I don’t know about ya’ll, but the “Monday” morning after a holiday weekend is World War III in my house. And by “Monday”, I mean the real deal (like after Thanksgiving) or that terrible Tuesday after a three-day weekend that feels like a Monday.
My alarm goes off and I groan a little. I might spend 10 extra minutes in bed. Okay, make that 15. I get up, get myself ready for work and then take a deep breath. It’s that time. 6:05 AM. Baby girl is still asleep. She should have been up 15 minutes ago. Notice the pattern? Oops.
I ease my way into her dark bedroom, trying to not trip over Rapunzel or the toy sushi on the floor. Baby girl is sprawled out on her stomach across her bed, no covers on, with three books and seven stuffed animals nestled around her. She looks so peaceful in her deep, post-holiday, sugar coma sleep.
I attempt to gently wake her up by rubbing my fingers through her soft curly hair and delicately calling her name. “Wake up, baby girl. You have to go to school today.” This happens for—oh, I don’t know—at least two whole minutes; the entire time I am hoping that my gentle demeanor will solicit a kind response from her.
That is when everything goes completely down the toilet. At this point, she starts crying: “I don’t want to see my friends! I want to stay home with you and watch Netflix!” I really want to say, “Me, too, kid. Let’s do it!” Alas, that’s not how the story ends.
At this point, I’m already frustrated as she gets out of bed and stomps into the bathroom screaming, “I don’t want to go potty! I don’t want to get dressed! I don’t want to see friends!”
While she’s on the potty crying her eyes out, I’m scrambling to quickly grab her clothes for the day while also reminding myself to not forget to pack her blanket and sheet for naptime, and to remember to write her tuition check, and to be sure to also write a check for breakfast tickets… oh, and don’t forget to eat breakfast myself, for crying out loud.
It never fails. After a holiday weekend, this is what happens on “Mondays” in my house. Just one extra day off is bad enough, but two extra days at home? Hot. Mess. With Christmas coming up, I have decided that I need to figure out how to tackle the post-holiday back-to-school drama and I need to figure it out now. Here are a few suggestions that I came up with:
- Go to bed early the night before. Don’t ignore your alarm the next morning. *snort*
- Set out your child’s clothes, including socks and shoes, the night before. Put them in the bathroom ready to go.
- If your child needs to take anything to school, set it by the door the night before. This includes those sheets and blankets for naptime, the backpack, tuition checks, breakfast/lunch money, etc. Whatever is needed for the next day, pack it up and set it out before going to bed.
- Prep the coffee the night before. My husband is wonderful when it comes to this. It’s a part of his normal nighttime routine – prep the coffee for the next morning. God bless that man.
- Pack your lunch the night before. Just do it. It’s amazing how much time this alone will save in the morning!
- Lower your expectations. I shouldn’t expect my daughter to wake up dancing in the morning just because I did all of this the night before. I need to remember that she is just three years old, meaning she is an irrational human being and doesn’t understand how to control her emotions. If I wasn’t 29 years old, I’d probably be throwing a tantrum about it being “Monday” morning, too. I don’t want to get up and go to work. It makes sense. If I lower my expectations for her morning emotions and get all of the grunt work out of the way the night before, I find that everything seems to go smoother, even when it’s technically a disaster. I find patience hidden deep inside that I didn’t know existed because I am focusing less on the things that need done and more on just getting her dressed. Power of the mind, friends.
These are all things that we can benefit from on a daily basis when it comes to wrangling kids in the morning, but they are exceptionally helpful for that dreaded post-holiday “Monday”.
What extra preparations do you make to ensure your Monday mornings are smoother?