While being a stay at home dad I have come to learn about the many mysteries of parenting. The most important one being how moms have survived for so many years without more of them cracking under the pressure and drowning their kids in garbage bags or just leaving them on the side of the highway.
Without a parents sanity the entire house goes into chaos. I end up yelling at the kids, be it over dirty socks in the kitchen, empty cereal boxes in the cupboard or new hieroglyphics on the hallway walls. There’s always something late,missing or broken and on the days where everything seems to be chugging along perfectly, BAM! I get a note from the teacher or I have to decipher the “new math” of a fourth grader.
Without my sanity in tact, the kids turn into “The Enemy”. Sucking my life-force dry to sustain their own survival. Slowly ending my existence with uppercuts of assholishness. Don’t get me wrong, they do this anyway, but it’s all about perspective.
In order to maintain my healthy perspective when facing these rambunctious, soul sucking ticks that I happen to love so very much, I’ve learned that as a parent your day has to start before the sun comes up.
5 tips on Surviving the Morning with Kids…
1) Not waking up before the kids has got to be the biggest cardinal sin as a parent. “The Golden Hour” This is when the house is the quietest and your mind the sharpest. You don’t have to answer questions or look for shoes. Use this time wisely because peace won’t return for another 16 hours or so.
2) Waking up and immediately looking at your cell phone. Even if it’s just to check the time, this is a big no-no. Not only does it do scientific stuff to your sleep pattern and brain, but it also makes you more inclined to check on those notifications to see what happened while you were sleeping. The text, emails and likes aren’t going anywhere. Remove the distractions and start taking care of you, while you still have time.
3) Mediate. Dealing with miniature emotional, irrational demanding versions of yourself everyday takes mounds of patience. The more that they do, the more you realize how much you don’t really like yourself. Your mind has to start out in the right place in order for you to stay semi-sane throughout the day. Calm the mind in the mornings and don’t think about the shit storm that awaits you.
4) Not properly waking the body up in the morning. Just rolling out of bed and getting the day started just doesn’t cut it. Before hooking that caffeine IV directly into your veins, do a few stretches to get the blood pumping. Loosen up those shoulder muscles from the day before, when you held back that backhand after your kid got to mouthing off. Stretch those hamstrings and get them prepared for the toddler hustle. Parenting requires that you are in pretty good shape if you want to keep up with the little ones.
5) For God’s sake Eat Breakfast. To be able to eat and not hear “can I have some” or “I want that”. To be able to take each bite and savor the taste, instead of just trying to chew just enough so that you don’t choke as you quickly swallow to get rid of any evidence before the kids come back into the room. To actually taste what you’re eating without a toddler helping themselves to everything on your plate. Breakfast without the kids is magical.
Surviving Life with kids isn’t always about the kids. Taking care of yourself first is key to taking care of everyone else. Find your peace in the day.