It starts well. A brisk walk/slow run, the dog jogging alongside happy as only dogs can be. A fellow early morning walker waves. The sun slowly warms the horizon as you quietly open the door, a freshly brewed coffee/orange juice, the day’s newspaper open on the table.
Then you wake up.
Ah mornings. If only it were this simple.
The reality? Hubby leaves for work. Chaos ensues. “No screens before breakfast!”, “C’mon, I need you to be up now!” Slow, painful groans emit from the teen’s room. You run in. Is he hurt? No. Just not a morning person. “Can you put the shower on please Mum?” Ten minutes later the house is full of steam and there’s still no sign of him …
Meanwhile, the younger one has demolished a cheese toastie and reckons he can squeeze in another. You deal to that and prepare to sprint to your room to get dressed but no, one of them has just remembered they need a plate for shared morning tea/a form signed that was due yesterday/has no clean shirts left/has lost a shoe!
Mornings! It never ceases to amaze me how they can go so pear-shaped in such a short space of time.
Here’s a few tips for buying yourself some time to troubleshoot the inevitable chaos.
- put breakfast stuff out night before and fill the jug
- pack lunch boxes up as much as possible and fill water bottles
- buy bus tickets in bulk and keep them on the fridge/noticeboard
- teach the kids to make their own toasties!
- visual check that uniforms are out night before
- verbal check re homework/assignments – done and in bags
- verbal check re extras (sports gear etc) that will also be needed
- communicate with 2IC (hubby) about after school logistics night before thus reducing the likelihood of 20 text messages between 9 and 11am!
- get your own lunch ready too
- buy stronger coffee
Admittedly, our mornings are generally a well-oiled machine as my kids have been used to having to leave the house early from a young age but as they enter their teen years, a whole new level of disorder threatens. It’s not deliberate, it’s just mornings are not for teens.
So if it means 20 minutes of organisation the night before, so be it.
Anything to contain the mayhem!