Mornings with kids and a dog can be pretty hectic especially when you work. So this morning was no different than most school mornings. I had to chase my middle child out of the door to get the school bus, then take the dog out for a quick run, dash home in time to get the youngest up…..and so goes another school morning.
I know like many parents, I go into ‘automatic’ mode on these school mornings. Get kids up, ensure they get dressed, shout at them to hurry up, get breakfast, shout again to ask what they are up to as it’s been fifteen minutes and they are still not dressed or downstairs. All the while I’m getting myself ready, along with breakfast and lunches, if I didn’t have time to do them the night before.
Mornings become a mundane ritual of shouting, chasing the kids and general chaos. I look forward to the half an hour out with the dog to be honest! However, do my mornings always have to be so ‘moody’ and intense? Why do I always have to rush around and shout? Is it not possible to approach the start of the day in a more proactive and fun way? Surely there must be a better start to the day than chaos and noise?
My youngest came in to my room this morning to ask if I’d signed a letter which of course had to be in today – so I was less than chuffed as we had only a few minutes to get out. He sat on the bed and gave me a hug. Then he said ‘after three lets just fall back.’ My initial reaction was to say no, don’t be silly, we need to get out to school and he immediately picked up on this even though I changed my mind at the last minute and we both feel back laughing.
He knew what my response would have been. No fun mum before school! Instead I thought what the hell, he’s my son and why not have a few minutes of fun time instead? So we had a tickle fight and both of us ended up laughing so hard we had tummy aches. Now that was certainly a better way to start the day than the ‘norm’.
We both went off on the school run in better spirits and will undoubtedly have a better start to our day as a result. By showing him that mornings could be fun, his whole mood lifted. Lead by example. It’s hard for a ten year old to be full of beans in the morning if all you are doing is nagging them!
So next time you feel your life becoming stagnant or too prone to dullness – take a few minutes to inject a bit of fun into your life – it makes a huge difference to how you feel and how you approach life too. And besides, others benefit from your upbeat mood too.
Instead of shouting at the kids to get ready, make getting ready into a game. First one downstairs dressed and ready for school gets to chose the DVD that evening. Or set a timer and record their times for getting ready and ask them if they think they could beat their best time yet. Kids love a challenge and a competition! Tell them that if they beat you getting dressed they get a treat ….use your imagination! Your kids will be more willing to have fun and get ready believe you me, than listen to you nagging each and every morning. And if they feel happier and more motivated to get ready, imagine how much better the mornings will be for you too. Who knows you might even start the day with a smile!
So many people have forgotten how to have fun – and more depressingly cant even have fun with the kids – and no, dragging your kids shopping is NOT fun. Get them out on a bike through the puddles. Get them climbing trees. Lighten up and you may begin to notice that the whole world lightens up with you!
Change the mundane. Have fun. Smile and be happy. It IS a choice. So choose well and live a little..