Mornings with kids have the tendency to be somewhat of a shit show, no matter how organized you are. But just how different are your mornings when you’re a mom to girls vs. a mom to boys? Is there a difference? Two moms weigh in.
Mornings With Girls
My seven and ten-year old daughters are the best thing that ever happened to me. I love being a mother and I love raising girls.
But … I don’t love mornings.
Having girls means when it’s time to wake them up you’ll have to force the bedroom door open, like a paramedic trying to access the home of a known hoarder. Time is of the essence and you don’t know what you’re going to find on the other side.
Once you’ve gained entry, you will see (on the floor, of course) at least 11 outfits that were tried on and discarded the night before as though your daughter’s room had been taken over as the staging area for New York Fashion Week.
On your way to her bedside you are likely to step on at least four or five stuffed animals, but you won’t care because these feel much better than the Barbie stiletto that is now permanently embedded in your heel.
When you lean down to place those soft “time to wake up” kisses on her head, or to pull back that duvet, she may attempt to snap off your hand, like a wild animal caught in a bear trap. Ignore this, and her dead squirrel morning breath, because this is the least of your immediate worries.
If she’s tired don’t bother reminding her that it was she who stayed up late, she who demanded five hugs, four stories, three glasses of water, two shadow puppets and a backrub before lights out. Her sleepiness, along with everything else that’s wrong in her life, is your fault.
Eventually your angel will rise and make her way to the living room where she will flop down on the couch “forgetting” for the 1,456th consecutive time that there’s no television until she’s dressed and ready for school. Cue the 1,456th consecutive fight about this subject, which will be followed by stomping to wake the dead (which at this point, you will wish includes you).
After breakfast (which was probably either too hot, too crunchy or too much), comes the bathroom routine.
It must be said that while girls can be sweet, they’re not always sweet-smelling. When the bathroom door finally opens (assuming she bothered to close it in the first place) you’ll be greeted with the combined scent of unflushed toilet and The Body Shop, and it will make you wish you’d decided to raise chickens instead of humans.
Lunches and backpacks were packed the night before, because you’re not an amateur. But there is guaranteed to be at least one critical item (fidget-spinner, hair band, Pokemon card) that MUST be located prior to departure.
If you’re lucky enough to find it and get them to school on time, you can then come home and begin your day.
Mornings With Boys
I love hectic mornings trying to get my kids out the door to school, said no parent ever.
If I could use one word to describe getting boys under the age of ten ready for school, it would be chaotic. But prefaced with an expletive.
Basically, a tornado of shouted requests, misplaced shoes and unpacked backpacks that need to be packed.
You would think waking up two boys would be the easiest thing in the world, but the reality is, you never know who you’re going to get. It starts at 7:00 am.
Will it be a sweet sleepy head who allows me to run my hand through his bed head while I kiss him on the forehead and ask about his sleep? Or will I require riot gear and a fire hose?
It’s always a surprise. One that starts the tone for the morning. There is no snapping out of grumpiness in the hour and a half we have to get ready.
Typically, it takes two tries to get them up. Nobody’s happy to throw off the covers on a toasty warm bed. I wake them too early, they say, but only because I know it takes each of them awhile to get moving.
I shuffle through the chaos zombie-like, eyes open but brain not quite functioning as I wait for my coffee to kick in, a repertoire of repeated instructions at the ready:
Go brush your teeth, now.
Leave your brother alone.
If you don’t like it, don’t eat it.
Because that’s the lunch I made you.
When the weather is warm I’ve taken to purposely keeping the windows closed so the neighbours can’t hear the yelling, mine and theirs.
The shared bathroom causes fights. Someone didn’t flush the toilet again. He touched my toothbrush. All the while I’m wondering WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THERE WHEN THEY PEE?
Why do they never tell me they are out of clean underwear, t-shirts, or pants the night before? It’s always the morning of. I’m now an expert at choosing the least stained pieces that are still wearable, a talent to be sure, but nothing I could ever put on a resume.
And the forms for pizza, field trips, and after-school activities, forgotten at the bottom of a backpack that are always due back today. I sign without looking. I may have just given them the okay to travel with a circus. Who knows.
Then there is the last-minute, get the shoes, boots, jackets, snow pants rush at the front door where I miraculously turn from mother into weatherman, knowing exactly how the temperatures will fluctuate throughout the day and exactly what they should wear.
Layers, always layers.
Finally, it’s the I love you’s. No matter how hectic the morning, no matter the arguments, we always leave with those.
It’s 8:30, another hour and a half or controlled chaos is over. I close the door and promise myself tomorrow I will do better.
In the 1980s there was an army recruitment commercial with the tag line “We do more before 9:00 a.m. than most people do in a day.”
Pretty sure they stole that line from a mother.
Conclusion? We think mornings are pretty much a hot mess for every parent. Good thing those kids are so darn cute.