Eurgh having school age children can be such a drag. I don’t mean the children are a drag. (Even if they are moving at the speed of sloth). I mean getting them ready for school every morning is such a drag.
No matter how organised I think I am, I still lose my mind every morning. Yes, me, the idiot who’s also posted parenting through the chaos. A post with a bunch of tips for surviving the chaos of parenting.
So why are our mornings so stressful despite that? Well, because there are children involved. I honestly think that even if I was as organised at The Organised Housewife, I’d still be stressed. This is our typical morning :
15 things that happen every morning.
1. Nobody hears the alarm
I frequently change my alarm tone to try and confuse my brain enough to drag me out of sleep. But it rarely works. My girls even have alarms on their phones too. Yet every morning, nobody hears any of them. And no, our phones aren’t on silent. I’m not that daft.
Annoyingly, this scenario doesn’t happen on weekend mornings. Because without fail, the girls wake up at 6am just to play Roblox.
And even more annoyingly, the Roblox music wakes me up when I don’t want to be awake.
2. Fighting over the bathroom
We have a family bathroom and we also have a toilet downstairs. But every morning, there is an argument over who gets to use the upstairs toilet first. Surely I should get priority? I’m old, I’ve had 4 children and I haven’t done my pelvic floor exercises as much as I should have done. So that should be enough to guarantee first seat on the, erm, seat?
Nope. Because that would make things easy. And why make things easy when you can vocally assault your Mum’s earholes and make her brain recoil from the noise instead? Eh girls?
I can’t be the only one whose brain likes to be gently coaxed into life in the mornings. Can I?
3. Tripping over animals every morning
If it’s not the dog getting under my feet, it’s the boy cat grabbing hold of one of my legs as I try to walk down the stairs, or the girl cat lying in wait on the bottom stair and pouncing just as I move my foot anywhere near her. Sometime mornings they mix things up by tag-teaming me.
It’s genuinely a wonder that I haven’t fallen down the stairs and broken my neck yet. Sure, it’s nice to have a fan club, and everything, but sometimes it would be nice to make it to the coffee machine without almost dying. Or stepping in a puddle of piss that’s been left at the bottom of the stairs. (Cheers puppy!)
4. Getting mugged off
Every night, I collect up all the used mugs and glasses and stick them in the dishwasher. But every morning, they’ve vanished. I blame the teenagers for this. What with their ability to stay awake all night, and their need to use a different mug/glass for every beverage.
They do occasionally leave me with one mug. Usually the one thats rim is so thin I get 2nd degree burns on my lips trying to take the first glug of
coffee the elixir of life.
5. Breakfast rows
Given that the before school breakfast offering is the same every fucking day, you’d think breakfast would be easy wouldn’t you? But no. Every morning we have to go through the same old thing.
Me: “Would you like some toast?”
Me: “Would you like some cereal?”
Me: “How about porridge?”
Me: “Ok. What about fruit and yoghurt then?”
Child: “No.” Long pause…
“Actually Mummy, can I have a bacon sandwich?”
Child: “But I don’t like anything else Mummy!”
Me: “You have literally eaten cereal/porridge/toast every morning for years!!”
Child: “Fine. I’ll starve then.”
6. Top button fiasco.
Roll on the Easter holidays and summer uniform, because I am so sick of the top button fiascos we go through every morning! I don’t understand it. They can dress themselves perfectly well. And I KNOW they can do up their top buttons. And how do I know this? Because:
A) I’ve seen them do it.
B) They do it after PE twice a week perfectly fine.
Yet every morning we have the hissy fits over doing up top buttons. And not just that. Oh no. There are hissy fits over who gets their top button done up first. FML.
Every morning something vanishes!
7. Vanishing ties.
Once I’ve had my first dose of caffeine, I set out the girls’ uniform in 2 separate piles on the couch. I know this is unnecessary, but it saves yet another argument. Despite my careful separation of each child’s uniform, without fail, one tie will just vanish. I can’t blame any pets for this, because they’re in the kitchen scoffing their breakfasts. And usually neither child has moved. So how does it happen??
This morning for example I eventually found it inexplicably, in the tumble dryer. How? Just how?
8. Missing hairbrushes.
I have 3 girls with long hair. I have long hair. Joe even has hair that needs to be brushed into his signature 50’s quiff. We have a LOT of hairbrushes. In this house somewhere there are at least 14 hairbrushes.
I know what colour they are, I know what make they are, I even know which brush is better for which child’s hair. But, every morning, I can’t find one. Not one. How can a million brushes vanish into thin air? Hunting for hairbrushes isn’t in the least stressful when you’ve already had a pretty stressful morning and your daughters look like they’ve been dragged through a forest backwards.
When I do eventually find a brush, I never find one. Nope, there are always about 3 of the fuckers hanging out in the same place.
At the risk of sounding like I’m paranoid, I’m starting to wonder whether the things in my house come alive, like in Toy Story, or whether we’ve got a poltergeist with a warped sense of humour.
That would at least explain why the dog barks at nothing on my bedroom wall at 3am every night.
9. I’m hungry.
Once they’re finally dressed, with their hair brushed and we’re almost ready to leave for school, one or both of them will suddenly declare intense hunger. It doesn’t matter if I’ve spent the preceding 90 minutes begging them to eat or decide what to eat. Suddenly they are hungry, and it’s my fault they haven’t eaten yet.
So I go through all the breakfast options again for them to finally decide on the first thing I offered them. Toast.
10. I don’t like water.
This one is specific to Ruby. She hates water. She hates having to take a refillable bottle of it to school every day because she won’t drink it. Every morning we have the same conversation about the importance of water for brain and body function. And every day we have to go through why she can’t take squash to school.
Actually, I’m not really sure on the reason why. Because surely it would be better for a child to drink something at school rather than nothing? They aren’t even allowed sugar free, colour free flavoured water.
11. I’ve got cooking & nutrition.
Technically, it doesn’t happen every morning. But it’s still bloody annoying. Because it means I’m either rushing around trying to collate random ingredients together, or we have to make a mad dash into Tesco Express which is very helpfully right next to their school before registration closes.
Now. I absolutely love their school. Their communication is usually fab. But for the love of God I wish they’d send out a text or email about cooking & nutrition! Relying on Emily to remind me in good time is about as likely as me remembering to ask her what she needs in good time. Still. Thank fuck for Tesco Express, or we’d be buggered.
12. PE kits.
Oh PE kits. Again, technically, this isn’t an every morning thing. But it is 4 mornings out of 5. Trying to remember who has what PE lesson on what day is beyond the capabilities of this fried brain. And that’s usually because I rarely know what day of the week it is. I’ve taken to just yelling every morning “Don’t forget your PE kit!!” and hoping that the right child picks up their kit on the right day.
13. Reading records.
God. I am terrible at remembering to fill these fuckers in. We read every night when they’re in bed, before they go to sleep. It’s part of their wind down before lights out. They read a chapter or two of their own book, then I read them a few chapters of a book we’re reading together. Then I go downstairs and forget all about writing the entries into their reading records.
I’m trying to get in the habit of writing them in every morning when I’m putting their packed lunches in their school bags, but invariably I can’t find a pen. Or I’m screaming…
14. SHOES SHOES SHOES!!!!!
I imagine every household with school age children in it goes through the same thing every morning. You start off asking them to put their shoes on nicely, but 33 years later that morning, you find yourself shouting “SHOES SHOES SHOES!!” as you’re trying to bundle them closer to the front door.
The shoes bit is the worst for us. On account of the fact that Jessica owns about 87 pairs of the same trainers, in the same colour, that take up the majority of the space in, on and around our shoe cupboard. We used to leave school shoes neatly on the floor by the front door. But then Jessica decided we needed a puppy and that is no longer a good idea. (As 3 pairs of chewed-through school shoes will attest to).
So finding 2 pairs of the correct school shoes in amongst the piles and piles of trainers is like an Olympic sport.
And I am no athlete.
15. Love you, bye!
We lift share with another parent, who very helpfully does the morning school runs. (Or else we would ALWAYS be late).
No matter what kind of morning we’ve had; a good one where they listen and are ready early, or a bad one when I’m considering making my morning coffee Irish, ‘I love you’ is the last thing we say to each other every morning.
Despite every morning being so loud, stressful and frantic, that it makes me lose my mind, the last bit never fails to make me smile. Especially when they yell it as they’re leaving. I don’t know why, but it makes me smile all day.
How does your morning compare to ours? More or less stressful? Do you find yourself saying or doing the same things every morning?