Moms everywhere are always complaining that the morning shit show of trying to wake, dress, feed and get their kids off to school on time is overwhelming, to say the least. And frankly, I just don’t get it. I have my kids up and out the door with minutes to spare every single day and I do it all in just under 2000 simple steps.
Follow me on my morning journey and get yourself some much needed guidance on this disaster you claim is such a “hard job” and you’ll be spinning your wheels up to the doors of the school right as the bell rings just like I am every day!
- Make sure your kids clothes are set out for them before they wake up. If this means setting your alarm clock to get your ass out of bed at 2 AM so that you don’t have to be bothered with nuisances like your completely dependent children in the morning, then do that. Just make sure the clothes are out. Never mind that they won’t want to wear THAT outfit once they wake up.
- Pack lunches the night before. Between cooking a six-course meal, struggling your way through endless sight words and spelling tests, and hosing down your little angels in the bath while they scream in agony over the pain that tear-free soap brings to their eyes, you can find a spare couple of hours to cut free-range, hormone-free, NON-GMO, and antibiotic and cruelty-free meats into faces of their favorite Disney characters. It’s not that hard, mom. Slap some gluten-free crackers and homemade fruit leather in there too.
- Early risers should be celebrated! When your kids wake up at 4AM, take this as an opportunity to get a jumpstart on the day. Don’t ask them to return to their beds in the pitch-black night. Make sure to seize this good fortune as a chance to get a few extra hours of screen time in while you dream about the millions of chores you should be completing as you doze off on the couch to the sounds of YouTubers and Jojo Siwa streaming from the iPads waiting for the sun to rise.
- Set an alarm, for God sake. Don’t assume your kids will wake you up before you need to get up. We all know Murphy’s Law of parenting doesn’t work that way. Why would you leave something like timeliness to chance? Get up hours before your kids that way you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee while you cry into your kids cereal because you stayed up far too late last night scrolling on Instagram when you should have went to bed early.
- Wake your kids with the sound of a soft bell and ocean waves. Set the mood for the morning waking up your slumbering babes with soothing nature sounds. This will surely keep them from screaming into your face because they aren’t READY TO GET UP YET! They will wake up naturally calm and serene ready to take the day by storm. Shit storm.
- Have your kids dress before breakfast. This really saves time, because when they spill their cereal and milk all over their fresh clothes, they can scream in a traumatic fit of rage because they didn’t like that outfit and suddenly, now that they can’t wear it, it’s their FAVORITE!
- Get your shoes and coat on before your kids. Modeling the behavior you want your kids to perform shows them your expectations. If I have my shoes and coat on before I even wake them up in the morning they are fully prepared for my requests for THEM to get theirs on two hours later. And, it makes it so much easier to get their lunches into their bags, help them tie their shoes, zip their coats and wrangle them out of the house when you’re bundled up for below freezing temps like a snowman.
- Give your kids a warning and count-down every five minutes starting an hour before you have to leave. Experts say that instead of telling your kids it’s time to go NOW, by giving them a 5-10 minute warning it mentally prepares them for the task at hand. I say, why stop at 10? Start the night before when you put them to bed and repeat every five minutes screaming, “I’m serious you guys, we are going to be LATE if you don’t HURRY UP!” This way, they have no excuse for their tardiness and you can throw in their faces that you’ve been telling them for A DAY they needed to be ready to go. As if we don’t complete this same ritual every. damn. day. and they shouldn’t already know that leaving is part of the routine.
- Set an actual fire (kind of). Ten minutes past the time you are supposed to have walked out the door, start a fire alarm in the house. I find that LOUD NOISES really get my kids to jump to attention. If they haven’t been phased by your incessant countdown from the previous 12 hours, it’s time to bust out the big guns. Tell them this is the sound of the school bell they are hearing and it’s TIME. They are already LATE.
- Do a thorough check as each child walks out the door that they have everything they need. You should have done this the night before, but you were too busy “liking” strangers status updates so now you’re behind. Line them up like little soldiers and make sure to double and triple check they have every item they need to get through the day. Let’s be honest. Even if you complete this step you’ll realize some field trip form you left sitting on the counter the minute you get a block or two away from the house.
- When you can’t get them in line, don’t start panicking… yet. This is not how this was supposed to go. You are PRE-PLANNING. There is a method to this and the process is tried and true! You did it ALL RIGHT! It’s not time to give up yet. You’re not a quitter and this isn’t your day to lie down and roll over. Today you fight. So when all else fails, scream until a vein pops out of your neck. You mean business.
- -1923. Give up. It’s already past the bell. You still don’t have one of their shoes on. One is in their room changing for the third time and one of them hasn’t finished their breakfast they started an hour ago. Now you panic. Start threatening to leave without them if they are not IN THE CAR in TWO MINUTES! Now you start contemplating the list of excuses you’ve already given the school this year for your impeccable ability to roll-up sometime between the starting bell and lunch. Have you blamed the dog running away yet? Let’s go with that one.
Getting your kids to school on time might take some extra planning on your end, but isn’t that your job as a mom? If you aren’t prepared for every anticipated meltdown, sock seam, missing shoe and cereal fiasco, what are you even doing with your kids every morning? Kids are predictable and reasonable, especially first thing in the morning. What could possibly go wrong?
If you haven’t managed to master how to gather up a bunch of sleepy, grumpy and irrational beings by now… try again tomorrow. It’s bound to work eventually, right?
Last weekend was my birthday, and I spent some time reflecting on all of the reasons why getting old can have its benefits. You can do what you want, you don’t have to answer to anyone (at home, at least), and you finally (hopefully) have your shit together at least enough to feel comfortable in your own skin.
But there are so many parts to getting older that just flat out suck. And those parts aren’t going away anytime soon. Actually, they are probably only going to get worse as time goes on. Ughhhh.
My face looks like I should have used sunscreen a lot sooner. When I was younger, we would lather ourselves up with baby oil and sit by a friend’s pool letting the rays reflect off of our beautiful, cellulite-free bodies while we giggled and planned our nights out with the boys we were fawning over. Little did I know that years later that same face would be littered with sun spots and wrinkles that could have EASILY been avoided if I would have just put the damn tin foil down and thrown on a hat instead. Thank god for botox, right?
My ass is droopy, so are my tits. And my chin, my arm flaps, my belly…. let’s be real. It’s all droopy. Every time I look in the mirror something else has fallen a few inches from where it was the day before. As I’m writing this right now my under eye bags, have migrated down to my cheeks and my jowls are now on my shoulders. YAY!
I hear people get more patient as they age, but for me, that couldn’t BE more of a goddamn lie. I have ZERO patience. I can’t even wait in a short line at Target without running through all of the things I could have done in those precious minutes I was stuck in line. I get irrationally angry when someone cuts me off in the school pickup line or leaves toothpaste in the sink. I have no patience. Maybe in my next decade, that perk will come?
I also don’t sleep anymore. Even though my kids are starting to age out of being up all night (although, they sure DO still wake up many nights, don’t get it twisted), my mind races until the wee hours of the night. And if by chance tonight is the night where my brain can’t take anymore and does me a favor by clocking out early, my bladder doesn’t. It makes a cameo appearance by way of stabbing stomach and vaginal pain around 2, 3:30, and 4 am.
Everything hurts. I can’t even clean the house anymore without searing back pain so laundry is definitely NOT happening on the same day. I don’t choose my chore completion goals based off of time or energy, for me, it is determined by how many discs in my spine I can agitate before I am laid up in bed for the next day. And if I have a good back day, then I get hit with a massive migraine instead because ADULTING IS FUN!
You have come to terms with your mortality, and it scares the shit out of you. You now astutely feel every single nerve jolt, every tight muscle, every taco that manifests in crippling heartburn and you start to convince yourself you might not make it to bedtime.
Which brings me to anxiety. Sweet, sweet anxiety. It’s the only thing that manages to keep you awake through the worst possible time of day, the night. You panic at the smallest things because you now have these tiny beings that rely on you and even though most days you’re convinced you are doing it ALL. WRONG. You still know that you are the best parent for these monsters. No one else could handle their bullshit bedtime tantrums or their horrid homework meltdowns. You can’t leave them yet, they are just starting to sleep through the night finally!
Adulting brings LOADS of joy. Peeing when you cough, listening to the soothing sound of your joints pop as you take a leisurely stroll to the kitchen for the fifth time because you can’t remember what the fuck you came in there for and then finally having a revelation at 3 am and feeling compelled to get out of bed and do something about it.
Spending all of your “free time” working on your house while tiny humans troll behind you and destroy every inch of your hard work until you give up and just let the whole house go to shit because you’re a goddamn adult and you can do that now.
I guess there is one good thing, as an adult, you get to be the one to say “fuck it” and grab a glass of wine, binge-watch Netflix, and order takeout because YOLO and all that other garbage. Cheers to growing older, bitches! (Careful though, too much wine and you’ll be working that hangover off for at least a week now that you’re old.)