A guest blog post by Tracey Brewer of Girls to Grow.
“You’re going to be late!” “Where’s your book bag?” “Did you brush your teeth?” “We don’t have time for this today!”
If an award for “Grumpiest Mom” were handed out each morning, I’m afraid I would be nominated more times than I’d like to admit. I am often so focused on getting everyone up and dressed, hurrying dawdling eaters at the breakfast table, gathering items to pack in lunches and hurrying each family member out of the door on time that I am short-tempered and joyless. I recently decided to evaluate the cause of my grouchiness to see if I could remedy the situation. Here are some ideas I am finding helpful as I struggle against early morning insanity.
- Go to bed on time. As difficult as it is, I know that I will feel better and be in a happier frame of mind if I stick to a bedtime that allows me to get the rest that I need.
- Get up early. Being a morning person makes it easier for me to get out of bed when my alarm clock goes off – at least until those dark, cold, winter mornings hit! However, rolling out of bed on time allows me to get a proper start to my day.
- Schedule a few minutes of quiet time for myself. This helps me focus on my own attitude as well as mentally prepare for what the day ahead of me will hold.
- Eliminate distractions by leaving the television, computer and cell phone turned off until all necessary preparations for the morning are finished. I have found that what starts out as “just a minute” to check e-mails soon turns into a much longer diversion.
- Do as much as possible for preparing breakfast and packing lunches ahead of time. The night before, put all non-perishable breakfast ingredients on the kitchen counter and set the table for the morning meal. Have lunches assembled and leave them in the same place each day so that they have less of a chance of being forgotten!
- Set a positive tone by turning on some music. Play tunes that are happy and upbeat to encourage those sleepyheads to get moving!
- Start each child’s day with a smile and a hug. Let their first image of their mother be a happy one. Who knows – your partner might enjoy this, too!
- Reward yourself in some small way when the morning rush is over. Whether it’s a cup of coffee in the car on the way to work or a five-minute break to read your favorite magazine before tackling the pile of laundry, give yourself something to which you can look forward when things have settled down.
- Relax! Which is worse – having my daughters occasionally be tardy to school or letting their only memories of mom in the morning be those of pushing them out the door and into the car? Some delays are inevitable and if you have to choose whether to laugh or cry – give laughter a try and see how much the mood is lightened.
By implementing these ideas in my own life, I’m finding that our days are getting off to a smoother start. Since I’m a bit lacking in red-carpet attire, I’m hoping that one day soon, I’ll be totally out of the running for that “Grumpiest Mom” award!
Tracey Brewer lives in the coastal region of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters, ages nine and seven. When not crafting articles for publication, she can be found reading, baking, spending time with her family, or blogging about parenting at Girls to Grow.
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