One of my closest mom friends and I have a running gag where we text each other in those moments when we are going to cinch “Mother of the Year”. Those moments when we will be anything but, when we feel horribly for the way we have acted.
Like the weekend my son missed his best little buddy’s birthday party because I could have sworn it was on Sunday, not Saturday…and more frequently the mornings when I scream, yell and carry on trying to get my munchkins out the door to school, daycare and me off to work.
Mornings at our house do not bring out the best in me; the adrenaline rush stresses me out turning me into a screaming-banshee mommy. After the morning spent yelling, there is always the guilt as I drive to work reflecting on the morning and promising that tomorrow will be better. That I will be the mommy I want to be. I guess I could blame the kids, “They don’t listen, they goof around and waste time.” Nevertheless, the truth is they are kids. It is not them. It is how I set up the morning environment.
If my training working with high needs students has taught me anything, it is how, in most cases, the environment creates the behaviour: basic cause and effect. So, I vowed to set up a better morning routine in order to all find success and leave the house in a timely, orderly and pleasant fashion. As part of that mission, I pack lunches the night before, I wake up a little earlier and get the kids up with ample time to get dressed and down to the breakfast table. We have reorganized the front hall so the kids can find their mitts, boots, splash pants, coats and backpacks without tears. I count down the last five minutes before we have to leave. There are continual tweaks trying to find what works.
And, while every morning isn’t exactly tear or scream free, we are getting there and hopefully, by the time the kids get to high school we will have our morning routine down to a fine science.