Leaving the house with Children is not for the faint hearted. It really is hard. The more I had the harder it became. Even when you try to look after your future self by preparing and getting up early (which in itself takes effort). It really is just hard.
First obstacle for me is probably the general fatigue I wake up with which sees me drag myself around the house rather than be productively preparing for the day. Late night watching Netflix, maybe up a few times with the kids- these things won’t help, but likely to occur.
My day starts with a breastfeed… this has to be fit into the morning itinerary or else I will run out of time and have an unsettled bub, n let’s face it that beautiful baby crying- just slows you down.
Preparing breakfast for children….
My 1 yr. old is usually first to the breakfast table. Weetbix is pretty standard for him, but because of his limited vocabulary he points and grunts at what he obviously thinks he is making clear he wants…. For me, I just wish he could find some words to help me find it quicker. And if I get it wrong, well breakfast just gets noisier doesn’t it.
My 3 yr. old is usually not too hard provided I get the right bowl with the right spoon and prepare the cereal in the right order. Not often I get it wrong these days- phew.
My 6 yr. old mostly fends for herself now which is helpful actually, except that her confidence in pouring from a 3L milk container is often the cause of extra mopping up of milk spills. It never used to be this easy though…she used to want to instruct the exact precise way in which her toast is cooked, which plates- oh yes one plate for each piece… What is spread on each (usually different spreads) and inspect that it has been spread to her approval of coverage and consistency, then how each is to be cut (again often different for each slice) then she will eat…. then we start with what to drink…. Right cup, right beverage, right level from the top. Thankful this is not her rhythm anymore but I know some of you are still stuck right there.
I will spoon some food down and eventually get to drinking my coffee…most likely cold.
Clean up after breakfast…
I love weetbix, it is simple, healthy, loved by all… but if not cleaned up immediately off the highchair it becomes like cement and takes 10 times longer to clean off. And while I have made this point straight after eating breakfast it is often unlikely in my home that clean up follows so promptly afterward.
My 3 yr. old never thinks he needs to go, but I know he has a full bladder from overnight and will probably say she needs to go 5 minutes after we are down the road… so I do insist he ‘try and just see’… sometimes met with resistance.
My 1 yr. old is still in nappies, and generally does a poo shortly after his breakfast so I usually leave him unchanged until he does, but without a doubt if I ever think- running out of time to wait- ill just get him changed… boom… he will become suspiciously smelly just as we walk out the door. And often at the same time one of my other children will precede to tell me they also need to poo…. yep now we are delayed 10 more minutes.
Those of you with preschoolers know exactly what I am about to say… finding an outfit that is child approved and mummy approved can be a true battle of wills. ‘Why can’t I wear my favorite tutu out to the park on a 10-degree day’… so long as there are stockings boots, cardi and a coat… you may…. But I don’t want to wear my coat….Lsigh
At least that was my daughter. My 3yr old son is more about super hero get up and not understanding why his lightsaber, night vision goggles, nerf gun and his whole beanie boo collection cannot come everywhere with him. Often ending in tears.
My 1 yr. old has no objections yet to what I choose for him to wear, but staying still long enough for me to put it on him makes it difficult. Sometimes I get nappy on while in his room. singlet on as I follow him through to the lounge room, pick him up in the kitchen to put trousers on and then follow him out to the dining room to put on his t-shirt, then sandals go on when strapped into the car (if only I could put everything on then).
Brushing children’s teeth and hair…
My daughter likes to do her own hair- which actually means she just doesn’t want to do her hair at all. Convincing her to brush it often takes some persuasion.
Teeth have become less of an issue for her, apart from the constant reminder to do them. My 3 yr. old essentially just moves the toothbrush over his front 4 teeth…so I applaud his efforts then get in there and scrub. My 1 yr. old is not a fan. And while I do not engage in a fight over it, I do spend time trying to invite him to come to the party so I can gently brush his 8 adorable little teeth.
Kids now dressed, I put cartoons on or pull out an activity so I can get dressed…. Might give me a 5-minute head start. I tend to shower of an evening these days to create time in the morning, but if I do need a shower- it is usually with my son banging on the glass outside and hopefully not working out how to open the door to crawl in while I am not looking, which of course means another crawl around the house re-dressing him.
If in doubt of what to wear, and taking too much time to decide… is what I wore yesterday clean…yes… Did anyone see me wear it that I may see today…. no…. it will do.
Quick spray of dry shampoo to my hair (how did I ever live without it). Brush teeth, clean face. Then while I wish I had the time to pretty up with makeup to hide the haggard look underneath, the reality is more than a bb cream, mascara and lip gloss is unlikely to happen…. Especially now that all 3 children are now inevitably at my feet, and most likely already bickering about something.
Which are ideally already packed with nappies, spare clothes etc.- but I always make sure, and generally always find something that needs to be added. Then proceed to run around the house finding it.
Prepare food to take…
Even if we are going out to eat I always have a banana, apple, rice crackers to bring along and if I think I may drift into lunchtime- simple sandwich as well???? Oh who has the time…. Will probably have to buy something.
All 4 drink bottles filled.
My bored 1 yr. old is now climbing everything and getting stuck, or I hear little beeps of the dishwasher or washing machine being played with.
Get shoes on…
Hopefully before my daughter slips in her socks on the floorboards as she runs about in her excitement… as a fall will mean the inevitable cream and band aid routine- regardless of the state/or absence of injury.
Run around turn everything off, trying not to look too long and hard at the state of the house.
Maybe I might put a load of washing on for when I get home, maybe I will have loaded the dishwasher, maybe I would have brought out my meat for dinner for defrosting…. All dependent on how well we are chasing the clock to get out. J…… chances are… none of the above.
Moving towards the car now…
My 1 yr. old will most likely try to grab an opportunity at the steering wheel as I buckle his brother and sister in, and set her up with drawing and pencils for the ride… and God forbid we don’t have the right colouring book in the car… do I run in and get it, or simply tell her that’s all we have and put up with the whining about it for 10 mins…. Hmmmm?
My 3 yr. old is probably still whining about the lack of superhero resources I have allowed him to bring in the car. Nothing will please him now…we must push through.
My 1 yr. old enticed into joining his brother and sister in the back with his favourite toy- currently a toy steering wheel. I do dread the days when the batteries on these die and it’s again a choice between running in to replace them or putting up with the crying that with eventuate with its lack of sound and lights ….hmmmmm?
Car packed, Music finally decided upon and playing as we back out of the driveway…
What is done is done. What is missed is missed.
Sometimes do you just want to wave the white flag? I sure do.
Is it any wonder why families can be so isolated? It is hard. Some days harder than others.
Know you are not alone in it though. And be Kind to yourselves in your morning hustle today.
Good luck guys.