How To Survive Early Mornings With Young Kids

Let’s not lie to each other. Early mornings suck. They suck no matter who you are- unless you’re filled with some kind of super human strangeness, in which case I question our ability to be friends- but they especially suck if you have young kids to fight get ready in the morning.

early morning

My boys are wonderful, as I’m sure your kids are. But during the work week, it’s a rare day that they don’t wake up swinging! I can’t blame them. They get their hatred for the break of dawn from me. Many mornings, despite my best efforts to bring them into early hour waketitude like Mary Poppins on crack, the 5 am reveillies can still be a struggle.

So, if you too struggle to enjoy the hours before even the sun thinks it’s a good idea to shine, I’ve put together just a few simple tips to help you warrior up and power through.

1. Coffee. Lots of coffee. This requires no further explanation.

folgers-in-my-cup

2. Deep breaths. Again, fairly self explanatory.

3. Two words: Paw Patrol.

Don’t you dare judge me. Maybe your bag of Mary Poppins tricks is bigger than mine and you don’t have to resort to the tv; but over here, we get in where we fit in. There are few things in this world my sons love more than Paw Patrol. I thank God for those little pups because many days, it’s the promise of 15 minutes of Paw Patrol that keeps us all sane and able to endure the morning marathon. If I can knix a toddler tantrum with reminders that downstairs waiting for us is Paw Patrol and a cup of milk, then I am all in. The pups really do save the day!

monday

4. Release your need for things like matching socks, clean hair or food.

Let me tell you something. Life is too short to waste it looking for macthing socks. Grab the two that look the most similar and keep it moving. Next, invest in some good dry shampoo, spray that $#!% on and get going. Unless you plan to wake up an hour earlier to do unnecessary things like shower, I suggest rocking the hair up look. You can pull this look off for at least 2 days before bathing becomes absolutely necessary. Work smarter not harder folks. And as for the food, let’s be serious! Slap some almond butter on a wrap the night before and shovel it in while you sing songs to keep everyone awake and happy on the way to the babysitter’s house, day care or school.

5. Deep breaths.

You’re going to need frequent reminders throughout the morning to keep breathing. When your toddler is collapsing into a pile of two year old mush because you put a shirt on him, or he’s screaming like a cat on fire because you asked him to walk on his own legs, you’re going to need to take a few deep breaths. This is essential to everyone’s survival.

When you start tensing up and wanting to scream, and you feel your will to live slipping through your fingers, they will usually do something like say “Mommy, I love you!” and you will find the strength to make it through the rest of the morning. You’re all going to be just fine!

6. Keep your expectations low.

Let’s face it. Even adults don’t do mornings all that well. I’m not sure how we can really expect our toddlers to do much better. I’m doing the happy dance and feeling like freaking super mom if we make it out the door on time with only a few minutes of crying from each child and no raised voices from me. I’d love the mornings to be 100% smooth and pleasant for us all but sometimes, it’s just not feasible. We do the best we can and that’s all there is.

Remember, in a few minutes you’ll have finished the race and they’ll be with the babysitter. When you drop them off, you’ll need your energy to fight off that pesky mix of guilt and relief, so don’t burn the candle at both ends!

 7. COFFEE!

When all else fails, drink more coffee! If you’re like me, or any mom, you start the day about 3 hours before your day actually starts and you’re probably running on 3 to 5 hours of interrupted sleep and adrenaline. If you don’t want to bottom out at 9 am, I suggest the coffee.

Good luck and God speed mamas!

How are your mornings? Any tricks of the trade to share? Let’s hear them!

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32 thoughts on “How To Survive Early Mornings With Young Kids

  1. Ah, memories. I had a super frickin’ early morning when I taught preschool and three delightful toddlers to ready before the sun made an appearance. Now, we still have mini-chaos to get to school, but preteen whines are in stereo and toddler’s in solo. By the way, I love the Ted Folger’s picture! Bill and Ted was my movie when I was a kid!(Oh, I am so old) I will shock you, though. I, uh, don’t do coffee. Gasp. How did I make it? Well, my chug-a-lug of choice was Pepsi. I justified my early morning pop drinking as necessary to the survival of us all. Rest assured, you are doing great! Your sense of humor is well intact. That is the best way you plow through.:)

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    • Haha thank you Marisa! I never used to be a big coffee drinker, and honestly it doesn’t seem to wake me up so much as just give me something to look forward to because I do enjoy the taste… mostly because it’s mostly creamer with a little coffee haha! But I used to drink obscene amounts of diet coke… I now try to limit my caffeine intake to just some coffee in the morning because of breast feeding, and because it’s just not that great for us… But now I drink obscene amounts of diet ginger ale instead haha! We all have our vice of choice I guess. But I do believe I’m more reliant on coffee now than I ever have been! We figure out howl to adjust to life no matter what it throws at us huh!? 🙂 You’ve obviously done an amazing job yourself!

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    • Haha exactly Lauren!!! I have no shame in allowing them to wear their PJ’s wherever they want. Within reason lol! There are times where I pick the battle, but mostly, they go to the babysitter in pajamas and I bring her a change of clothes for them because its just too early for them to be able to cope with clothing haha! And yes, Paw Patrol is wonderful….even I enjoy it actually! lol. I bet our kids would love each other! 🙂

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    • Haha those are two more of our favorites! You are exactly right… People can knock moms who allow their kids to watch TV all day long but within limits, I think it can be a very good thing for everyone! And it teaches them good things, so I’m a fan haha

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  2. Loved it! Dry shampoo is a life-saver. I couldn’t have coffee for the longest time because I was nursing and my son had GERD. I would smell coffee and have really bad cravings.

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    • Melissa I try not to drink too much because I’m still nursing too but it doesn’t seem to have a major effect on Luke so it’s alright as long as it’s not too much. Too much makes me feel jittery and weird anyway lol! But I am glad I can drink it and not having nursing affected much. And yes, thank goodness for dry shampoo haha

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  3. Oh my goodness! I chuckled the whole way through. Every word is 100% accurate. In our house, you just have to sub out Paw Patrol for Daniel Tiger and the rest is exactly right. Seriously. I have so much appreciation, admiration, and empathy for the fact you do this every morning!!!

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    • Oh Alana, you are so sweet! Thank you!! We like Daniel Tiger over here too… It’s amazing what you can adjust to and overcome when you have no other choice! It has really been much better than I anticipated overall. Thank you for your words of encouragement!!!

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  4. Love it when posts appear that are exactly what’s been on my mind so much. Means none of us are ever alone! Pretty spot on with feelings, only my guy wants Mickey Mouse and Curious George, and although I yearn to drop him off somewhere many days…we’re still both at home together. But just aiming to make it in the car for an errand or playdate helps it feel like a nice scene change to exit from the ‘early morning’. Great post!

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    • Thank you so much! I understand… when I stayed home we went places everyday because I thought it was good for us all to get out of the house. So the boys actually love riding in the car and going places. Not so much at 5 am, but they’ve adjusted even to that actually. It’s not always fun or easy, and whether you stay home or work out of the home, motherhood is challenging….but it is so amazing at the same time!

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  5. Oh man, 5:00 am is early! I only have a toddler at the moment, so I don’t have it as difficult. I always play music in the morning though and I have plenty of toys to keep my son busy in the bathroom while I get ready. We always make sure to have a good breakfast though because I just don’t feel good if I don’t eat something. I’m weird though and I don’t drink coffee. It strangely has the opposite affect on me. I would like to find out what does make me more energized though! The deep breaths are good too. You could have your boys do some yoga stretches in the morning!

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    • Those are all great ideas Tricia! I do play music in the mornings actually. Helps me, not so much them haha. Hobestly, they usually do really well. Some mornibgs are better than others, but the majority of the time, i really cant complain! That initial wake up is brutal though haha! For all of us ☺ 4:30 and 5 am is very early…

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  6. Oh, man! I am so freaking tired! I’m cracking up as I read this at way too early in the morning. You’re so right, clean hair is overrated! Haha! And of course, just when you’re about to lose it, one of the little ones says something so sweet you have no choice but to turn into putty.

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