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Life Changing Lately (a morning routine)

October 11, 2012

Last week I went out for dinner with some friends.  One friend, who shall remain nameless asked, “So, has anyone done anything life-changing lately? Not like Jesus is life-changing,” she clarified, “but like my new bangs are life-changing.”  (I may have given her away now that I’ve mentioned her glorious bangs.)

When asked about life-changing decisions, I immediately thought of our new morning routine, (three months old now).  I am somewhat hesitant to disclose it, because it sounds rather institutional, but  I think this morning routine has resulted in a better life for all of us.

The children take their nightly bath and get dressed in clean clothes for the next day (which have been pre-bagged and hung on a labeled hooks in their closet). They lay down to sleep in their clothes on top of their freshly made bed.  I keep a big stack of cozy quilts in their closet to tuck them in with, because I find it so much easier to fold up little quilts and put them away than make bunk beds every morning.

The children have a clock in their room that lights up with a green light at 7:30 a.m. signalling that they can get out of bed.  At seven twenty-five we lay out their breakfast on a little picnic table right outside their bedroom door.  Then I return to my room to hide.  They pop out of bed at at 7:30 and scurry to their little table.  They eat breakfast together and then return to their room to play until I tell them they can come out.  So, when I greet them, they are dressed, fed, playing happily (most of the time), with beds made.  It’s amazing how much less complaining there is when their is no grown-up to complain to.  Betsy calls my routine: “ghost parenting”.  When I told her about it she suggested I ghost-parent the whole day and they’d never have to see me at all.

They have never questioned any of this routine and there is always this air of excitement as they rush out to see what has appeared on their breakfast table.   They act like it’s Christmas morning every day…the poor little things.

I take some comfort in the fact that I’m joined in the dressing the night before routine by several renown mothers including Ann Romney and Michelle Thompson, the founder of Hand in Hand (kid’s preschool).  Plus, I recently read a memoir about woman’s experience in prison (Orange is the New Black) and, would you believe it, prisoners sleep on top of  freshly made beds too, so I really can’t take credit for this great idea.

On another embarrassing note, I’ve taken to sleeping with earplugs.  I have noticed with some frustration that whenever I am away for a night, Dan reports that the children mysteriously sleep through the night, every time.  I have finally surmised that our sleeping problem may my sharp ears.  So, much to the fascination of the children, I have taken to sleeping with big wax earplugs.   And sure enough, Dan reports they all slept all night.

Charlie, examining my earplugs this morning asked with amazement, “Who ever heard of a mother who slept with earplugs?”

Below, the children, all dressed and ready for bed. And at breakfast, looking none the worse for wear:

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Papaw permalink
    October 12, 2012 12:21 am

    Odd? No, I don’t find any of this odd.

  2. Courtney permalink
    October 12, 2012 12:27 am

    Ingenious!!! Glorious. Parenting is not about making beds or dressing kids in the morning. Reduce stress and you’ll be a happy Mom. I’m going to think about how to apply this idea to my life right now!!!

  3. Kristine permalink
    October 12, 2012 2:17 am

    Does Elisabeth really wake up with her hair looking like that? Because, if so, I would like to know her secret.

  4. Myra Arnold permalink
    October 12, 2012 12:23 pm

    You gave me a good chuckle this morning. I never thought of this and I think its brilliant….and hilarious! P.s.Thank goodness for perma-press school uniforms.

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