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Sunday, February 08, 2009
Sometimes Opposite Is Best
When I first went back to work after Sera came home, I was very nervous about how I was going to get us out the door so early every morning. Logic dictated, as well as the advice of every working mom, that it was best to get yourself up and dressed before getting your child up.

I did that all last school year. When school started this year, I went back to that plan. It worked, but I hated mornings. It was stressful and almost always had at least one meltdown.

A couple of months ago, I decided that maybe it was time for a change. If Sera wakes up on her own, she's cheerful and ready to go. Unfortunately, she doesn't usually wake up on her own on school days. When I wake her up, she's whiny, clingy, and wants to go back to sleep. In fact, she's just like me.

I started thinking about how to slow down her morning, yet still get us out the door by 6:15ish. I decided to defy conventional wisdom and wake her up first thing. When I wake up, I go to her room and get her. We go back to my room where I have her clothes and my clothes on my bed. She'll lay on my pillow while I dress. She isn't being rushed and gets to decide when to put her clothes on. She usually chooses to get dressed right after me because I made a new rule. She likes to help me put my makeup on. She'll stand right next to my vanity table and hand me things. The rule is she has to be dressed first. She also gets to choose whether to dress herself or have me help her. She likes to put her own panties and pants on, but still needs help most of the time with her tops. The only part we still struggle with is brushing her teeth. She wants to do it herself, and I always let her start. If she brushed more than her lower left back teeth, she could do the whole thing. Unfortunately, I insist on the rest of her teeth getting brushed, too.

Our goal is to get downstairs by 6:00 am. She gets to watch Angelina Ballerina while I pack my breakfast and lunch. I bring her a snack, get her shoes on, brush her hair, and try to get us out of the door by 6:15.

Our time has been shortened by 15 minutes in the last week. We used to leave by 6:30, but Jim has taken an afterschool teaching job. Because of this, we now have to drive separately. It's harder on all of us, but frankly, we need the money. He's not getting home now until 5:30, so my goal is to have dinner ready. This gives us time to eat and have some family time before the bed/bath routine begins at 7:00.

I need to become a whole lot more organized with the dinner thing now. When we both came home together, one of us could entertain Sera while the other made dinner. Now, I'm on my own with dinner and Sera. It's time to quit talking about meal planning and start doing it because sometimes opposite isn't best when it comes to listening to advice.



Blogger Tammie said...

This is a good idea. David brings Erin into our room around 6:15 so we can have family time before the day starts. We've been doing this since I went back to work. The only day that we all have off from this routine is Saturday.

Blogger Kiy said...

We do that in the mornings too. Jeff usually changes Emi and brings her in to me (still lazing in bed) then off he goes to shower. She loves that quiet snuggle time, and so do I.

Oh, and for menu planning, dig out that crock pot gal. It will save your life. And sanity! :)

Cheers, good luck!


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