If you’ve ever been in labor, or had surgery, or an injury, or have otherwise been assisted in pain management, you may have been told to ‘stay ahead of the pain.’ Don’t let it surprise you or overtake you, don’t let the pain meds wear out before you take your next dose, position yourself for the next wave – stay ahead of it.
I often feel like parenting small children is the same way – don’t let the little bastards get ahead of you. If you get distracted, or have an unplanned afternoon, or don’t have your shit together before they wake up, then it’s all over for you and their antics will consume you and you’ll never get a hold of it again. You might as well ride it out and start again the next day.
After nearly four years of parenting, this is what I have FINALLY figured out.
It is no longer working for me to put the kids to bed, stay up late doing my own thing, then sleep in until they wake me up. The morning just goes very, very, bad when I’m trying to get my bearings while Ruthie’s chipper voice continually asks, “Can I have some cereal, Mom? Can I watch t.v., Mom? Can I have a piece of candy, Mom? …” before I’ve even had my coffee. When this happens, I rarely shower before 1pm or take the kids anywhere besides the gym, not to mention the chaos of the preschool mornings when I have to be out the door by 8:30.
So, for a couple of days this week I experimented with getting up at 6am. The trick is to get up without waking HER up, because if SHE’S up, then it kind of defeats the purpose of ME getting up so early. So far I’ve been successful in that. I grabbed my coffee, put in my contacts, made a plan for the day, did some computer work, and showered.
As much of a morning person as I am NOT, I actually accomplished a lot in the 1+ hours before Ruthie came down stairs. And what’s more, I’m feeling ahead of the game today with all my ducks in a row for appointments and dinner.
But I still hate mornings.