See you in the morning. Five little words that I couldn’t wait to say every night to my baby girls. You see, in my previous position, I was up and gone by 4 a.m. on work days so I didn’t get to see their smiling faces every morning before work. And even though my husband told me they were awful to get out the door in the morning, I figured he was surely exaggerating.
I mean they were fine when I got up with them on my days off — when we had no agenda so we didn’t have to rush around in the morning or be up super early. So I didn’t understand the morning hustle of getting two girls out the door on time. I hadn’t done it in over two years and a lot had changed since then. A lot had changed.
Our first week on a regular schedule started out with a lot of tears — every single morning — mainly by Maylie and me. Maylie has always been our sleeper — slept through the night at 5 weeks old. She was the kind of child that tricked you into thinking kids were easy and to have another. Ha!
But see, Maylie still loves her sleep and getting her up in the morning is like trying to get the sun to rise faster. Seriously, that is her speed — sunrise speed. If, that is, she even gets up at all. Two years ago I would have picked that little 2 year old up and gotten her ready but this almost 5 year old is all of 50 pounds now! And I just do not have the strength or the patience to carry a deliberately disobeying deadweight child from bed to potty to car. She just has to get up.
One morning, I simply lost it. Actually, she lost it. I went from trying the nice mom act to being done — you know when you get so desperate that you just get irrational. She had already lost her tablet and TV from the previous morning and that didn’t seem to phase her enough to get her sun rising any faster. That day, I went straight to taking away her favorite things — dance and cheerleading — and even threatening to take away all her toys. Yep, I went there.
I was so darn frustrated that I had absolutely no control over our mornings or my child for that matter. I mean if I cannot get her up at age 4 then where will we be in 10 years? Ugh! I felt like I was failing and as she cried for all that I took away, I cried as well as this was not the way I pictured being on a normal schedule to go.
She questioned my crying. I told her that it wasn’t fair that we were all starting our days like this — that mom had to go into a new job after spending the morning begging her to get out of bed and then threatening to take everything away. I didn’t want to take things from her. I want to give her the world.
However, taking dance and cheer away really got to her, I made sure she knew she could earn them back by being better in the morning. Then, I talked to my mom about it, and per the norm, she knew what to do. “Sarah, why don’t you try getting her up earlier?” Wait, what? Here I was trying to let her sleep as long as possible because she loves sleep!
I’ll be danged, but the next morning I woke her up half an hour earlier and she actually beat the sun up! And has continued to! It is still yet to be determined if it was the getting up earlier or me irrationally taking away her world, but it doesn’t matter. It worked.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately in this circumstance, Reagan still hates sleep so she will either be in our bed when the alarms start going off, or she will pop out of her bed when I go to wake them. I believe I have asked her to put on her shoes in the morning no less than 150 times in the past month. Thankfully, she is only 2 (and a peanut) so I can still pick her up and carry her to the car.
Our mornings are coming around. We are learning how to all be together for a few happy moments before we start our day. And I have started to remind Maylie to smile daily. Maybe it’s because we had so many mornings with tears. Maybe because I am reminding myself as well. Either way, it makes the start of my day more pleasant and again lets me treasure the nightly saying of “see you in the morning.”
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.