You're doing it wrong!

This morning was, unfortunately, like too many other mornings on school days. The kids dawdled through breakfast and getting dressed while I spent my time repeatedly saying things like "go get dressed", "stop talking and eat breakfast", "we don't have time for that", and so on. By the time we were out the door walking (running) to school I was pretty upset. I realized today that part of the reason why I was upset was because I was just as mad at myself as I was at the kids. Because it's all my fault that they don't get up on time, my fault that they can take thirty minutes to eat a bowl of cereal, my fault that S-Boogie still can't focus enough to get herself dressed without my help.

I realized while walking home today that I've fallen into the trap of feeling too much guilt and responsibility. Lately I feel like everything I do is wrong, that everything is totally my fault, and that I'm an utter failure. The problem with this mindset is that it doesn't do anything productive. Instead, I just feel worse and go out and eat some donuts or vegetate on TV to avoid thinking about what an awful person I am. It really is all just mental. I need to take a deep breath and change my thinking. There are some things that I'm doing right and others that I could change. First of all, not all problems are solely my fault and I am not responsible for solving them all by myself. Second of all, just because I make mistakes or I fall short doesn't mean I'm a moral failure or that I can't fix things or try again.

Now that I've realized this and written it down, I need to try and put it into action. There are a few things I've been struggling with lately: the kids' routine, my budget, and my calling at church. Today I'm going to think about how I can realistically make some changes there and get a better idea of what I can do and what I can't. At least we don't have to get up and get ready for school for the next few days. I do know that I'm quite good at sleeping in and being lazy on Saturday mornings.

Comments

brinestone said…
I totally relate to this. Thanks for the post. Hopefully it will get me off my butt today too. :)
Christian said…
Good luck. I'm sure you'll figure something out. :)

An idea to think about is to determine what the morning schedule is going to be and let the kidlings know what it is. Then stick to it. I would perhaps consider telling them that they brush their teeth at 8:15 whether or not they're done eating so that you can walk out the door at 8:18. The first few times may be rough, but once they learn that it's more important that they get to school on time than that they chat over breakfast, they'll help you make things happen.
Lara said…
Wow. I'm totally with you. And while I don't love feeling this way, it IS kind of nice to know there are others out there that struggle with the same things. It's totally been on my mind lately, my lack of preparedness. Or my complete inability to prepare. Especially morning and afternoon routines with the kids. It's really hard.

I look forward to hearing what some of your solutions are.
Desmama said…
I am so with you on this. Our mornings are nearly identical, and I'm so tired of it. I hate being the mean guy--the guy with the hairy legs, we call him--but I have to cajole, threaten, and scream just to get them moving from one task to the next. It's SO frustrating. I put a book on hold at the library that came highly recommended from a friend on Goodreads (OnTheGo Mommy, on my blog), so I'll let you know if it helps at all. I think Christian has some good ideas--it's getting into that routine that is probably key but a lot of work (for me, anyway). In the meantime . . . don't feel that way about yourself. I think you're great and doing far better than you really think. Another friend of mine posted something about guilt and how it's so crippling. It gave me a lot to think about. I'll e-mail you the link because I'm not good at putting tags in ridiculously long comments like this one is getting to be. ;)
Earth Sign Mama said…
Hey, I like Christian's idea: time it. If all the cereal doesn't get eaten, life will go on. She'll be hungry that day, but she may realize that there is a limit to how much time she can spend on breakfast on school mornings. It will make the clock "the bad guy" not you. You could even use the timer.
Earth Sign Mama said…
Hey, I like Christian's idea: time it. If all the cereal doesn't get eaten, life will go on. She'll be hungry that day, but she may realize that there is a limit to how much time she can spend on breakfast on school mornings. It will make the clock "the bad guy" not you. You could even use the timer.
Earth Sign Mama said…
oh, dear...clicked too many times...
skyeJ said…
I'm with Mom. I like the timer idea. You've got intelligent kids, and they can learn about managing time on their own. It doesn't make you a mean mommy to send your kid to school hungry one day. It is a good way to learn to eat your breakfast! It doesn't even make you a bad mommy to send your kid to school in pajamas. She won't be indecent. She might not like it, but that is what happens when you take forever in the morning.

Also, if clothes are an issue in the morning maybe just pick them out the night before?
Em said…
I've got similar things going on (hence my "I'm disowning my daughter") post.

I agree with you that writing it down (or otherwise articulating it) sure helps things!

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