You wake up and have to get your kids ready for school – you roughly have an hour to do this. During this time one kid is probably going to hit the other kid. The clothes that were carefully chosen and laid out the night before, are just wrong and proclaimed ugly. The cereal is the wrong cereal and the milk is the wrong milk and anyway, the milk should have have been poured first and then the cereal not the other way round and, to top it all off, it is the wrong amount of milk. You ask your kids to put on their coats and shoes as you are running late now because of the whole milk/cereal/clothes saga and when you try and meet them in the hallway ready to rush out of the door, they are nowhere to be seen. One is standing by the window munching on her hair and the other one has decided to check if her new stickers actually do stick on walls. By this time you have lost your cool several times and someone is shouting (very likely you). This pretty much sums up a lot of my mornings — not very relaxing as you might have guessed. I have tried to devise various strategies and coping mechanisms, but the fact of the matter is, mornings in my house can be painful.
A few weekends ago, Courtney, her husband and I were talking about how important it is to stay calm and not let our children rattle us. Courtney’s husband made a great observation: We just need to lower our expectations… If we wake up in the morning and start our day knowing that everyone is going to be moody and disobedient, then every morning that goes well actually is a bonus… and every morning that doesn’t should not affect us too badly, as it is what we were expecting anyway.
I love this philosophy and have been trying to apply it in the heat of the morning. I have not always been successful in the application, but it does often work!
P.S. The photo above is of Violette giving her big sister hell one morning. I obviously had no expectations whatsoever that morning, as I was staying very calm taking photos.