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Tuesday, July 24

No More Unglued Mama Mornings

I’m making a bold commitment: No more unglued mama mornings. In other words, I want our mornings to go better this next school year with less frustration, yelling, and chaos.

I started thinking about this last spring when we had a string of really hard mornings. One day, as I pulled up to the front of the school, the atmosphere inside the car was thick with tension. Not wanting the last words spoken to my middle-school daughter to be harsh, I tried to change the course of our conversation before she headed into her day. “Listen, I love you. I’m sorry we had a rough morning.”

“We always have rough mornings,” she shot back before getting out of the car and slamming the door.

Well, nothing quite makes a mom feel more successful than a little dialogue like that.

As I rubbed the stabbing feeling in my chest, I thought to myself, “Something has to change. Each day I promise myself I won’t yell at the kids in the morning and yet every day I do. I don’t want to. But each morning something happens that triggers me to just lose it.”

Ever been there?

It’s not like we wake up in the mood to get frustrated with our people, right? I mean honestly, I usually wake up in a pretty good mood.

But then the stress of getting everyone ready and to school on time makes the crazy creep in.

This one can’t find her shoes. That one needs a report printed, and we have no ink in the printer. The dog just had an accident on the new rug because no one listened to my instructions to let her out. The bread for sandwiches is still sitting on the grocery store shelf because I forgot to buy it yesterday. And to top it all off, I have no cash to give the kids so they can buy their lunch at school.

The whining. The complaining. The feeling that I just can’t ever get it all together. It all just escalates and sends me over the edge.

Well, I want mornings this school year to be different.

Do you want more calm and less chaos this school year too?

If you want to join me for this free 5 day challenge, enter your information here:

And don’t worry, our goal is imperfect progress. I’ll still mess up and you might too. But I’m giving this my best shot and can’t wait to enjoy more peaceful mornings.

After you sign up for the challenge, leave a comment below and tell me your best tip for more peaceful mornings. I’ll randomly pick 3 comments and give each winner a free Bible Study kit for my upcoming book Unglued … that’s the Unglued book, a 6-week DVD curriculum, and a workbook.

This isn’t your typical Bible Study. I’m not the hero of this teaching. I’m a gut honest girlfriend who is in the process of learning a lot about making wiser choices with my reactions.

Care to join me?

Discussion

  1. 2765

    I have preschool and toddler age children but my best advice is to get up before them not to them. It is so hard and I fail often but I find my days are much smoother when I have a chance to be in the Word before things get rolling!

    • 2766
      Rhonda White says:

      I have found that mornings go smoother when I have the kids lay out there clothes the night before. Don’t know why we don’t do all the time, but it helps hugely when we make that effort.

  2. 2767

    I am in! My morning effect my so way more than I would like to admit! We are going to start this year again with the routine but we are going to have a check list and we are going to stop and PRAY! Can’t wait to get started!

  3. 2768

    Our whole day goes better if we just have a little time together that doesn’t include rushing around. So waking up a little earlier is a must. That means sacrificing a little sleep, but I think it’s worth it. I hate starting our morning in a huge rush where everyone is on edge and snappy. It’s better if we can start slow and ease into the day together, rather than jumping, running and screaming :)

  4. 2769
    Barbara Baker says:

    I think mabye getting up before the child does and have a few moments to yourself first,for coffee,prayer and just to get your motor(yourself) going before your child gets up!

  5. 2770

    I agree with Jen. It seems to help if I get some time to pray and read the Bible and plan my day before my daughter gets up.

  6. 2771

    Starting this school year I will have one in high school, junior high, elementary and pre-k. My best advice for a peaceful morning is to pause and smile before reacting to something one of my kids has said/done that made me angry. In just that one moment, how I react to the inital situation makes all the difference.

  7. 2772

    I do my best by taking 10 minutes the night before to prepare for the next morning. Clothes and shoes picked out, hair bows and brushes ready to go, snacks and water bottles prepared and lunches put together as much as possible. These few little things can make or break my mornings. The more I have to do in the small amount of time after they get out of bed only stresses us all out!

  8. 2773

    Wake up before them.
    I try to have lunches packed the night before.

  9. 2774

    I have 2 teenage boys who got into the habit last year of not getting out of the bed until the very last possible minute. This caused a LOT of stress in our household and caused both my husband and me to become unglued almost daily. My husband is the worrier so he would continually yell up the stairs for the boys to get up. They would wait until the final loudest yell which would make them realize “wow, it must be really late. I guess I better get up!” I decided that this year, things were going to change. I told both boys AND my husband my plan. The boys were told that they were responsible for getting themselves up each and every day. If they are tardy to school then they would have to pay the consequences (take exams, in-school suspension etc). Well, today was our 3rd day of school, and guess who found a way to get up and get ready in time for school?!?!! Yes!!!! It is working so far. Holding my husband back from yelling up the stairs is the hardest part but so far it’s working and hopefully this will be the most peaceful school year ever!

  10. 2775

    I totally relate to this morning problem. I do my best to make sure that I have whatever I need for my day, if I have to be out and about that day, in the same spot every night before going to bed. I’m working with my children to develop the same habit. It helps a lot if that spot can be at the door you exit in the mornings. It’s always a relief to not have to wonder if I’ve gotten everything before leaving, as long as I took five minutes the night before to think the next day through and place it with my purse at the back door.

  11. 2776

    My children are parents themselves now… Really hood parents.
    Looking back, having things started the night before is tje only way “things” go well in the morning.
    Also, if I might add… Even in this hectic time… Enjoy your special time with your children and have a few nights around the dinner table. Connect with your children… Turn off the TV and Talk.
    Then, if you have a bad morning every once in a while, that won’t be the only things they remember when they are parents themselves.

  12. 2777
    Katherine says:

    I have a 3.5 year old son and just started back teaching. I made it a point to spend as much quality time with him as possible. So, each morning before he wakes, I am completely ready for my day. I can talk, play, read, and enjoy helping him get ready for preschool without a rush. It is working great thus far! Praise Jesus for new opportunities to grow and love!

  13. 2778
    Christine says:

    Being a single mom has different challenges, so making sure I am connecting with god each day is super important but more than that if I can get up early and do it and then get myself ready before waking the kids things go much smoother! ;-)

  14. 2779

    I have foud if I get up earlier and have my deotions and pray that all goes better in my household trying to get ready for work and help get the grandchildren up and ready and out the door. I would love tohave the extra sleep but not as much as the peace that the extra awake time providess.

  15. 2780

    In the morning–no matter how chaotic everything seems–I do my best to place my hand on each of our 3 kids heads and pray a blessing over them. Thanking God for making them–for the way he made them specifically and asking he be with them today and anything else I might come up with. While this doesn’t mean I don’t ever get frustrated or lose it–it helps me remember the truth that Children really are a blessing from the Lord and it helps my kids see how much I love them and value how God made them.

    • 2781

      Lorrie – I love your response. I always pray with my kids in the car on the way to school, but I LOVE your suggestion to place my hand on them and pray blessing over them. Even when I come “unglued” – they are truly still a blessing from the Lord. Thank you for your comment – really what I needed today. :)

  16. 2782

    The biggest problem I have is time management. But I have improve this with: a) having my boys have clothes laid out the night before b) waking up about 45 min before them c) allowing them to have about 15 min to watch TV before breakfast and d) setting my alarm on my phone about 5 minutes BEFORE I need to get out the door so I leave on time. Probably the best thing is that we have a routine and my boys (6 and almost 8) know what to expect next.
    But trust me there are still times I lose it but usually it’s from my own time management. Looking forward to this challenge :)

  17. 2784

    We get everything ready the night before. We lay out close put backpacks on hook by door. This only works on the nights I don’t work.

  18. 2785

    Oh my how this sounds like so many of our mornings. The single thing (and there are one or two others) is to absolutely double and triple check that EVERYONE is ready to go, THE NIGHT BEFORE. There simply is no other way. When I’ve done my part, if someone sneaks something by me, I simply and calmly inform them that it should have been done the night before, and try try try to communicate that they have to be responsible for what happens from then on. When they go CRAZY because they can’t print their paper, I say something like, “well now we don’t have time (usuasually met with excuses–which I say we don’t have time for those either :-) and now we need problem solving mode. Anxiety stifles problem solving, so calm down and think.”. I usually have to prompt, by saying, can you print it at school, and go from there. If not, then hand written copy? Not the best, but it’s still turned in, or would you lose less points if you handed it in the next day. The bottom line is, they have to take control of their situation, do the best they can do within the situation, learn from it and move on. Now if I could just get the 16 year old twin boys to own laundry, I’d have it made!

  19. 2786
    Lori Stark says:

    Stress and anxiety always brings me to unglued status quickly. Planning ahead and avoiding rushing in the mornings always helps to keep things calmer and less stressful for me.

  20. 2787

    I find that the making lunches the night before helps us have a smoother morning. It’s a chore I hate the most so I don’t like to start the day off by making lunches. Having 4 kids in 3 different schools leaving at 3 different times and me leaving for a part time job 2 mornings a week is a recipe for chaos most mornings. The weight of silence that settles on the house after a morning of yelling, rushing and sometimes tears is full of guilt on my part. I am praying for a much smoother school year coming up.

  21. 2788

    Mornings go easier if we prepare the night before. If we lay out our clothes (including mine), know what is for breakfast and have all of our coats, shoes and bags or anything else we need to take with us ready to go on our “Launch Pad” by the door. We always start with good intentions but have a hard time with consistancy. I know I can turn into Monster Mommy pretty fast on a school morning that doesn’t go right. I hate dropping off the kids on those mornings. I wish we could get a do over sometimes.

  22. 2789

    Have everything ready the night before..baths/showers taken, clothes/socks/shoes laid out, notes/agendas signed, homework checked, lunches made and in the fridge, backpacks packed, and I always leave notes (with dry erase markers) on the boys bathroom mirror with any individual reminders (so that I don’t forget to tell them) and to tell them to have a “Marvelous Monday,” “Terrific Tuesday,” “Wonderful Wednesday,” etc. and that I love them and I’m proud of them! This always seems to make things go quite a bit more smoothly!, as long as everyone is in bed on time..they want to have later bedtimes, but we have figured out that without a certain number of hours for sleep, it doesn’t matter how prepared you are the night before, there are still going to be grumpies the next morning!! :)

  23. 2790

    I’m the mom of 11 and 7 year old boys, and I’m loving all the comments and advice. My oldest has Asperger’s, so mornings can be a minefield, and we’ve found that staying calm is imperative to a good morning. When “unglued mama” comes out…….it’s all downhill from there! Love & Logic has been an amazing help to me, in that it helps me let the kids “own” their morning, and it doesn’t have to dictate mine……….so when I remember to use the tips/tricks it works 100% of the time (questions like – “would you like to get dressed now or in the car?”…..just wished I always remembered the tricks! So we do a lot of the planning ahead, and practicing our routines, but if I had to give one thing that we do, it would be when I get up earlier than the boys, and get myself ready to go first…….then I’m all theirs, and don’t have the stress of trying to get them ready while I’m getting ready too. So here’s to setting that alarm for 30min. before the kids’ and not hitting snooze 10 times! :)

  24. 2791

    Being prepared- like a lot of other ladies have said. Smooth mornings happen when I am dressed and ready for the day before they even get up. Ideally breakfast is almost done when they come downstairs and I love, love, love greeting each with a huge hug and smile.

  25. 2792
    Starr Deas says:

    Although we have many unglued mornings, we try and do as much ahead of time as possible. We pick out clothes the night before and put them in the living room. We put our backpacks and anything that needs to get in the car at the backdoor the night before. I always pray for a good morning before getting out of bed, and last school year we started praying about our day on the way to school. It’s hard to pray sometimes when you’ve had a crazy morning, but it also makes you stop and reflect on what’s really important.

  26. 2793

    Of course get EVERYTHING ready the night before but then give the kids lots of choices when it doesn’t matter to you…”Would you like raisins or sliced banana on your oatmeal?” “Would you like to listen to country or worship music?” “Would you like to go out the garage or the front door?” Etc. so that when it is time to leave and you say “we need to go NOW” they are more likely to listen since they feel as though they have been heard all morning. I find that it lightens the mood too when i make up all kinds of silly choices for them… “Should I Get my hair cut in a mohawk today or should I get it done like I normally do?” “Would you like to eat your cereal with a fork or a spoon?” When things aren’t going well around the house-relationally and I realize that I haven’t been giving choices, I will remind myself to do so with a few strategically placed sticky notes that simply say “choices.” Giving choices helps the kids feel as though mom is not always telling them what to do and it makes me feel like a mom instead of a drill sargent.

  27. 2794
    Mari Garland says:

    My younger daughter (now 11, in 6th grade and catching the bus at 6:35 am) is an expressive personality. I found early on that having a third party wake her up in the morning made for an easier transition for everyone. So, she has been waking up to her own CD alarm clock since she was 6 years old. I would come in and greet her AFTER the alarm went off and help with getting dressed if needed.

    This year we transitioned to middle school and a start time of 7:25 am rather than 8:50. For the last 2 years, her older sister has set her alarm and gotten herself ready for school. I would get up at 6:15, grab a cup of coffee my husband set up to be ready the night before, check on her progress and make a quick breakfast. We would walk to the bus stop together 15 to 20 minutes later – most days. I was afraid that with both girls getting ready at the same time, I would need to get up earlier and spend my early morning as a referee. Its the second week of school and to my pleasure and surprise the younger daughter has gotten up, dressed, put shoes on, backpack ready and ready to eat breakfast ON HER OWN by 6:15! Shhhh…I don’t want to jinx it. I have told her how proud I am of the way she is taking responsibiity for herself and cooperating with her sister. And big sister is still doing great too! Once they are on the bus, I enjoy my second cup of coffee and a quiet time before I start the rest of my day…most days. I honestly never thought we’d get to this point and we’ll surely have some messy days ahead, but today I am grateful and just a bit proud of my girls.

  28. 2795

    I have four children. I am a teacher and my three girls go to school with me every morning. It seems we are always running late no matter how early of a start I get. I am looking forward to any tips to make our mornings smoother. I can’t say that we do it everyday, but I find that when we finally all get in the car and settle in for our commute if we can take time to pray for each other and for our day, God always lifts our moods.

  29. 2796
    Robbie Lastinger says:

    When our children were young, my husband would always say “Stay ahead of them.”
    (Fail to plan – plan to fail!) So each night I would plan what we would all wear next day, plan breakfast. Pack book bags, etc. night before as much as possible. Staying up LATE is never a good idea for needing to get up early in the morning! Rushing is not planning, even though it happens…stay calm and eat chocolate (drink coffee).

  30. 2797

    There is nothing worse than dealing with 3 mini stubborn versions of yourself first thing in the morning. Nothing ever seems to go according to plan, tension and frustration rises the more I push and yell to get ready so no one is late for school and work. When I feel myself loosing control I try very hard to take a deep breath and pray ‘Lord I have lost control please take over for me and fill this house with your peace and control over this situation’.