You're Not a Bad Mom-- It's Just the Morning Rush

Bold Apps
06 Oct , 2019
Child and Dog
By Fé Fit Contributor Aimee Reneau Tafreshi 
Raising children is a stressful job. Whether you have one child or five, there are certain parts of the daily grind where stress reaches a maximum level. The morning is one of those not so pleasant times. There are some people in the world who are aptly called morning larks. Morning is a joy to them. They rise easily, not even needing an alarm clock, and wake up before everyone else to enjoy a cup of hot coffee and read the morning paper. Then there are the night owls. Unless you are a bartender or musician, the world is stacked against night owls. A 9-to-5 job and young children will force you into conforming into an early-to-bed, early-to-rise type. You can maintain your late bedtime as a night owl, but when the alarm clock blares at six o’clock, you will curse your own name. Which takes us to the first huge challenge of the day – morning. Sadly it is often my daughter knocking on my bedroom door on a school day, saying, “Mommy, it’s time to wake up.” “Ugh…,” I groan, “are you sure?” There are a lot of time-pressured crises to manage at the crack of dawn. The blasting air conditioner that felt so nice while under the covers now taunts my half-asleep body with its cruel arctic blast. The toddler wails from upstairs, as he is soaked head to toe in urine from peeing through his diaper, again. The preschooler comes downstairs and without even a “good morning” demands that you hand over your new iPhone for his entertainment. Then there is that 7:00 a.m. bus to catch, and children still need to be changed, clothed and fed. And the large dog keeps looking at you, her eyes boring into your soul, with a pleading look that begs, you better walk me to the bus stop, lady. And so you manage the chaos and throw on something to wear that resembles an outfit that is not quite pajamas. You are dehydrated and starving and your breath reeks, but there is not time for you. You push the lumbering double stroller while restraining the dog from lunging at hidden cats and lizards in the darkness. The oldest child skips onto the bus, and you are down to three dependents. Mission accomplished. The next challenge occurs after you return home and attempt to get ready so you can get out the door to work, volunteering, the gym or playdate. You brush your teeth and slap some moisturizer and lip balm on your face and call it good. Your smaller children want to play outside, and the sun isn’t even up yet. You agree, because the great outdoors is good for children. You peek outside five minutes later and they are sitting in a mud pit flinging dirt at each other. The dog is also caked in sludge. You bring them inside, change their clothes again and quickly clean off the muck with baby wipes. If that’s a good enough shower post-workout for you, then baby wipes are certainly good enough for them. Besides hadn’t you read before that dirt can have a protective effect on a child’s immune system? You go to the kitchen sink to put your contact lenses in your eyes. You would do this task in the bathroom, but you can’t leave the two little ones alone for 30 seconds because they will hurt each other, harass the dog or cause property damage. The moment your glasses come off and you are inserting your contact in your eye is akin to a giraffe lowering its neck to take a drink of water in the African savanna. Like the scheming pride of lions, your kids are watching you; they know when you are vulnerable; they know you cannot see. It is at this precise moment of temporary blindness that one of them will poke the other one in the eye or repeatedly throw a large truck against the sliding glass door. You don’t know what is happening because you are legally blind without your contacts. In a huff, you throw your glasses back on, run over to break up the mischief, and then attempt to put your contacts in once more after disinfecting your hands, again. This process can replay itself over and over. When your vision is restored, you begin the process of packing the diaper bag. Our diaper bag is overflowing with stuff that I will only need once I forget it. A change of clothes for each boy, numerous diapers, wipes, tissues, ointments, water, milk and enough food to sustain a preschool. Woe is the parent who is not prepared while in a position of vulnerability (e.g., waiting at a doctor’s office, in line at the post office) when her child demands food. Perhaps I am contributing to an instant gratification generation, but I am going for the short-term reward of avoiding a public meltdown. After another diaper change and running back into the house twice for things you forgot, you are on your way to the next destination. Once in the car, your kid whines to you, “Mommy, what’s for lunch?”

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