Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Morning transition

The new morning schedule has not been as easy as I thought it would be. Since giving birth 3.5 years ago, we have never all had to be out the door at the same time.

After Peanut was born, I started work at 6:30 a.m. Then there was short period of time where I worked at 3 p.m. then back to the early morning. While I was pregnant with Gizmo, I switched to a noon start time, which gave Peanut the most amount of time with us even if it meant we saw each other less. It worked with one kid.

It did not work with two and after 9 months of trying, I asked if I could work a normal schedule or as normal as a schedule gets in a newsroom.

So here we are. The husband needs to get out the door at a certain time so he can drive almost and hour to work and I need to leave no more than 15 minutes after so that I can drop the girls off and then drive about 40 minutes to work.

That is not happening.

We are each running about 10-15 minutes behind each day. Rushing and being late makes me nuts. Just twitchy and twirly and I hate starting my day feeling like that.

I've also started packing all bags - pumping, lunch, diaper, and my laptop bag - the night before. The husband and I each make sure we have outfits ready to go. It still isn't helping.

When we first started this, Hillary laughed at me when I said I was going to give us an hour to get ready. She says it takes their family about 90 minutes to 2 hours to get out the door. I do not want to get up two hours before we need to leave but I'm thinking an earlier wake up time is in order.

Here's the rub. The husband, Gizmo and I could all easily get up earlier on our own. Peanut is another story. Waking her up most mornings is like waking a hungry hibernating bear. Sleeping beauty does not like her slumber disturbed. Because of this, we've been letting her wake up on her own. This is fine if she wakes up 45 minutes before we need to leave. It does not if she wakes up 30 minutes before departure.

This kid has her routine and does not appreciate deviation. She wants to come in our room. Snuggle. Snuggle some more and only when she is efficiently snuggled is she ready to consider changing into clothes and eating breakfast. A morning person she is not. (She gets it honestly. I am not a morning person either. I've just learned to deal with it after years and years of fighting it.)

Some mornings are better than others. She was getting dressed before I was even out of the shower this morning, which shocked me. But we still haven't hit our stride yet and I don't want to keep nagging her to hurry, eat, get dressed, find your shoes, etc.

Anything work for your family for stress-free mornings?


k said...

Mornings can suck it--and I'm a morning person.

I get up a good 2.5 hours before we need to leave and at least 1 hour before everyone else.

Ezra, like Peanut, is a delicate flower in the morning and cannot be rushed. Homeboy needs a good hour to wakeup slowly, get dressed, do teeth/hair/potty/vitamins and het stuffed into his coat and the car.

Iris is easier as we just shuffle her around as needed.

Oh! One tip I have read, but not employed is getting the kids dressed in some or all of their next day's clothes before going to bed. That way it's one less thing to do in the AM. They wake-up and they're dressed!

And running late in the AM makes me twitchy too. I get it.

Hermit said...

I'm going to tell you how I do it then I'm going to go hide somewhere because it's embarrassing. My oldest is like yours...not a morning person. So we do this. I put her to bed in her school clothes. In the morning rather than have her eat before we leave - I pack her a to-go breakfast. So, in the morning then I just pick up her sleep little self and buckle her in the car and sometimes she starts nibbling on her breakfast bag en route to school, other times she eats it at school. As of late, she's started waking up earlier, but only because we've been on the same schedule for her entire 4 years of life. So now we have been able to dress her in the morning while she stares at a cartoon - she doesn't even know we're dressing her she's so entranced.

Lisa said...

Ugh! I hate mornings. I also have a 4-year-old NON morning person. I have found the best thing is to let him wake up on his own. And to do earlier bed time is necessary! But the biggest key is for ME to wake up early enough that everything is done except for the 4-year-old BEFORE the kid wakes up. Now that, THAT is the hard part! I like my sleep! Especially when the baby keeps me up at night...or the 4-year-old!

Erin said...

I have good success getting one child out the door by 6:45, and I'm up at 5 a.m. We'll see what happens when I go back to work in January and have to get two out by that time. Here are a few rules of my own:

Bags are always packed the night before. Lunches/bottles are made, too. Good for you on this one! (My husband still does not do load up his bag the night before). I thank my mother for this skill!

I wake up at 5, which gives me, on a good morning, 20 minutes for hair/makeup, and by then Evan's awake. yes, he gets up THAT early. I swear he can smell when my feet hit the floor.

I shower at night. This is a MUST. I would never, ever get out of the house on time if I had to shower in the A.M. My hair would always be wet (Evan loathes the hairdryer). I hated it for a long time, but now that I've figured out how to make my hair look good after sleeping on it (flat iron and some dry shampoo on my hairline), I actually like it better. It's not in a ponytail everyday, either!

I suspect Ava will not be one who is a get-up-and-go type like me and Evan. If that's the case, I'll dress her the night before and take her to school sleeping. She's nursing right now around 4 a.m. and wants to eat again around 7, so that would be OK with us!

If your child is willful and opinionated like mine (I think she is based on what you say), here's what I would do: trick her into thinking it's her idea. Tell her that you're late in the morning and it's getting you in trouble at work (lie, I'm sure), and you'd like her to do some things differently in the a.m. Then, give her choices (sometimes my son doesn't pick the choices I offer him. Often all I get is an "eh?")

Maybe she could be tempted (bribed) to have snuggles at night, maybe you could get her an iPod alarm clock (or CD version) so she could wake up with her favorite song, and maybe even you could reward her in some way on the days everyone's on time. I'm just brainstorming here with you, if you think my suggestions suck, they probably do!

I'm going to steal advice from all the moms on here in another month. I'm REALLY hoping I don't have to start getting up before 5 a.m. by choice, because that would just be depressing.

Jessica said...

Margaret isn't a morning person, either. Neither am I. She can not be hurried and trying to leave the house less than an hour after she gets up never works. But I have such a hard time dragging MYSELF out of bed I usually don't wake her up until 45 minutes before and we are always late. Always. Used to be 15 minutes, now it's more like a half hour.

Solving her problem is easy - get her up 60 to 75 minutes before it's time to leave. Solving mine is harder, because I have to make myself get up and that's harder than when someone is literally lifting you out of bed and dressing you. It doesn't matter how early I go to bed, either, I never want to get up on a schedule.

Jessica said...

Also, if I think it's bad now when I have a baby who's easy to dress/feed/etc, I have no idea how I'll manage in a couple of years. Given the choice, both kids and I all sleep until 8, so I'm guessing Paul is also not a morning person. I'm screwed.

Erica said...

These are all great ideas. I dress Anna while she's watching cartoons - helps. Also I dress her at least 30 minutes before we have to leave because otherwise she will freak. We also take a bath at night and I blow my hair at night (only wash it every three days or so). If I wake up at 6:30, I can get us both out the door by 7:45 so that's just over an hour to do everything. We have simple breakfasts and I do her lunch & outfit the night before.

oh - one more thing that helped - I just bring her shoes with in the car. She hates putting them on at home and usually rips them off in the car. But for some reason it works if I just put them on in the school parking lot.

Erica said...

Oh - also set the coffee on auto the night before - hot coffee already made is the BEST.

Jennifer said...

I have no answers. I can't figure out WHY it takes nearly 2 hours from wake to in the car but... it does. Four year olds are slower than effing molasses, dude. Audrey is actually pretty easy these days- she runs around while I do what I need to do and then I just strap her into her high chair when she needs to eat. But Maggie... oof. Ridiculous. I am now perpetually 15-20 minutes late for all of the things. Sigh.

~she~ said...

There is nothing I hate more than running late! No matter what time I wake up, I'm going to run late. It's all about routine for me. Once I get really deep into my schedule, I usually do pretty well.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

I have no suggestions. I just wanted to say that we struggle and I STAY HOME. So, yeah. I'll be trying out any and all tips found here!

Sara said...

These comments are so what I needed to read today. Getting out the door in the morning is killing me. And we're only on DAY TWO. Arghgrumblegrrrblergh.