I love my children, I really do and I know how lucky I am to have them but my god, some mornings feel like complete and utter torture.
Not weekend mornings. Oh no. Not school holiday mornings either. It is those school day mornings. And currently, I am feeling like there are rather a lot of them.
Mornings in this house are rather stressful. I haven’t quite resorted to putting gin in my smoothies yet but I have been very tempted.
I have three very different children in the morning. Little Miss A is AMAZING at getting up. She is only 8 but has her own alarm clock and she gets herself up and in the shower if necessary. Then she comes to a halt. She sits on my bed, her uniform strewn around her and just sits there singing or talking or playing. Not getting dressed. When she finally gets her clothes on, she then takes forever to eat her breakfast.
The teen and tween could win medals for their ability to sleep in the morning. Funnily enough, they are never ever tired at night time when I am exhausted and desperate to get them into bed so that I can go myself, yet in the morning it is quite literally like waking the dead. They can’t see the link between the ‘not being tired and refusing to go to bed at 10 pm’ and the ‘can’t get up I’m soooo tired at 7 am’. Funny that.
The teen will eventually get up and then he is pretty good at getting himself sorted and out on time as long as you give him a wide berth.
The tween, however, is not a fan of going to school. He is fine and dandy once he gets there, leaping out of the car with a smile to greet his friends. Funnily enough, I don’t see that side of him in the morning. From the moment I go in and gently tell him that it is time to get up, he is telling me to stop nagging. He doesn’t move, I go and tell him his breakfast is ready and he has 10 minutes. Again I am accused of nagging. If I am honest, by this point I just want to scream and throw things at him but there is no point, it doesn’t achieve anything, so I smile through gritted teeth and carry on with ushering everyone out.
We usually make it out, not always on time. The Tween’s school starts at 8:20 and he is usually ambling down the drive as they are about to shut the gate.
I actually find myself looking back fondly to those ‘Cbeebies’ mornings. You remember them, don’t you? Up before CBeebies had even started, listening to the intro music from 5:45 out of the sheer desperation for a distraction that might give you a few more minutes rest.
I loved those days. I don’t think I quite appreciated them as much as I should but I would go back and tell myself to enjoy them. To sit with endless cups of tea and cuddles with the kiddies. No need to rush around. No need to shoehorn tween or teen boys into their uniform. No need to get cross about anything. No running back to the house to grab someone’s forgotten thing that they must have for school that day. No 90 mile an hour drives to Tesco to buy cookery ingredients that were only mentioned that morning. No frantic last-minute shoe cleaning.
Those days could be spent in pyjamas all day if the mood arose. Lots of play, lots of fun. Of course, there were challenges but honestly, at the moment, I feel like I have done a full day’s work by the time I have got them all to school. There is a moment when they are all in school when I sit in the car, in silence, taking deep breaths and just enjoying that moment. A celebration of one more daily victory on the road to getting them to adulthood. It may only be a small victory but I have worked hard for it, so I am going to enjoy it.
I know that in a few years when they have all grown up and moved on, I will probably miss these days. Actually, do you know what, I really won’t. We do have some great times as a family that I will look back on with great fondness, but school mornings will not be one of them.