Our morning routine...well usually it bites. No, really. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to get it all done. My girls tend to get distracted, don't keep track of the time and don't/ are not able to do two things at once. I see the clock tick down, knowing that when it's time to leave there will be a tantrum, screaming, self depreciation (I hate myself statements) and general chaos.
So instead of staying out of it and keeping my mouth shut, I begin to nag, remind, badger, order around... you get the picture. And then all of the things I was trying to avoid (see above list) happen anyway and there is usually crying and "I don't want to go to school" stuff, as well.
I know that I cannot be trusted to keep my mouth shut in the morning. So I've been trying to figure out what to do about it. We have a baby in the house. That, in and of itself ,is a great reason to NOT be downstairs for the morning routine. However, the girls keep coming upstairs to talk to me, ask me questions, say they don't know what to have for breakfast/ lunch, she touching me... the list goes on. Things aren't going well then either. Do they really need me there? Maybe.
I've done the tape thing, but that makes Sweetie Heart crazy. Just seeing it darkens her mood. I know why. If I'm not talking then I not reminding her what needs to be done and how much time etc. Plus then they ask questions I should answer, so I have to take it off, then it doesn't stick as well, so then I'm wasting the tape...blah, blah, blah.
I was talking to a friend from church the other day. She has a large family with seven kids from ages 8 to 20. I asked her how she trained her kids. One thing she said really struck me. She said the morning sets the tone for her family. They always have breakfast together. In the morning they come together ready for the day. They read scriptures, have family prayer and eat breakfast together. Her kids know that when they come down they need to be ready to walk out of the house for the day after they eat. She does home school the elementary school age kids, but they still have to be ready for schooling to start after they eat. If one member of the family has to leave early for something, then the whole family gets up earlier to have this family time together.
I brought that home to Webby and we talked about it. It felts right, a big change though. I have been struggling to get out of bed. I have been struggling to get things done and to feel like I am accomplishing things. I set the tone for the day and it hasn't been pretty. So we decided that was the thing to do. Starting this week. I've been pulling myself out of bed at 5am to be ready for the day. The kids are up earlier. We are uniting spiritually in the mornings. As an added bonus there is more time to have a non-rushed morning. I'm not nagging, etc because I can look at the clock and see there is plenty of time! The girls are fighting less. I am with them in the morning talking and connecting. They have time to play with the baby. And we've been walking out the door earlier then ever. It's only been two days, I know, but this just feels right. As hard as the change is, it's so worth it if this is how it changes our family!
I guess that's another aha moment!