Taking back the mornings

There are a lot of experts out there. These experts cover everything from finances to food to parenting. There is a reason they are called experts as they have usually spent years studying the topic for which the are experting.  Now, I am not an expert and I usually don’t pay much attention to the experts as they all seem to contradict each other. I am a stay at home mom to 2 little boys under the age of 4.  That does not make me an expert, it makes me tired and scattered.

Our morning routine has been spiraling out of control.  I have a preschooler whose imagination is taking over reason and I can’t get to focus for more than 20 seconds.  I have a toddler who is insulted by the very idea of clothing and promptly disassembles that which I’ve put on.

Combine the two, with a tv playing kids shows in the background, and you can imagine the distracted rush it is to get them fed, dressed and out the door so we can get the oldest to preschool by 8:30.  I was outnumbered.  No sooner would I have the little guy’s jacket on and grab my oldest’s bag for school, than I’d turn around and little guy was disrobed. I’d get him dressed and the oldest was back upstairs playing.  I’m frustrated, their frustrated.  I needed help.  I needed reinforcements. I needed another lineman.

I called in the defensive lineman.  Even more chaos because now Daddy! was home.  More frustration, more distraction.  It was getting ridiculous.  After all, how could 2 grown adults be outmaneuvered by two little guys who ages don’t even add up to 5?

The other element in all of this…it’s winter and we live in the South (well, just south of the Mason-Dixon line).  And here in the South, anything below 30 degrees is considered a polar vortex and just downright rude.  We don’t get out much as it’s been insultingly cold.  We’ve been inside.  A lot.  Like, almost all. the. time.

I am not one of those creative moms who comes up with all sorts of cute Pintrest worthy ideas to entertain my kids.  I get distracted by the laundry, and the dishes, and the dust monsters in the corners of the room.   So eventually the kids wear me down and I turn on their favorite shows.  I have gotten into the habit in the mornings of turning on our favorite kids tv channel (hint, it’s the same company that has my favorite theme park) while I get the kids fed and dressed.  The thing is, they like to interact with their favorite characters.  Which means a waffle in one hand while they are mousekersizing with the other.  All the while I’m asking them to do the impossible, sit down and eat.  So not fair mom!

Then it hit me.  Duh!  What have the experts been saying about tv and screen time…that we need to limit it.  And for good reason.  It’s distracting, it’s not stimulating the right parts of the brain, and oh it’s distracting.

So off went the tv and guess what happened.  Two boys fed, dressed, with shoes and socks (well, 1 with shoes and socks, the other in the process of removing) and ready to go 5 minutes early.

YES!!!!!  SUCCESS!!!

I have enjoyed the somewhat peaceful mornings.  It’s nice to have time to connect in the quiet of the mornings with two cute little munchkins; it sets the tone of the day.

What have I learned?  That as the experts have been saying, kids do need routine and limited distractions.  How can I expect them to perform the tasks at hand when their favorite characters are singing and dancing.  Parenting fail!   But we figured this one out, have reclaimed the mornings and pretty soon I will probably have another post with great enlightenment that would not have been needed if I simply listened to the experts.  Now, to figure out which one…


2 thoughts on “Taking back the mornings

  1. Jen Iapalucci says:

    Good job, mama. Mornings are the worst. I have been known to keep my preschooler home just because I can't deal with the shouty-ness of getting him out the door on time. I wish TV were the problem. Maybe one of these days we'll get a handle on it!


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