About a month ago, Ina was going through a tough phase in the morning. Everything was a fight from the second she woke up to the second I walked out the door at Danielle’s house. She didn’t want to get dressed. She wanted to hold the milk while I poured it. She didn’t need to go potty. Um, well, maybe she did...
I chalked most of it up to her being a toddler until one day Dan was off work and getting her ready to go somewhere and everything was going smoothly. Ina put her clothes on with little argument. She agreed to what he packed her for breakfast. She went potty when he told her to. That night I asked him what he did differently than me. What he told me stung at first, but then I listened.
He said, “Racheal, you are always so stressed when you leave the house. When you are stressed, it makes everyone around you stressed. I think Ina feels that stress and it makes her in a bad mood."
Stressed? I didn’t think I was particularly stressed in the morning. However, once I started thinking about all the things I try to accomplish before leaving the house, I realized that I needed to calm it down.
Here is my mental checklist in the morning:
- Make coffee (always first)
- Read bible and pray
- Write blog
- Check email
- Balance budget (yes, I do this daily and am slightly obsessed)
- Clean up the kitchen/start dishwasher
- Do a load of laundry
- Pack my lunch and breakfast
- Pack Ina's breakfast
- Get myself ready (this is actually pretty minimal these days)
- Get Ina ready (sometimes her hair is combed)
- Prep what I can for dinner
- Call into a meeting a work (and remember to put my phone on mute so my co-workers don’t hear my singing Itsy Bitsy Spider)
- Get Ina’s bag packed with extra clothes, blankie, and milk cup
- Get Ina in her carseat in a good mood
No wonder I feel stressed! Sometimes I only have an hour and a half to do all of that. So, I started to change things up a bit.
I almost always pack Ina’s bag and my lunch the night before, along with making sure the dishes are done and the kitchen is clean. We lay out our clothes before we go to bed. Sometimes my blog post doesn’t get written that day. Sometimes I read my bible and pray during lunch. Sometimes Ina doesn’t have a spare change of clothes in her bag.
Also, more importantly, I now make it a point to spend at least 10 minutes with Ina cuddling or reading books when she wakes up before I have her start getting ready. It really calms me down in the morning and I think it helps her ease into the start of her day.
These changes resulted in a huge change in Ina’s morning. She still insists on doing some things herself and although sometimes we don’t see eye to eye, we aren’t arguing over every single thing.
How about you? Any tips on getting out of the house without pulling all of your hair out?