The test for any single working mother: the morning wake up.

by mssinglemama on January 4, 2008

benjamincutie.jpg

Some mornings are better than others.

This morning was a bad one. Benjamin usually wakes up between 7:15 and 7:30. But this morning it was 6:45. I had been up late last night cleaning and didn’t actually fall asleep until around 11:45. Yesterday was a great morning. He was in a happy mood, we got up and at ‘em with few whines or whimpers and were on our merry way. But this morning he knew things were back to normal – meaning mommy gets ready for work and then he goes to daycare – so he proceeded to push every one of my buttons.

First it started with the whining, coupled with the persistent leg grabbing – which I hate. I can’t stand the whining and then when he starts clinging to my legs, begging to be held I usually boil over. There’s no way I can pick him up because I have to get ready for work, not even mention teach him that he can’t behave that way. So I resist. Then after the bedroom it’s off to the bathroom and make up. He jumps on top of the toilet, off of the toilet, then onto the floor, then he’s sticking his hands into the toilet. I’m trying to breath. Trying to breath. But I can’t. I try to count to ten. That’s not working either.

“Benjamin, where are your shoes baby? Why don’t you go find your shoes.”

“No!”

“Okay, you know what – out of here. Out, now. You’re driving me crazy.” He toddles away out of the bathroom and then I want to cry. I feel horrible. I love him so much and just want to run up and cuddle him. I hate losing my temper with a 21 month old. But I do – and it’s usually always first thing in the morning.

He returns a few seconds later with my slipper. He’s trying to put it on my foot. I comply. “Where’s the other one?” He departs and returns a few minutes later with the missing slipper. This bought me enough time to put on my eyeliner and finish up my mascara. But now he’s back at it.

I’ll give him a treat. Yes! A treat. The quick fix to any time crunched single mama. It buys me enough to time to finish up a few things. We’re ready to go. Finally. But now he’s dodging me. Running away from me so I can’t put his coat on. Fun. This is great. I can’t catch my own kid. He’s using the coffee table as a buffer and laughing his ass off while I’m frantically trying to catch him. Then I start laughing too. This is the best part about being a mom. One minute you’re ready to jump off of a cliff and the next you’re laughing and bursting with pride and joy. My kid knows how to push my buttons but he also knows how to make me laugh.

I’ll have to focus on that positive reinforcement more in the mornings. It’s just so hard when you’re rushed and tired. Like I said, some are better than others…here’s for hoping that tomorrow is one of the good ones.

Related posts:

  1. What’s a single working mama to do?
  2. Am I Single Mother By Choice?
  3. Why I am a single mother.
  4. Single motherhood – turns out, not so easy, but not so tough either.
  5. The Single Mom Dating Conundrum.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

serahrose January 4, 2008 at 10:30 am

oh, i love it! i so hear you. i work from home, but every time i have a morning appointment, i know getting us both out the door on time, fed, clothed and brushed (hair AND teeth) will totally suck.

just this afternoon i was trying to get work done while watching A__ (15 months) pull the books off the bottom three shelves, one delightful novel at a time. and i thought to myself, “only i would allow my child to make a mess this huge just so i can get work done and get paid, just so i can clean it all up at midnight.” i have a feeling you’ve done the same :)

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mssinglemama January 4, 2008 at 8:30 pm

I totally do that!!! If he’s entertaining himself making a mess – I definitely let it fly. As long as it doesn’t involve glass or anything dangerous. : ) One of his favorite games is playing with pots and pans on the kitchen floor – water everywhere and noodles. He stirs and cooks while I cook. But it’s very, very messy.

I’m so glad you’re checking in – I love your blog also!!! I am going to add you to my blog roll as soon as I get a quick second.

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erzsi1113 January 5, 2008 at 2:31 am

Hi! I found your blog from single mom with tiny tot and I love it so far! I was especially interested to read this post about getting out the door in the morning…I am a newly divorced (well, okay, almost divorced…this thing is taking forever!) mother of two little boys — 3 1/2 and almost 2 (just one more week until my baby is 2!).

I was blessed to be able to stay home with the kids both when I was married and through the last year that this divorce has been dragging on. (Thanks to the generous financial support of my parents!) But on the 28th of this month, I return to the real world and will be back at work. More than anything else, I am concerned about how I will get myself up and ready and out the door while also getting them up and ready and out the door.

So keep the tips and anecdotes coming!
~liz
abrightfuture.wordpress.com

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mssinglemama January 10, 2008 at 7:46 am

Thanks Liz! I can’t imagine having two. You’ll find a rhythm. The kids will adjust and you will too…I’d give it two to three weeks for total adaptation to take effect. Glad to know I’m not the only one…maybe you should start getting them up and going now before the 28th. Head out to the library or something super early so then you won’t have to stress about the morning wake up AND your new job.

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Shannon Parrett July 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Oh I so know what you mean about the mornings!! I feel so mean but I have to be at work at 7am and I have to drag my 3 1/2 year old out of bed and bed him to sit up to comb his hair and go to the bathroom and then he stands on the steps and wont walk to the car! I feel like a horrible mom when I lose my cool in the mornings! So glad to know I’m not the only one!

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Jules August 18, 2011 at 8:31 am

Nice to know i’m not the only one who let’s their child make a mess just to get things done. I constantly try and distract my 18 month old with toys but this never works so pulling dvd’s off the stand will do just so I can cook his dinner.
I have just discovered this blog but it is so inspiring. I am a single mum and have struggled to come to terms with the sudden and unexpected end to my relationship and find this blog such a source of comfort (especially the dead to me post), you are an inspiration. And you are helping to change people’s perceptions of single mums to show that we are hard working, strong women who have been through a lot and are still capable fo coming out the otherside smiling. Thankyou dnd keep up the good work.

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