(Metro Creative Connection)

(Metro Creative Connection)

OPINION: Finding the humour in morning mishaps

Dirty clothes, sticky fingers and breakfast battles

Abandoned, soggy cereal, mismatched socks, perpetual bedhead sticking up like straw at crazy angles on three sleepy heads, fights over bumping elbows at the table, escaping house cats, forgotten backpacks, missing school forms and clean outfits somehow soiled before reaching the car are just a small part of mornings at my house.

And as organized and prepared as I try to be to try to make mornings a little less hectic, (and it has gotten better) trying to get three little boys and myself out the door can still be a whirlwind adventure.

Sometimes you’ve got to laugh so you don’t cry when life seems full of chaos and you feel like you’re failing at the basics despite your best efforts.

Raising little humans with no concept of time and limited cognitive abilities at their age to make and execute a plan creates some frustrating, perplexing and stressful situations.

Here’s just a few examples: one child insisted he needed snow pants even though it was 19 °C out, a previously healthy-seeming child throwing up on the driveway and then scrambling for a sitter, yogurt somehow covering not one, but two children, frantically searching for napkins in the car to clean off peanut-butter slathered cheeks before releasing them to run to their doors … and the list could go on.

As stress and anxieties mount, my parenting style can sometimes feel like a razor’s edge between Jekyll and Hyde — I want to be Mary Poppins getting through unpleasant moments with a “spoonful of sugar,” but herding children into some semblance of a schedule sometimes seems to require more of a drill sergeant persona.

I’ve never been a morning person and probably never will be. I’ve always been the most comfortable moving at an unhurried pace and “upbeat” and “perky” just aren’t in my DNA.

Rolling up in sweat pants and a messy bun was my school drop off style when I was a stay at home mom. When I got back to working outside the home, I adopted more office appropriate dress and grooming. I found it funny when I went in for a meeting with one of my kid’s teachers and they hardly recognized me, and I just laughed, saying, “Yeah, I comb my hair now,” only half joking.

If someone had told me 20 years ago that I’d be raising three energetic boys while working full-time I would have laughed in their face, as I’d never imagined such a full life could be mine.

I cringe thinking about how I must look and sound to teachers and neighbours at times, but thankfully I’m usually met with understanding smiles. The compassion of strangers can have the powerful effect of giving one permission to perhaps forgive themselves for not being perfect.

So take a deep breath, realize that those who may judge you just aren’t your people anyways, and carry on the best you can.

When I reflect on it all, I try to find the humour in it. I choose to share my struggles in the hopes it gives someone else a chuckle, or perhaps makes them feel a little less alone on this journey called life, motherhood, and working while parenting.

I appreciate this life: dirty clothes, sticky fingers, bedtime snuggles, breakfast battles and all.

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