Thursday, February 13, 2014

How 30 Minutes Saved Our Mornings


I struggle.

So does my oldest child.

She struggles more than me. And I struggle a lot.

But lately, we're doing much better.  Thanks to a thirty minute solution.

Oh, how I wish I was one of those moms who popped out of bed at the crack of dawn, sat down with Jesus and the Word in the quiet of the morning, and fixed a nutritious, hot breakfast all before the kids open their eyes and stretch their pajama-clad bodies.

That's not me today. But I'm working towards it.

Those of you out there who make that happen, my hat is off to you. You're my hero.

I'm doing good to pass around granola bars and be out of my pajamas by ten.

Until recently.

Transitioning from working outside of the home to working inside of the home wasn't as seamless as I thought it would be. Chalk it up to mornings. That's where my dilemma lies.

My 6:00 wake up time for the past fifteen years was a necessity. After all, I had kids to get ready and lunches to pack, not to mention trying to get to work on time. The alarm went off. I got up. Simple. Straight forward. No problem.

But now?

That is not happening.

Snooze buttons get used. Kids climb into my bed. Electric blankets are a tool of the devil.

I'm lucky to be up by 8:00, sometimes 9:00. Where did my mornings go?

So last week I formulated a plan and this week I put it into practice. It involves a start time, a 30 minute leeway, and Larry the Cucumber.

Start time...
8:45 AM. This is the time we sit down to do Bible, science and history together. Everyone must be ready to go, dressed, teeth brushed, bed made, breakfast eaten. Including me. That's the hard part.

30 extra minutes...
This is free time, a hot commodity at my house. I can't speak for any other homeschoolers out there, but we sometimes struggle to end the school day (funny because we struggle to start it, too...). There's always another paragraph we could write or chapter we could read, or math problem we could grade. Sometimes free time gets lost tying up loose ends. So thirty free minutes, starting at 8:15 in the morning was the carrot they needed to start following the plan.

Larry the Cucumber...
or Shirley Temple or How it's Made or a beloved western. It doesn't matter which video they pick, those thirty minutes can be in front of the TV. For my hard-to-rise oldest daughter, sitting down on the couch for thirty minutes before she's expected to do anything is a gift. Also that thirty minute window allows her to move at a snail's pace through her morning routine without slowing us all down. If she uses that time to get ready, it's hers to use as long as she's ready to go at 8:45.

I'm still striving to be up before my kids and I'd love to give God the first part of my morning. I'm trying. I really am.

Every now and again I succeed. Most days I don't.

I blame the electric blanket.


Jess said...

I love your honesty. And you already know I'm in the same boat. I'm so glad your plan is working! I need to implement one here as well.

pratima diwan said...

Love love reading ur honest confessions

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