Thursday, 8 November 2012

The 3 best morning madness sanity savers...ever!

It's Monday. You wake up before the alarm, feeling well-rested. Your children bounce eagerly out of bed the first time you call them (but not before), and you cheerfully ready yourself for the day while they peacefully dress themselves, brush their teeth and eat a nutritious, low GI breakfast with the deepest of serenity...

I thought not.

(If your mornings do, in fact, unfold like this, please e-mail me immediately so that I can arrange for a crew of sociologists to quietly observe you? Such anomalies cannot go uninvestigated.)

As a mad morning survivor, here are my tips for keeping your head when the demands of mothering outstrip your patience.

Great Haircuts

Doing my daughter's hair for school is about as much fun as having a tooth pulled. Between the fidgeting and screeching, by the time we're finished I need a cup of tea and a little lie-down. But it's a school/work day, so I bravely soldier on to my 3 year-old son's crop. He has 3 crowns, so avoiding "lawnmower chic" requires lots of water. Of course, he hates having even slightly damp hair, so after a few guerrilla attacks with a water spray-bottle, I virtually have to put him in a straightjacket to get a comb anywhere near him (actually, I might try that...anyone know where I can get one?) Naturally, by this stage I am drenched in perspiration and my own carefully coiffed 'do looks rather like a damp thatched roof.

The moral: Don't leave it too long between haircuts. Find someone really good and spend a bit more money if you must. Those moments of morning bliss when everyone's hair does what it is supposed to are well worth it.

Keep extras

"Mom! I can't find my socks! Mom! Where's my toothbrush? Mom! Simon won't give my hairbrush back!" Sound familiar?

My second secret Jedi morning-madness-prevention trick is to keep a private stash of spares of frequently lost/forgotten/annexed items. Especially when said items are relatively small and cheap, or real crisis creators if not immediately at hand. When disaster threatens, I magically whip out a spare and....Volia! Crisis averted!

Use a timer

My children are easily distracted. (Its possible they inherited this from me - I've been known to leave important meetings to surreptitiously file a snagged nail because its so crazy-making I just can't stay focussed.)

Because we're all inclined to get lost in the distractions of chipped nail-polish, scattered Lego and breakfast, I have pre-set a series of alarms on my cellphone that go off at 15 minute intervals. Each time an alarm sounds, it helps us all to re-focus on what we are supposed to be doing so that we can leave the house on time. It has the added benefit of helping my kids to learn what 15 minutes "feels like" time-wise, so that when I say "We are leaving in 15 minutes" they know what it actually means.

So, there you have it - my three best tips.

How do you preserve your sanity on crazy mornings?

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