Not sure why I never published this one, but it’s interesting to me because now I am on winter break and although my mornings are chaotic in their own way, this chaos feels so far away. Anyone, this is from mid semester.
Mornings at our house are chaos. Chaos. I have no idea how this chaos rates on a chaos scale, if everyones house is chaotic in the morning, but I know that our mornings sure are. And that the word “chaos” is starting to look really funny. Some mornings the elderly dog craps on the floor. Some mornings Beanie dumps out multiple boxes of pasta. Some mornings I forget my tea, my lunch, my gym clothes, my homework, Jolene’s coat. Some mornings I carry Jolene up the stairs 7 times until I remember what on earth I was going up stairs to get anyway. Some mornings its all of the above but no mornings is it none of the above. I am not sure when the chaos started, but its been pretty constant the last couple of months and has correstponded with a lot of behavioral craziness from Beans. She’s nearly two (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I get it. This is what toddlers do, but every morning it is a struggle to get her in her chair, get a bib on her, find something that she will eat without gifting it to the dog via the floor. Somehow, I have never seen these things as connected, that her clingy, obstructionist behavior could be due to the hurricane that is three adults trying to get out the door. I made the connection a night or two ago, and suddenly it all makes sense. Yes, she is a toddler, but she is also watching her family for cues and when she sees them grumping about who finished the coffee or yelling at the dog, she takes that on. So I have been thinking about how to make mornings smoother and here are some things I came up with…
1. Get everything, everything ready the night before. This is kind of obvious, but I still don’t do it. I spend over 15 minutes thinking about mine and her outfits in the morning, which is a big waste of time. Lay out outfits, diapers, coffee/tea, lunch, keys, school bag, coats EVERYTHING the night before and just DO IT even if you want to blow everything off and watch Scandal instead. But I wouldn’t know anything about that.
2. Wake up before the little one. This is really hard (and depends on getting to bed on time) but even ten minutes with no kid in the morning gives me a little time to get dressed, start breakfast, do my hair, get ahead in some tiny way.
3. I don’t need to be at school until ten, but I get stressed out if I leave anytime after 8 (I have a half hour commute). This time I have right now before class is nice, but not necessary, not worth yelling over. If you can (I’m not sure why I am saying you, am I giving advice? You probably shouldn’t listen to my advice…) schedule class/work (i know this isn’t usually how work works) late enough so that you have a solid amount of time to get out the door.
4. Take a minute to do something fun. I know a 3 minute dance party seems like the last thing you have time for in the morning, but Beanie cannot focus on getting ready for a solid hour. Taking a break from getting ready to read a book or relax for less than 5 minutes really doesn’t change your overall time, but it makes you feel relaxed and happier getting out the door.