Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The AM Crunch

I hate mornings.

Like, with a passion.  Detest them.  I hate them even worse on the weekends, when my husband, who knows I hate weekends, still won't get up on Saturdays to deal with them (in his defense, he usually does get up Sundays).

I hate waking up to a kid standing next to my bed, staring at me. I hate being exhausted, but having to drag myself up anyway.  I hate trying to go to the bathroom and get dressed while a mobile child stands whining that they want breakfast/want to watch TV/want to go to the zoo/whatever, while the baby lays in her bed, screaming to be changed/fed/whatever.  And then I hate having to hit the ground running, once I manage to pee and pull my hair back I have to practically move in super-speedy motion to get breakfast, change clothes, do hair, make beds, and all the rest.

So, yeah, like most moms, I hate mornings.

The last couple of weeks, courtesy of my therapist and a friend (thanks Robyn), I've been reading some books on trying to take control of your life and live more zen.  One of the suggestions made by my therapist, coming from the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, is to try to journal three full pages before I get out of bed.  Pretty much, I wake up, sit up, and start to journal.  The idea is to try to purge all the "to do" type stuff in your head before you get out of bed, and to try to start the day fresh and open.  Incidentally, The Way of the Happy Woman (the other book I'm reading) suggests, similarly, to get up early, before anyone else, and engage in some sort of ritual that will energize you for the day (like journaling or doing yoga). 

I'm happy to report that for the last few days, I have been taking this suggestion and journaling before I get out of bed.  The first day, it seemed to help; I felt a little more calm and mentally "clean."  Yesterday it also seemed to help; I got up, then my kids got up at separate times, and I even played some nice, relaxing ambient music in the kitchen to try to keep everyone calm.

Today, well, was a different story.  I calmly wrote in my journal, but then my baby started hollering, so I had to deal with her.  After I got her out of bed and then dressed, my three year old immediately got up, doing this irritating cry/whine/shriek thing that she sometimes does.  The sound is the audio equivalent of someone sticking an ice pick in my eyeball.  Then my five year old got up, demanding to watch "The Octonauts." (seriously, is anyone else's kids totally addicted to this show?  I don't get it.)  The whole time, I could feel the calm I'd established like a nice, warm blanket draped over my brain.  By the time I got the baby her food, the blanket was on fire and I was bitching at my kids like a snapping shrimp (sorry, too much "Octonauts").

The one good thing I'll say about today is that I think it did take me longer to get to my tipping point with my kids than on normal mornings, so I think I was still getting benefits from journaling and trying to create a calm start to the day.  But nothing will stand up to my three year old's shriek noise, so I should just give it up.

I'll keep journaling before everyone gets up, and maybe the benefits will accrue.  Even better, after I journal, maybe I'll leave the house and go get coffee and stay away for about an hour.  I think THAT would create the best calm I can think of.

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