In honor of my new blog theme and graphic that depicts just how much I enjoy sleeping, I thought I should write about how much I hate getting back into the routine of getting up early and wrangling little people into clothes and shoes in a timely manner before I have even had coffee. Sure, I am going to miss spending time making sure they don't kill each other, um, I mean playing and snuggling with them, but truly and honestly I mostly dread that horrible, awful, painful moment I have to get out of my bed each day an hour and a half earlier. I recently read that your natural sleep rhythms are genetic and mine apparently don't sync with the rest of the world and most of my kids inherited this trait from me. I view waking a sleeping person as cruel, so the next step of prying all these kids from the warmth of their covers is almost as bad as getting up in the first place. As you can imagine, this doesn't make for pleasant getting-ready-for-school experiences. Some strip to their underwear and stare blankly at the wall as if they have fallen back to sleep standing up, while others cry in despair, another yells at them to shut up, and one complains about being late again. The fact that school is starting five minutes earlier this year feels like the sinking Titanic and I am left wondering how. Just HOW am I going to do this?!?!
And then, as if Facebook could read my thoughts, along comes a post through my news feed all about how to streamline this chaos and make it all better. And in my usual moment of weakness/insanity/hope I clicked to read this helpful advice.
The following are the tips given in this painfully long slideshow on mom.me and my stream of concsiousness response to each, and yes, I am fully aware I sound like a petulant, excuse-making child:
1. Communicate the plan
Me: Oh, so just tell the kids what they are supposed to do each morning, huh? Yeeeah, that'll solve it. I am very sure I will be 'communicating the plan' with increasing frequency and volume all morning, every. freaking. morning!
2. A Visual Guide
Me: Sure! Just what I need! Add 27 minutes to the routine by having the kids go 'check their list' to find out they are supposed to wear shoes to school. I do have chore charts. I know that's how this works.
3. 10 Minutes Ahead
Me: I actually already get up ten minutes before them most of the time to make sandwiches. It does nothing.
This one also suggest that some mornings you go ahead and sleep that extra ten minutes when you need it. Me: I need it ALL mornings.
4. A Little Time for Yourself
Me: Bwahahahaha. That is all.
5. Give it time and practice
The author likens this to training for a marathon rather than just trying to run one all of a sudden.
Me: It's an apt metaphor because it is another thing I will never, ever have the desire or ability to do regardless of practice.
6. Sleep Routine
Me: When it comes to torture, would you like to torture yourself gradually a little more each day for two weeks before someone else tortures you? Okay, I know that's irrational, but you know what? I just don't have the will power. I am going with the band-aid approach and I am hoping, or rather lying to myself about how it makes for an easier bedtime routine.
7. Assign jobs
Me: Some of my kids forget to pee in the morning! And you think I should give them more jobs? I do have to give a shout out to my two oldest girls here though, they do try to help out a lot.
8. Divide and conquer
Me: Wait! What? Some people's spouses are still home to help with this? They suck! Just kidding, I'm just jealous.
9. Night Prep
Me: Sheesh, original, like no one has thought of that advice before. Having the clothes laid out is not all that helpful when the following conversation has happened multiple times at my house: I say, "Get dressed." The kid says, "But I don't know where my clothes are." I say, "Right next to you." Kid looks left and says, "Where?" I say, "Other side. You are actually sitting on the sleeve of your shirt!"
This paragraph also included the words detailed, overly-prepared, and ironing.
Me: Wow! This person is a very different person than I am. She would totally be a 'SJ' on the Myers-Briggs test. Hmmm. Maybe I should start having the kids put on their school clothes the night before. Too bad they can't pee the night before and still have an empty bladder in the morning. You know what though? I seriously should start checking the sandbox for a random shoe the night before.
10. Prepared backpack
This one is about 'drilling the good habit' of putting everything away in their backpacks.
Me: Ah, since all those other good habits like tooth brushing, hair combing, showering, and putting shoes away properly are going so swimmingly, I should totally try this! Oh wait nope, they do NONE of those things without constant nagging and sometimes bodily force. I think I will stick with forgetting to check if they need to get out homework in the first place. That's worked for me in the past.
11. Attitude adjustment
Me: Oh, they mean MINE. That's usually not what I am thinking when I say attitude adjustment. Anyway, are we more worried about everyone's good mood or actually getting to school this century? We can't have both.
12. Reset the home
Ah ha!! You are one of those moms who stays up late and goes around and fixes everything. Drilling good habits, my butt! You are putting that homework in the bag in a semi-comatose state because you refuse to go to bed until everything is just so. I know your type, you tell your kids to do stuff, then later you do the stuff, and then think you have kids who do stuff.
13. Eat together whenever possible
Me: Very sarcastic yay! We are doing something right! We are eating granola bars and PediaSure in the car together on the way to town all the time.
Here is my more practical back-to-school advice: Click here to buy some Pediasure to toss at your kids on the way out the door when you are running late. Get vanilla so it doesn't make a mess and NEVER put a partially drank one in a backpack because if it leaks, the whole class will be trying to find that smell and your poor child will be sent home humiliated with her bag in a trash sack. Not speaking from experience or anything here.
14. Keep it in perspective
Me: I already have the 'no big deal' attitude down pat. Let me know when the rest of the world gets it and quits threatening to suspend my high schoolers if they are late too often.
Next slide show: 10 Must-Try Back to School Crafts
Me: Are these people high?!?!
Part of Mom Life Mondays Link-up!
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I am the mother of seven children ranging from teens to a toddler, living out in the middle of nowhere, USA. I aim to hone the craft of giving advice without pretending to have this whole mom thing figured out. I am Christian, but not the really nice kind that is good at it. I am also conservative, but I promise not to be in your face with political agendas very often. I like to infuse humor into my writing, so don't freak out if you are offended or appalled by what you read here. There is a very fine line between serious advice and sarcastic hyperbole.
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