I feel like every morning has been the epitome of chaos lately. It’s been kids screaming, dogs barking, babies crying, and of course cold coffee. I never really liked coffee but something about dealing with small humans has opened my eyes up to this wonderful beverage that I somehow cannot live without every morning. And for some reason, I can never seem to drink it while its still hot.
Latley it feels like the mornings are the most stressful part of the day and I’ve noticed how it started to bleed into the way the rest of our day plays out. I read a post a few weeks ago on Instagram from a mom of two little boys where she was stressing the importance of starting your day out right so that your kids are able to follow your lead and start their day out right. Her words really resonated with me, but I couldn’t figure out what exactly was setting us off each morning and why I had been finding it so hard to have a calm start to the day.
I think I’ve mentioned before how much I believe that your kids feed off of your energy. When we are stressed and anxious, we can see an immediate change in their behavior and moods. And same goes for when we are calm and relaxed. Setting the tone first thing can really have a huge effect on how the rest of the day goes for both you and your kids. I’ve been a stress case most mornings and my kids end up getting more and more out of wack as the morning goes on. This leads to a lack of patience on my part and lots of power struggles for them.
A few days ago I snapped at the kids first thing in the morning for being too riled up and wrestling in the kitchen. I don’t even think we had been up for more than 10 minutes. I felt awful and the mom guilt was coming on strong. I needed to figure out what was making me so irritated right off the bat. I set up the kids in the playroom with Bluey and sat in the other to take a breather. I was beyond irritated with the kids and frustrated with myself. They’re 4 and 3. They’re acting exactly the way they are supposed to be acting so why was I so irritated with them? Instead of spiraling down the “I’m an awful mom” rabbit-hole, I asked myself how I was going to change my outlook. What was it in this very second that could make my day change for the better? “What I would give for a hot cup of coffee” I muttered to myself. And that was it. That was what I needed. In all of the shuffle of the morning, I had started to neglect one of the smallest things that I enjoy in the morning: hot coffee.
Trivial and basic. Most might even find it a bit dramatic. But as a mom of three under 4 with another on the way, sometimes just a cup of hot coffee can be considered self-care. Its something I enjoy and something that tends to get pushed to the side between making breakfast, bottles, changing diapers, lunches, and everything else that has to be done before rushing off to preschool drop off or appointments. I decided that from now on I was going to put myself first, first thing. I throw on a little show for them (Letter Factory by Leapfrog is one of our favorites) and drink my coffee while it’s still hot. Half the time they don’t even watch the show and end up building train tracks or block towers for their monster trucks to crash into, but either way I’m able to have a few minutes of me-time to enjoy my coffee hot. I figured that everything could wait. If I pushed back all of our morning “to do’s” by 20 minutes it wouldn’t destroy our day. By taking some time for myself every morning while the kids got to watch a show helped us all start our day feeling a lot more in control.
A few weeks later and I’m glad to report we’ve had easier mornings and much more relaxed starts to our days. All because Mama needed a hot cup of coffee!