Mornings Are Not My Thing

Nothing turns me into a crazy lady quite like routine.

We’re going on just under a week of back-to-school bliss. And for the most part, it truly is fabulous. Piers started Kindergarten, and Wallace is in Pre-K at the SAME SCHOOL!!!! They are transitioning so well that I’m almost afraid to say it out loud.

My heart melts everyday when they are escorted out to the car-rider line with their little man-boy bodies and too-big backpacks. They’re still babies, but now they get to go to school.




It’s what I imagine heaven to be like.

That’s the good part.

The not-so-good part began this morning when I realized that we’ve gotten into a routine. Well, sort of.

Gil drops them off in the morning around 7:30, which means we all have to get up and moving around 6:30. I realize that these times sound absolutely manageable to the majority of the population. Please stop your judging.

In my pre-kid life, I, too, managed all kinds of early bird operations. When I sold construction materials, my old-school Nextel began exploding on my nightstand every morning around 6 AM, often earlier. I usually was in my office no later than 7:30, so I know that I am capable.

I was also a flight attendant for five years, and while I understand that delays are rampant in the airline industry, I promise you that they DO NOT tolerate tardiness from their employees. I had plenty of rotations where I had to sign-in, as in arrive, fully-dressed and ready to roll (or rather, soar) at FIVE A.M.

I’ve done early mornings.

But it is just plain difficult.

And this particular morning, I was difficult.

Some of my other mom friends have shared stories with me this week about how worn out their young children are.

“I just CAN NOT get little Piper out of bed. It’s like the poor thing can’t move.”

“Henry comes in and collapses as soon as he walks in the door. Yesterday I was watching him walk up the driveway from the bus, and I swear, I met him halfway to the house and practically had to carry him in. THEN, I thought he was in the bathroom and I went back to check on him and found him curled up in a corner in the playroom. SOUND ASLEEP.”

I’m silent as the other moms nod in understanding commiseration.

Thus far, this has not been my experience.

My children are everything BUT worn-out. If anything, they have an abundance of energy. This morning I had my alarm set for 6:30, and at 5:45 I was awakened by Wallace, who was completely naked and munching on a banana. He plopped his bare behind down on my face and announced that Piers had been “karate-chopping me.” I didn’t doubt it as I could hear Piers loudly Hi-Ya-ing in the other room.

Seriously. 5:45.

Granted the boys were asleep by eight o’clock last night, and I wasn’t far behind them, but my goodness. FIVE FORTY-FIVE??!!

I suppose I have to accept that we’re shifting into a fall routine. And wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” ?

Well, it makes this lady bitchy, snippy, and just plain witchy!

I yelled at the kids for not getting dressed and for creating a hurricane in the playroom. Their entire side of the house smelled like urine. What is it with little boys and PEE? Just get it in the toilet and flush already. I was not the peaceful mother that I aspire to be. I was stomping through the house and frantically trying to sniff out the stench. I mean, does anything smell worse than number one? Especially when you can’t locate the source. Unfortunately, I think there were several sources.

Neither child would admit to wetting the bed, and I couldn’t locate any soiled underpants. I’m guessing it was Wallace since he naked-face-dropped me first thing. They were both looking at me with that perplexed male look that I’ve seen far too many times in my life. If their little faces could talk, I’m certain they would have said, “What are you getting so worked up about Mom? Geez.”

In the midst of all this, Gil comes out and we proceed to argue about the bathroom that I’ve pretty much labeled “The Men’s Room.” Gil agreed to clean it, and it’s where he showers and takes care of business. It’s also the bathroom that the kids use. It’s pretty disgusting even though I wipe around the toilet and floor at least three times a week.

As I’m writing this at 11 A.M., I’m realizing that it’s not that big of a deal. At 5:45, it seemed dreadfully unmanageable.

Everyone got out the door. I’ve been working on my resume, and I’m trying to not feel defeated. Transitions have always been tough for me, and we’ll get in a rhythm even if it takes a couple of weeks.

I’m grateful that the kids are happy in school, and Gil has been doing an amazing job getting everyone loaded up and out the door in a timely fashion.

I, too, will adjust. I just need my sleep, therefore, I must get to bed early and use my time better during the day. Gil was sweet when I called to thank him for overlooking my AM tirade. He calmly said, “Look at it this way, Hon. You’re still catching up from a six-year sleep deficit. It might take you a while to get back in a morning groove.”

He has really stepped up this last month, and I see major changes.

Now I just have to make sure I can reel myself in.

Progress, dear, not perfection.

Oh, and one more thing….

Elementary school employees are saints.

11 thoughts on “Mornings Are Not My Thing

  1. I remember the days of dropping my son at the sitters by 6:00 AM so I could get to work by 7:30! I always felt so bad for him having to get up so early, when school didn’t start for another two hours! It’s tough being a parent, but it sounds like you are perfectly normal in your reaction to things. There were days I just couldn’t get the kid dressed and had to take him to the sitters in his jammies. Made me feel guilty, it did.

    I’m so happy for you that things appear to be improving between you and Gil! I hope it keeps improving everyday.


  2. OMG. Sounds like a stressful morning. Definitely not what we strive for when we try to get back into our Fall “routine”. I’m sorry about the pee thing. I think I would have a hard time dealing with that (yes, my girls’ room still smells like strawberry shortcake, Barbies, and sometimes Justin Bieber perfume).

    I am reluctantly admit that we will be doing the same back-to-school thing in just about three weeks. I am dreading it. I feel like the only time that I can semi-manage this working mother thing is in the summer when there are no after school schedules, homework projects, unexcused absenses, or tardy slips. (Yes, I shamelessly admit that the only thing that I like about this juggling act is the direct deposit into my bank account every two weeks).

    You are right about the morning thing. You better believe that it is 100% easier to get myself ready for work at an ungodly hour without any kids in the mix. I have managed to brush teeth, insert contacts, shower, dress, have tea and pack a lunch in twenty minutes only to have a child wake up five minutes before my departure and throw the whole thing into a catastrophe, making me late for work. It isn’t you, I know. Kids have needs and demands that seem to emerge and explode out of nowhere.

    When my kids go back to school this year, they will be in different schools (something we weren’t expecting for another three years). My older one’s school is a thirty minute drive. I can go on about how complicated our schedules are going to be next year, but then this comment will turn into a post. The point is that I am seriously not looking forward to the insane mornings.

    I know that you are looking for employment, but I wish you from the bottom of my heart a few weeks of peaceful seven-hour-home-alone days. When the kids are all in school is the most reasonable time to go back to work, but doesn’t it seem like the best time to be a stay-at-home-mom too? 🙂


    • Thanks! Sorry I’m so late replying. Wow. Three kids at three different schools sounds dreadful. I guess that’s the good part about my boys being so close in age and living in a pretty small town — few options, so most likely my two will be at the same school most of the time. Yeah, dragging my feet a bit on the employment — again, not many options that don’t involve paying for more childcare. Being a mom often feels like an extreme juggling act.


      • Sorry, just need to clarify a little. I do have three kids, but one of them has graduated college, gotten a job and is living on his own…in another state. Still, two is no walk in the park either. School started this week, and it is really kicking my rear…and I haven’t even gone to work yet this week!! All I know is that I need more energy for this, and I don’t know where I’m going to get it!


        • Gotcha! Sorry, you were clear; it was my mix-up. I was thinking you had three younger kids at home. Congrats and hats off to you for getting one grown and self-sufficient! I know what you mean as far as needing more energy, as I’m staring at the mound of laundry on my sofa and trying to decide if I should tackle that first or clean the kitchen. I just wish I could function better on less sleep. Hope your routine gets easier.


  3. Oh my God. I’m not sure if this was supposed to be funny, but I thought it was hysterical. It just brings back so many memories of our two boys when they were little. I just love your outrage at everything. 🙂


    • It’s nice to see that you raised two boys and survived, sense of humor intact and all. I always tell my friends that they’ll know I’m officially losing it when I no longer have my sense of humor — definitely a survival tactic that has served me well. Yeah, I get a little rage-y at times — drives my husband crazy. I’m like, “Honey, I’m an externalizer. You should probably learn to deal!” Thanks for reading! 🙂


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