I have been working away on my upcoming book, Am I Screwing Up My Kids. It’s coming out mid April. In an effort to support y’all who have struggled with this worry deep down like I have, I am going to start sharing more parenting tips, tools and resources.
Todays topic has to do with weekday morning madness. Whether you have preschool, elementary or teenage kiddos, the mornings are fast and furious for us all.
A stressful morning can derail the most well intending parent and send you into a secret shame spiral that stays with you throughout the day.
I won’t even go into all the negative effects morning mayhem has on our kids and how much it impacts their learning and social life.
As moms, (especially the Jewish ones), we are dealing with enough guilt already. So let’s just acknowledge that it totally sucks for our kids anytime they leave the nest after a tense and “high pitched” morning.
I DIDN’T SAY YOU WERE YELLING! Sheesh, you’re kinda touchy today.
I am going to share 3 mistakes that many of us make on a regular basis so you can check in and notice if any of these sound familiar and decide to knock it off.
Or not (as I sometimes choose – it is a free country after all).
Remember, everything starts with awareness. You have to literally know where to begin to actually BEGIN.
1. Being too “good” a mom…YOU DO EVERYTHING.
“Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey.” Do you wake up your precious little angels every day in that cute sing songy way?
Is your tone still so cutesy on the 3rd trip into the room as the clock is ticking away, breakfast is now cold and the ride to school will be pulling up in exactly 9 minutes?
Do you find yourself turning into a drill sergeant, clapping your hands, raising your voice and even putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush for your little narcoleptic?
What about packing up the backpack, the lunch, snack, water bottle, tying the sneakers and fixing the hair?
You have no other choice…how can all of that happen in 8 minutes and counting?
Now you find yourself scrambling to text the carpool driver to say you will drive your own kids this morning AGAIN.
AND, your going to be racing to your meeting and should probably just reschedule because now that you have to add a school drop to your morning commute, your tardiness will extend the 5- minute grace period.
Any later just feels rude and embarrassing.
Or maybe, you are missing that spin class with your favorite instructor or coffee with Jennifer and she always feels like you flake on her.
You know you are letting down your boss, your client, your friend and most importantly, yourself.
All because of your willingness to continue being a human alarm clock…doing EVERYTHING at the expense of your child taking ownership of nothing.
What a sh!tty way to start your day.
F#@k that noise, right?
2. Being too “good” a mom…YOU ARE THE SAVIOR.
You race back up to school for every assignment left at home. You make up excuses and send the teacher emails in an attempt to get tardiness or missing assignments forgiven.
Or maybe you do everything possible to get to school on time even though your child doesn’t seem concerned in the slightest by the number on the clock.
What would the consequence be if your kid is late or gets a zero on a missing assignment? Will her self confidence plummet beyond return?
Will he be denied college acceptance and possibly end up homeless?
Are you the savior due to the fear that your 9-year-old’s panic and anxiety will totally go off the rails?
Do you secretly worry deep down, that a few tardies, missed homework assignments or suffering grades due to missing parent signatures will reflect on your reputation as a good or bad mom?
Logical consequences are a parent’s best friend. Explore this mind blowing tip. Seriously.
Kids WANT to do well. If yours don’t, then call me immediately. Seriously again.
3. Being too “good” a mom…YOU ARE TOO SELFLESS.
I’m as guilty as the next Beverly Goldberg about wanting to still spoon feed my children WELL beyond infancy… but we have to control ourselves Ladies.
If all your kids know is your selfless expression of motherhood displayed by your willingness to drop ANYthing, ANYtime - even for the tiniest of ass wipings… it’s not good.
Your kids benefit by feeling prioritized sometimes and also understanding that sometimes your priority is YOU.
By letting your kids know you have somewhere to be in the morning and can’t take them to school late because of oversleeping or early for social hour is a good thing.
You are sending your kids the message that you have a life beyond them.
This is how we gently teach them to shift out of childhood egocentricity into considering other’s perspectives. Super healthy.
Let your kids help with or even take responsibility for their morning routine or at least be participatory as a family member.
This extends to other times of the day as well.
Allow your kids to set the table, fill the water glasses, feed the dog, chop veggies, make their beds, have a messy room, etc…
If you deny your kids the opportunity to be a contributing members of your household, you rob them from feeling valuable.
And when they seem self consumed and entitled at 16 wondering where their BMW with the big red bow and an unlimited gas supply is, it won’t be too hard to figure out where that came from. Just sayin…
We all are too good at our Mama job.
I am writing this and thinking: You teach what you need to learn.
I constantly strive to keep my inner Beverly in check. When the balance is good, I see the proof in my kids and the climate in our home feels really calm and mostly happy.
It is a constant dance for me.
And sometimes, I choose to have a week consisting of highchairs and Gerbers.
Inevitably my teenagers rip off their bibs and tell me to take a hike.
Thank Gawd they are finally old enough to keep me in check.