April 12, 2012

C-

I wonder if my kids think all moms are just not morning people.

I can pack a lunch in record speed. From the time the bus rounded the corner of our street, before it stopped in front of the house, I had made a sandwich and included a vegetable, fruit, and dessert, and still kissed him I love you.

But I want better for them. I don't want to be the last one out of bed. This is backwards, I think. And not every morning is like this, but many if not most of them are.

They have a mom whose day was saved by the purchase of a new wastebasket for the upstairs bathroom. It all hinged on that- whether I would have spent the rest of the day amope and static or finally clearing off the dining table and doing away with all the stacks. And cleaning the bathroom because there was a new wastebasket and it made everything look better.

How will this play out? Am I preparing independent little people who can get ready all on their own or am I robbing them of a more structured start to their day? I am here, but I'm underneath the covers. I crawl out, but it's slow and unsteady and this morning it took me a while to find my glasses.

Gray was already waiting on the driveway alone. Through the screen I heard him call for Carter, still in the house, "Did you hear that hahaha?" He belched into the air and giggled. I laughed and said "Graaaay" and he came running and kissed me on the lips and then went back to his post. I realized on today's school menu was something he couldn't have, so I rushed to make his lunch. "If the bus comes, just get on and I'll bring this to school." But I was fast and it was in his backpack and he was off.

I barely make it most days. By the skin of my teeth, I pass. All my life I made straight A's but this mother thing. It's not something I want to just scrape by... and I feel like the gap is closing, what's shaping their behavior, and memories, and when they'll catch on.

43 comments:

  1. I am so blessed that my husband gets Moses ready for school in the mornings and entertains Presley until I get up. He usually wakes me up when he's leaving... Then the baby usually wakes up after me. I could feel bad about this, but then I remember that I am the last person to go to bed at night and sometimes sleeping a little bit later in the mornings helps me to be the best mom I can be. And it won't be like this forever- as we have more kids that go to school early and these kids get older I will have to start being the super early riser. But until then, I enjoy the rest :)

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  2. Hmmmm...yes.

    I'm crying after reading this because too much of it resonates.

    Hugs sweet friend. You're doing a wonderful job.

    Bri

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  3. Young or old, it never gets easier, but I don't think you're doing a C- job. But that's how I've felt for the past few months, too. Nearing the end of my pregnancy, then finally home after I had Baby V, just completely fending for ourselves the best way I could, whenever I could, with lots and lots of help.

    This parenting thing comes with no manuals, no DIY-kits we can buy to figure it out, but man oh man, thank goodness it's filled with lots of love and forgiveness and "I love you's," right? The hugs and cuddles are what get me through.

    Do you have a programmable coffee maker? I set mine for 5 minutes before I get up, so it beeps just after my alarm, telling me it's ready, and the smell wafting from the kitchen, so enticing, almost forces me to it.

    Hugs, sweetheart. xo

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  4. I am not a morning person. I get up about five minutes before my kids. Today I went back to bed before they had even left the house (my husband drives them to school). I have an excuse for this morning, but every morning I long to be back in bed.

    I think I really understand what you're saying in this post because that is how I feel most of the time. I keep going to Confession and telling the priest about my selfishness and he keeps waving it off, saying I'm a mother of six, give myself a break. I don't think he understands how serious I am.

    Thanks for writing this and making me feel a little less guilty about it all.

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  5. Think back for a second...growing up did you ever think your parents were anything but flawless? Your kids think the same of you. :) Because we want to much for our kids and want to live the perfect, prepared, pc family lifestyle...we feel like no matter how much we give and do, it's never enough.

    Well, we are enough. Whatever we do is enough.

    You're their hero...don't you know? All they'll talk about when they are older is how you must have been one strong woman to take care of all those kids, love them to the fullest and still manage to remain beautiful. :)

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  6. Your kiddos hand picked you from heaven to be there Mommy. You, and no one else. I promise they love you and think you're the best not for when you wake up, but for kissng them and making them lunch and noticing their unique characters. :)

    For the record, my mom ALWAYS slept as late as possible, and I never thought twice about it. I think the sun rises and sets with her (she is the best!) and have never thought too much about how she would sleep in anytime she could, except maybe to giggle because the woman does love to sleep in. She loves me and always made me feel important and worthwhile. That is what matters. That is what I hope to instill in my daughter. Give yourself an "A" because that, my dear, is the truth. You are a wonderful person and mother! :)

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  7. in making the blog rounds this morning (including writing my own), I sense we are all feeling the same as you describe here. Motherhood is HARD. It's weighty on our shoulders and hearts, and this post helped me realize today it is not just me. It's the job of mothering. It is hard. Thank you. We are all in this together. :)

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  8. ...and I just read all of the comments after posting my comment, and YES to all of them. We are their heroes, we are hand-picked by God to be their moms, and we are given mercy to do the job the best we can. :)

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  9. A+ for honesty there Steph! ;o) Ditto to the above sentiments!
    xo
    Mel

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  10. Oh boy. I get it. I feel this way much of the time. I have always done my jobs so well and this is the most important job I will ever have and I feel like I am just so/so. Makes me so sad.

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  11. I only have one kid to get to school and I still haven't figured it out. We left her homework on the stairs this morning and I drive her to school in my pajamas.

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  12. Ah the dreaded morning routines! You are not alone in feeling this way. But kids love and accept you for who you are and I am sure that if you feel lacking (which you are not) in mornings, there are plenty of others way you make up for it! We can't all be morning people. Even if we are forced to be by our kids :)

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  13. I think just the fact that you're aware of it already puts you a step ahead in doing what's best for your kids. We're all going to have those sluggish days, and if it really does make you feel terrible, then at least you know you need to do something about it. I've had to adjust my mornings myself, even printing out a list by the door so that I know I won't forget anything (because I kept forgetting so many things!).

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  14. I'm the same way! I stay up way too late and then I'm so tired in the morning and the kids are good to get a bowl of cereal or a frozen something! Thankfully the "bus" is my husband so that's good. But maybe I should be up and showered and READY for them and the day... It's so hard though, because evening after they are FINALLY in bed is my down time...

    In other words, I hear you, loud and clear. :)

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  15. I feel your frustration (truly), but sometimes (as I keep telling myself) it's not always about bringing the perfect game, it's just about bringing it at all. You love your kids, they know it. Keep striving for a better showing if you want, but feel free to cut yourself as much slack as you can swing :) In the meantime, rock on and go you!

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  16. So prep lunch the night before - recognize the problem and make a change to deal with it - have the boys do more of their own lunch prep/help their little brother.
    Don't give your mothering a C- b/c you aren't up in the mornings - that's not a requirement.

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  17. ya know what? This is what affects all of us. We put too much pressure on ourselves. What really should matter is that you remembered that he needed that lunch, not that you made it last minute. The important thing is your children are loved and well taken care of and? I think you know the truth to that. So with that thinking I would say you earn an A++

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  18. Every day I work on this one new thing with diligence and determination: being the kind of friend to myself that I am to my friends.

    I regularly give myself the same message that I'm not doing well enough or that I'm just scraping by. And yet, I read YOUR message and I see a mama who cares so deeply that she evaluates how well she's doing, who's eager to do better, who wants her kids to have her BEST. She pulls herself from bed because, even though she'd rather stay in it, she's needed elsewhere. She checks school menus. She makes homemade lunches. She uses extrinsic motivation - new wastebasket, yay! - when she knows that intrinsic motivation won't cut it today. And those are EXTRAORDINARY mama moves. THE BEST mama moves. To survive the day? To evaluate ourselves and desire to be more? That is just human.

    I'm grateful for you.

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  19. I almost never comment, but today I wanted too. Mostly because I could have written this. I figure on my best days I'm a B- parent. I'll tell you something though, my mom was just as busy, if not more than me. She is hands down my favorite person in the world. Because of her, I am responsible, self-sufficient and aware that everyone in my family must do their part for us to make it.

    I think you're doing pretty good.

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  20. amope is a great, great word.

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  21. You are NOT alone! I was not a coffee drinker until last year. Now I desire it before I get going or I'm a mess. We're homeschooling next year so I have to get up and we have a start time for the day to bring more structure to them and myself.

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  22. oh darlin' , you by even desiring more for them are doing more than you think. We all have our downsides, our struggles. i think this is one thing that I am going to intentionally show my children. we are all undeniably human. it's the loving in our imperfectness that makes it all the more sweet.

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  23. God picked you and you are best for them {even when it feels like you aren't}. These days this post echos my own hearts cries. {sigh}. But hang in there - you have to :)

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  24. Having 4 kids is not easy, Steph. You're doing a great job!

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  25. And I do remember my mom getting up before me in elementary school (barely, and probably only because I literally would NOT get up by myself), but NEVER jr. high... and I actually kind of loved the quiet time in the morning...

    kids don't have these expectations of us, we only have them of ourselves.

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  26. I drop my kids off in pjs every morning. And occasionally we're late and I have to walk inside to sign them in. In my pjs. (And by occasionally I mean about once a week.) I abhor mornings. (And as a side note: The counselor asked me to come speak to a class one morning and she wanted to know if 9 was too early for me. ha!)

    Besides independence is a good thing! You are so, so much more than a C- mom.

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  27. Mornings are not easy. Ever. Know that you are not alone.

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  28. I get this (humbly).

    This is beautifully raw.

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  29. It was not long ago that I wrote about wanting to be one of those moms who is able to rise early, have her coffee and time with God before the children are up, and be completely ready for them when they come downstairs. I am still working on that. Some days are better than others, and then there are days when my pillow just won't let go. I don't want them to look back on this time and think I didn't do this mom thing well. Sigh,

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  30. I sleep in and so do my kids. We are lucky. We homeschool and I don't have to wake them up for anything. Thank goodness! I would be a disaster at the get ready for school thing. That said, if I know anything, if my daughter's disorder has taught me anything at all, it is that love for your kids is enough. Maybe they will laugh at how you were always the last to wake in the morning when they are adults. But what will fill their hearts and their memories is that you always woke up to kiss them goodbye, that they always had lunch, that they were always loved. I promise you that.

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  31. I am a morning person, but my children tend to wake up earlier than me anyway. I wish to do yoga & meditation before they are up so that I am in full swing but it never happens. And than I realise that I am not grumpy in the mornings any more, I just get up and do what I have to do and its fine- not perfect but fine and I thank God for that.....don't try to put your standards too high it is not a requirement and as many other said they still love you whether you are up early or not

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  32. This is me in the afternoons. I'm so done with everything by 6 p.m.

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  33. Oh I hear you. Jeremy wakes me up when he wakes up the kids. I am usually cranky so I just try not to talk to anyone because I am NOT a morning person. But, we rush and tumble and get everyone out the door and then I can sit back and breathe.

    I often wonder the same things - how are they going to turn out? Just yesterday I was wishing I could have a fast forward button, or just a sneak preview of how they will turn out. I just want to know that despite me, they will be fine. That despite my flaws and my failures they will turn out to be fantastic, well rounded, well adjusted adults. *sigh*

    I guess it's just another one of the many difficult parts of parenting. We do the best we can and then have to sit back and pray that God will pick up our slack.

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  34. Love this post. And thats so me... my older two get up around 6:45 or 7... and they seriously take care of their own breakfast - turn on a DVD or begin playing legos or something, until I emerge. They know I am not a morning person. They often imitate how "mommy is" in the morning. Since they laugh about it, I suppose its not harming them to much? haha... but I do fix them a special breakfast a few times a week. So its not every day. Owen gets up around 8 or 9... so I love just sleeping til he wakes me :)

    Theres grace for those mornings btw ;-)

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  35. I've never been one of the moms who wakes up in the dark to clean, make breakfast, read the Bible, etc. All four of us tend to wake up at exactly the same time. All families are different; all seasons of life are different...and that's okay.

    You'll find your groove. I'm sure of it.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  36. My entire week has mirrored the feelings you describe in this post...thanks for sharing so openly and with honesty.

    I think you are a great mom...and I'm sure they do too. :)

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  37. I dream of being the mom that is up before my kids, with something baking in the oven while I am sipping coffee and reading my bible and laundry is going and I am already prettied up for work...but I am not. I too am often the last one up and usually take Jessica to daycare in my pjs and come back home to get ready for work.

    I wonder too, how it shapes them...thinking maybe that is why they leave their underwear in on the floor and forget to flush the toilet and put a the knife in the sink with a sandwich worth of peanut butter on it.

    This resonated with me so much.

    Jen

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  38. I love what Toni said...

    It is so true! it wasn't until at least 8th grade that I started to think my parents were less than perfect. Even then, it was mostly angst and rebellion. Now that I have my own kids I really think my mom is amazing!

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  39. Oh, man. Once again, you've been picking around in my brain...

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  40. I don't seem to have trouble with the mornings... but the rest of my day suffers. We all have our "thing", and somehow, God still uses us!

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