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How to make a bad morning better

I’ve had a terrible morning.  My morning really started last night: I was already exhausted, I had gotten some bad financial news, and then had a fight with The Ass over the bad financial news.  And of course, as always happens, the fight moved off of the real subject and into “No, it was the WAY YOU SAID IT!” territory.  Never a productive thing.

I thought that going to bed early would fix it.  I left the dishes, I left the laundry, I left everything and went to bed early.  Because if I’ve learned one thing since having kids, it’s that being tired turns me into a real bitch.  But I plan and God laughs: I woke up at 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep.

So, completely tired and still cranky, I tried to make the best of the morning.  But little things were chipping away at my tenuous hold on sanity.  My daughter had done her nails last night, and left two bottles of nail polish open.  All night.  They were ruined, she got yelled at.

Then I asked my son if he had pants to wear.  He said no.  I believed him, and that was stupid.  I should have at least asked if he had actually looked.  But did I mention I was tired?  So I grabbed a pair of his favorite sweatpants (casual Friday at school) and threw them in the washer for the 25-minute “quick wash” cycle.  And then, 25 minutes later, forgot to put them in the dryer.

Then, I got online, checked email, and discovered that I had double-booked myself for two important events.  Crap crap crap.

When I finally realized that the pants were still wet (my first clue was my son eating breakfast in his underwear), it was ten minutes before we were supposed to leave.  Shit.  I threw them in the dryer with some dry towels and put it on high.  But 20-minutes later, they were still wet.  I wandered upstairs, insanely pissed at myself for not checking for clean clothes last night.  And then I decided to check my dear son’s pants drawer myself.  There were three pairs of pants in it.

The next few minutes were a blur of yelling and listing punishments and hurrying the kids out the door, fifteen minutes late for school.

A slow walk home from school later, I knew that I had to get a grip.  I don’t like yelling.  Not only does it make me feel like a really shitty mother, but it doesn’t work.  I can see the kids just shut off, just stare at me blankly until it’s over.  But the look they get when I cooly and calmly hand out punishments?  They get it.

I think the problem is that my brain works on the school-year calendar.  At the beginning of the year, we start off with morning checklists and alarms and routines and calm, organized mornings.  But as the year goes on, things slip.  And that’s my fatal mistake, not keeping up with things that work.  When things are going well I tend to think it’s “magic” and I don’t always recognize that I need to be at the helm and lead the way.

So, I came home and got out the checklists.  I got some laundry going.  I cleared the breakfast dishes and sent a few emails I had been putting off.  And that’s what finally made me feel good: moving towards making sure that tomorrow morning will be better.  Doing, not wallowing.  Solving, not giving up and getting back in bed.

Originally posted on Selfish MomAll opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

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10 Responses to “How to make a bad morning better”

  1. Cara on May 29th, 2009 11:56 am
    1

    Sorry you had such a shitty morning………must be bad when you mention god :). I try very hard never to argue about money because most of the time there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes you need to hear about someone elses problems to make you fell better so here goes…….I had the wall knocked out in our house leaving a whole side open to the elements for an undetermined amount of time until the old tile was out and the new doors could be installed…we can do that in st thomas..its always warm…however I did not remember stupidly that we were weeks away from having to renew our insurance. So of course days after knocking the wall out my insurance company called and needed “current” pictures of all four sides of the house…..oops.

  2. NYCity Mama on May 29th, 2009 12:08 pm
    2

    So sorry you are having a bad morning. Time to schedule that kidless brunch at the Met. STAT. (I type this as 2.5 yr old is walking around with green marker lines all over his face and body…boy has some shit going with artistic expression that’s pissing me off.

  3. Amy on May 29th, 2009 12:12 pm
    3

    @Cara – Cara, that absolutely sucks. As someone who didn’t realize that removing an old, disgusting, unused, roach-filled kitchen would make refinancing impossible, I TOTALLY sympathize.

  4. Amy on May 29th, 2009 12:14 pm
    4

    @NYCity Mama – Yes. Brunch. No kids. Lots of calories.

    Hey, at least he didn’t paint his balls like yesterday morning! I’m still laughing about that. Of course, I can laugh because I didn’t have to clean him off. :-)

  5. Kara on May 29th, 2009 12:17 pm
    5

    I found your blog through twitter…and I love it!! Your post from this morning is one that I could have written time and time again. My kids do the same thing…and I yell…and I get the blank look, too. I have to constantly remind myself that staying calm has more of an effect. But, what’s the fun in that?! I hope your shitty day is on the upswing!

  6. Amy on May 29th, 2009 12:25 pm
    6

    @Kara – Behold the awesome power of Twitter! :-) So glad you found me. I am doing better, thanks. But I’m sitter here wondering why exactly so many of us do things that we KNOW don’t work and stop doing things that work? I guess if I figure it out, you’ll see me on Oprah with my best-selling book.

  7. Cara on May 29th, 2009 2:02 pm
    7

    We really are related…I would have absolutley torn out the nasty kitchen immediatley without any thought to the consequences just to get the icky stuff away from me :)

  8. Kimberly/Mom in the City on May 29th, 2009 3:20 pm
    8

    I’m glad that things are going better.

    You’re right…forward moving action is the best solution to bad moments/days/weeks/months/years :-)

  9. kim/hormone-colored days on May 29th, 2009 4:39 pm
    9

    You said it:- keep moving forward! Hope you have a good weekend.

  10. Amy on May 29th, 2009 4:58 pm
    10

    Getting better and better: just had McDonald’s fries with the kids, but a small one that I had plenty of calories for, not a large one that would blow my calorie budget and make me feel like a failure.