How to have a {mainly} mindful morning.

I was giving some thought today about what parts of my life I used to find most stressful as a mother. And I had a flashback of what mornings looked like once upon a time when I was an outside the home working mama.

Welcome to my flashback of mindful mornings at my house.

They wake. They flop on the couch.

“Good morning [insert endearing terms here in my chirpiest morning voice]“.

“No cartoons. Why do I have to repeat myself every morning?”

I turn my back to get breakfast ready and he’s picked up the iPad. She wants the iPad. There is only one iPad. And the iPad is not for mornings. Gosh I hate the iPad.

“No iPad in the morning.”

My chirpy voice just got a bit growly. I don’t like the sound of my growly voice.
another morning at the table

I try to block my ears in advance because I know what’s coming.

It’s clearly my fault. I bought the TV and I bought the iPad. Or is it my fault? What do other families do  in the morning? How do I stop this from happening?

Kids eat breakfast. I tell them a minimum of one thousand times to get dressed, brush their teeth, and stop arguing. My daughter refuses to let me brush her hair so I chase her from room to room begging her to keep still, promising it won’t hurt but she knows by now that the detangler spray is not magical potion made by fairies and unicorns.

I issue multiple warnings of “hurry up we’re late” and I’m fairly sure my words have gone in one ear and out the other. These children do not care if they are late. I’m tuned in enough to work that one out. I plead with my husband to do “something” or “I’ll be late” because I’m sure “I’m going to get fired” and “this life is just ridiculous” and of course we must be the only family in the entire world who live like this. Husband hauls Miss Pink up onto the kitchen bench for hairbrushing, our most favourable part of the morning.

There surely has to be a better way. This is not Mindful Parenting; I do not have time to stay in the present moment and I’m sure my employer won’t buy it when I explain how important it is to me to have a calm serene household before rocking up to work in the mornings.

I eventually tire of this morning regime that leaves me feeling upset, frustrated and guilty. I don’t want my kids feeling rushed and anything but calm in the mornings. I want them to feel excited about their day. I don’t want them to feel like I do. I get into my car and put on whatever music there is on my iPod that has any chance of calming my nerves by the time I reach the office until one day I decide to make three little tweaks.

Morning readers. Yes. Morning readers. Genius. No iPad. No TV. Reader must be done in the morning. Over breakfast. If it doesn’t, we don’t write it in the folder. And they are at the age that they care. We still do reading (and lots of it) at night but readers are done in the morning. No time for TV, or iPad (which has a home above the fridge these days). Fancy that.

Husband escorts children to brush their teeth and wash their faces. We decided it was easier than issuing the thousand warnings and maybe one day it will become habit.

Involvement 101. I never thought I’d be able to pull this one off but it’s worked beautifully. They love helping out with lunches. Good conversations happen here. With a little supervision and intervention if the clock’s ticking away it’s happy days.

I still don’t have the hairbrushing caper sorted. And they still argue. And sometimes mornings don’t go down that smoothly at all. But for the most part, we have {mainly} mindful mornings.

What do your mornings look like? Got any tips for me?

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