I go downstairs and turn on the star light in the living room. I look outside my kitchen window and see the cows while listening to the melody of their cow bells. I put the kettle on, take out my favorite cup to serve myself some tea. Often I empty the dishwasher or hang a load of laundry like a mother does... Work starts early for us women...
07.00am I make sure that Nelly Bo (12) is up. She sets her own alarm clock since a couple of years. She is good like that. Then I open the door to Emmy Bo's (6) room and sing "Good morning, good moooorning" in the softest way I can. I open up her shutters and grab her tiny foot that sticks out underneath the blanket and quilt on top. She stretches out like a cat and I rub her back for a moment before she reaches out her hands towards me to pull her up. I can still carry her and happily I carry her downstairs and get that big morning cuddle at the same time. She sits down next to Charlie - the cat - who quickly cuddles up next to her and start sounding like a lawn mower...
I turn the TV on, the kids favorite cartoon channel, and then a go upstairs to fetch Luca Bo (9). Same same but different. I sing and open the shutters, look at the Alps as we can see them best from his windows. I can see the sun coming up behind the mountain tops. It is beautiful. Luca Bo sleeps deep. He always does. I shake him gently and start rubbing his back. He is curled up like a ball, sometimes he is on the diagonal, sometimes I find him upside down in the bed. He moves around a lot in his sleep. I tell him that today he is going carting with his best friend on his birthday party. That makes him come alive. Then I ask him to jump up on my back to show him the beautiful mountains. And so he does. It is just a question of time before I can't hold his weight anymore, but this is how we have done it for years now and still do. We look at the mountains together and he ooohs and aaaahs as I expect him to do. So sweet. He knows how to make his Mama happy.
We walk downstairs and now all kids are cuddled up in throws and blankets in our big sofa watching cartoons. I take a moment to have my tea, check some emails and visit a favorite blog or two.
07.30am the TV is turned off and everyone sits down for breakfast. This is a noisy time. Cupboard doors open and close as well as drawers. Cereal, bowls, milk, toast, jam, butter, spoons, cups, juice... In fifteen minutes breakfast is over and all kids go upstairs to get dressed, brush teeth and get ready. I check all school bags, prepare snacks for everyone and sign all papers that needs to be signed. Read agendas and comments from the teachers. I know, I should really do this the evening before but somehow I never have the energy to do this in the evening.
08.15am Luca Bo leaves to go to school, soon followed by Nelly Bo who walks together with her little sister Emmy Bo. Often our neighbour comes along as well if the schedule is right. And now the house turns silent. I tidy up the mess in the kitchen and get ready for the gym. And 5 minutes later I am off too to do my Cross Fit class.
Most mornings are pretty smooth like this but every now and then we have someone throwing a tantrum somewhere. Being tired or woken up in the wrong way, or even falling asleep angry the night before, can easily turn into a big battlefield in the morning routine.
♥ Having breakfast battle - the bagels are all gone and normal toast will do and I can't make you pancake for breakfast on a normal Wednesday....
♥ Packing the desired snack battle - if we don't have muffins for a snack you will have to do with a package of Darvida crackers or a fruit.
♥ Putting on the right clothes battle - not shorts when it is 10C˙outside and strong winds... Not ballerina shoes when the rain is pouring down from the sky... And if it is really cold and nasty you just have to where a hat - even when you want to look pretty and are 12..
I've learned through my years as a mother that it is all about planning. You will have to be a step ahead in a household with many kids that needs to be prepared and cared for in the morning. I had years of struggles where every morning was a battlefield filled with tears and yelling and screaming. The big change came when I changed my routine.
♥ I started to get up a minimum 20-30 minutes before my children needed to be woken up.
♥ I spoke out about my expectations with the kids and asked them to dress themselves and take more responsibility in the morning procedure.
♥ I set times for breakfast and limits for TV and made a rule of no screen time in the mornings.
But saying all this - we still have nightmare mornings every now and then but far from as many as we used to have. 8 times of 10 we actually cruise through it nowadays. And our morning routines are kind of cozy actually. And that is worth acknowledging. Happy Tuesday morning everyone. :D
PS Thank you all who has taken part in the discussion on my last post. Very interesting thoughts and comments. :D