I recently made a profound discovery. You might want to sit down for this. It’s big. Take a deep breath, and let this one sink in…
…if I wake up earlier, I have more time to get ready.
Don’t ever say I’m not deep and intellectual.
This little insight didn’t just come to me overnight (the best shit never does). I had to work for this one. I had to suffer.
Let me explain. Every morning I wake up and the first thought that crosses my mind is “Oh shit. It’s morning and I’m awake. Whatever. I don’t care. I’m not getting up. I can’t do it today. Somebody else is going to have to do my life today.” And I think about all the crap ahead of me…facing me like a giant evil death monster…the MORNING ROUTINE…Arrrrgh! (scary growling sound).
Then I look at the clock. And no matter what time it is, I continue to lie there.
Then I think “maybe I should call in sick to work. Am I sick? Is there any part of me that is sick? Any part at all…? (mental body scan)… Damn it…not sick. Just overtired and cranky and out of energy..” I stare at the ceiling. I look at my cell phone. I wonder if I could possibly crash for 5 more minutes.
So I roll over and give the baby boob to justify 10 more minutes of horizontal positioning. And I attempt to devise a plan to opt out of my life…and I come up with nothing…so I grunt, possibly cuss, and get myself out of bed. Where it begins.
I fucking hate mornings. Did I mention that?
They’re never good.
They always suck.
(I believe that’s clear, Janelle. But why do they suck, pray tell?)
All right, I’ll tell ya. I never have lunches made. I often don’t even have lunch food, so I have to invent lunches out of whatever’s in the fridge, which makes my kids complain, which makes me discuss starving kids in Ethiopia, which makes them respond “so send it to Ethiopia.” (shitheads). My work clothes are rarely clean and never ironed. Occasionally I have no clean underwear in my drawer, which means I have to dig through the clean laundry pile in our laundry room, which, incidentally, is the size of a broom closet and thus angers me by its mere existence. Georgia has to get ready for the nanny –fed, dressed, clean diaper, bag packed. She pees at least 12 cups as soon as she wakes up. She also poops. She wants my attention. I want to give her my attention. But I can’t. So I set her on the floor, soak up all her smiles, talk to her and wish I could be with her all day.
And depending on how I spent my Sunday, the kids’ uniforms may or may not be clean and in their drawers. I have to remind them to do EVERYTHING – especially teeth and hair brushing. Rocket won’t get dressed without extreme coaxing/bribing/threatening/begging. He also rolls on the floor a lot, in complete desperation that today isn’t a “stay at home day.” Ava is perfect. But there’s only one of her.
There are binders and bags and lunches and breast pumps and show-and-tell items and science projects and permission slips and report cards and emotional break-downs and assemblies requiring “high uniform” and morning nourishment and then there are the actual small humans who need to get to school. And there’s me – who is supposed to shower, get dressed in clean, wrinkle-free work clothes, put on make-up, blow dry hair and get out the damn door…all by 8am. And I’m supposed to do it cheerfully. Because my kids deserve a happy start to their day. Because that’s what mother do. Mothers are cheerful and positive and…I don’t know. Something.
But by the time I’ve done all this – always in a rush because there’s NEVER time – by the time I’m finally getting those kids in the car and we’re leaving the house… I’m so miserable and stressed and overwhelmed and questioning the purpose of life that I morph into a crazy impatient old-bitter-lady psycho. And I suck.
Now some of you fancy problem-solvers out there may be wondering why I don’t just do things differently – for example…make lunches the night before. Go to bed and wake up an hour earlier. Get all the bags packed and ready to go in advance…do laundry. Organize.
It’s a funny thing, that. That logic. That simple, straightforward, adult-like approach.
I’ve never been very good at it.
I prefer to wallow in ineffective routines and profound discomfort until things get so miserable that I absolutely cannot stand it for ONE MORE SECOND.
Then I change.
I mean it’s not that I can’t SEE the more logical, adult way of doing things. Despite appearances, I’m not a complete idiot. It’s the execution of those ideas that kills me. It’s the follow through. The making it happen. (I know, it’s all very un-American of me.)
But recently, I changed the morning thing.
But not by choice.
The other day Georgia woke up at 5:15am. I wanted to cry. Georgia did not want to cry. Georgia wanted to party. So I got up, sadly. I made coffee. I drank coffee. I ate food. My mood changed a bit. I dressed Georgia slowly and played with her and cruised around the house at a near snail’s pace. I washed the breast pump, made lunches, packed bags, took a shower and got dressed before the kids even woke up. I took care of myself. Then I took care of them. I didn’t forget anything. And we got out the door with 10 minutes to spare.
I didn’t yell. I didn’t even contemplate suicide. The morning was SO MUCH BETTER.
Because check it out: if I have more time to get ready, I am less rushed and therefore, less pissed off.
I believe the word you’re looking for here is genius.
(or WOW. As in “WOW Janelle you are a jackass.”) Either one is fine. Cause I’m a kinda proud of myself.