I am not a morning person, and this is one of my greatest challenges as a mom. I like my quiet time in the morning- ha, hilarious, right? Before kids, I would wake up early to enjoy the news and my coffee before heading to work. Now, it’s so hard to wake up early to have my me time. First, because I am exhausted. And second, because sometimes my kids just wake up too early!
My husband, on the other hand, wakes up feeling great and ready to face the day. He loves to chat. And because he is not a night owl like me, he likes to have the important conversations in the morning: available preschool interview dates, weekend plans with friends, stuff to order from Amazon… I usually tell him, “I am not comprehending anything you are saying, please stop.”
So here is the kicker: my first son is just.like.me. And this makes mornings very difficult. My younger son jumps up, ready to play music, color, and play football…wonder where he gets that from? And my older son gets so annoyed. He moves SLOWLY, relaxes on the couch with his milk, casually watching Paw Patrol. Then at some point, his brother comes over to “play” with him, and he loses it. And it is a downward spiral…
“I don’t want to eat. I’m not hungry yet.”
“I don’t want to get dress.”
“I’m too tired.” (He sleeps 11-12 hours at night.)
“I want to lay on the couch.” (me, too, my son, me, too!)
Then, you have me, who doesn’t want to deal with anything in the morning, let alone toddler drama.
So, I have learned a few things.
- Start early. Sometimes, I wake up my son (gasp), so he has his time to move slowly.
- Respect your child’s needs. My son is just like me, so I get it. But maybe your child is the opposite. Respect that they might be different from you, and that’s ok. What do they really need in the morning?
- Know yourself. I need my morning time, too. I’ll continue to try to get up before my kids, so that I can be refreshed and more patient with morning drama. Some moms lose their cool in the afternoon or at bedtime, after a long day. I am the opposite and am much more likely to snap in the morning. Know yourself, so you can adjust to better manage your kids.
- Yelling “Hurry up” makes things worse and actually makes things move slower.
- Slow down. It’s ok if you are a few minutes late. Sometimes, I stop and hug my son and tell him that I understand how he feels. “Mommy has a hard time in the mornings too, but we still have to eat and get dressed, so we can have a FUN day!”
- Remember that these are transient feelings. As soon as we’re ready to go, my son comes to life and is a happy little guy! And so am I!
- Shake it off. If you have a bad start to the day, don’t let it ruin the whole day. I’ve cried while driving to school drop off, feeling like a total mom-failure, and my son happily asks, “Mommy what’s wrong!?” Kids don’t hold grudges or worry about the past. They move on very quickly, and we should too.
Good luck, mamas!