diver surfacing, so I rub his back and say his name several times. Then I ask them what they want for breakfast and prepare it for them while they sit at the table and wake up a bit. It’s always cereal, instant oatmeal, yogurt, etc. These are all breakfasts they can make for themselves, but on weekdays I do it.

    After breakfast they put their dishes in the sink and I remind them to get dressed in school clothes. Their clothes are separated between school and play so it’s easy for them to get the right ones. They don’t care much what they wear, so they dress quickly. After three minutes, if they have not reappeared downstairs, I call up quietly to remind them: “Are you dressed? It’s time to brush your teeth!” This recalls the distracted to their tasks.

    We have three bathrooms and I have them brush in the master. If they brushed upstairs they’d get distracted again. Meanwhile, I pack the snacks and water bottles in their backpacks. Once the teeth are done, I call out “socks and shoes,” hand them their backpacks, and we get in the car.

    I get home just before 8:00 AM, so I spend 60-65 minutes doing the school thing each morning. For those minutes, I avoid all of MY potential distractions, which are all electronic. Also, I am in a different life stage, so if Nora does wake up, I have older, homeschooled kids who feed her and watch after her. Neither do I have to take anyone extra in the car. I know you have your littlest nut along for the fun, too.

    This ability to keep my focus on them for that one hour makes our mornings smooth, and yell-free.

  • Deena

    My sister started waking everyone up thirty minutes earlier and that solved her problems. Hailey does best with her mornings if I write out a checklist of everything she needs to do. And I try to have as many moving parts as possible in place before I go to bed the night before: clothes, socks, shoes set out; school bag and coat packed and ready; any lunch items that can be prepacked put together. Maybe say morning prayers upon waking rather than in a hurried rush out the door?

  • Melissa S.

    NO, I’m not a morning person!!!!!!!!!!! never have been, never will be. Some of my kids ARE though and their chipper attitudes sometimes drive me bonkers. haha.

    I wake up 20 minutes before their alarm clocks go off, so I can “re-group”. I usually eat something too, so I’m not grouchy. not that it helps much.
    I’m not a yeller but I’ll use the EXASPERATED tone and the disappointed tones that I think can be more hurtful to children anyway. I hate that. I know this is lame, but since most of my meltdowns happen in the kitchen (homework time, dinner time, mornings, etc) I have a sign on my fridge that says, “Keep Calm You’re a Good Mom”. one of those British looking signs. Anyway, we all ARE good moms, I just need to remind myself to keep calm. Because I actually REMEMBER the mornings when I walked out and didn’t feel love/peaceful, etc when I was younger. I just want my kids leaving with that feeling. So I literally have the phrase going through my head all morning. Seriously.
    Before they leave we obviously have family prayer and then I give the kids leaving a mint. Then if I lost it that morning at least the last feelings they have as they leave the house is a prayer, a hug (they don’t get a mint unless they give me one), a mint and a “Make it a great day!”