She Runs A Good Race

mothering is a marathon

I’m Sick of Being the Time Police

on July 12, 2012


Wish I had something really rich, deep and inspiring to share, but I don’t. It’s a day for just venting.

Every day, every mother goes through this.  GETTING OUT THE DOOR. For school, for camps, for appointments, for sports, for the grocery store, for play-dates and playtimes. For WHATEVER, because we don’t live and hibernate in our homes. Nor do I wish I did. I’m not a homebody.  And even if I were, LIFE CALLS and you must get out the door.  Hopefully on time, without lots of screaming and threatening involved.

Its summer, so you’d think our schedule would lighten up a TON. But it doesn’t. And at the same time that I like having structure, I kinda want more days where we hang in our pj’s till 10 am, or 2 pm.  At least have the option to anyways. If we just darn well feel like it.

I have tried many mommy tricks to incentivize (is that even a word?) my kids in the morning.  Here are few examples:

  • If they make their beds, get dressed, put shoes on, set table, all by 7:30, I will cook a HOT breakfast.
  • If they do the said above, they will “get” tv time at night. (Now it has to be earned.)
  • Please note that if I am nagging and bugging them all through the morning checklist, then they will not earn their tv time. (I’m striving for a little independence people!)
  • Posting in big print on the wall (in a few places) what is expected, so I do not have to repeat myself one thousand times.
  • Giving extra spontaneous rewards for getting ready on time, AND WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE.

But right now, I feel nothing is working. No incentives are giving them their morning mojo.

Mornings may be the hardest time for getting out the door, but its not the only time I am the bless-ed “time police” as we call it in our house.   Its at bedtime too!!

I always say Chris, my husband with the most-est, is THE FUN ONE, and I am the traffic and time controller.  We could do a whole post or blog for that matter about the mommy-daddy-differences in parenting-personality-styles.

Chris is more patient, really.  He’s also not as eager as I am about getting them to bed on time.  Not that that is a bad thing, on his part. It’s just that I am so ready to take my mom hat off by 8 pm, and especially by 9 pm, (and sometimes WAAAY sooner). I need them to be in bed and just be DONE DONE DONE. So I can breathe. SO I can have space, have quiet, and NOT be the referee or the question-answer-er.  I feel the inner urgency at bedtime to be done, whereas Chris is fresher and more willing to play and hang. Thank goodness we do balance each other out. (We wouldn’t want two of me’s.)

SO back to me (or all moms) being the time police.  How do I find the balance between teaching my kids that being on time is a sign of responsibility and respectfulness, but not being anxious and stressed out by the damn clock or schedule? (See…now the “venting words” come out…)

How do I model its ok to be late once in a while, but please don’t become THAT FRIEND, or THAT STUDENT, or THAT CO-WORKER, or THAT EMPLOYER, that always runs late??
How can I be more relaxed about time and still get done all I get done in a day? I don’t think it’s possible.  I have a relationship with the clock, my watch, and my old-fashioned paper (thank you) schedule. It’s a relationship I have had my whole adult life. And probably before that.  Change is not likely.  But I am open to suggestions PUH-lease from you veteran mommies out there.

Help me get out the door with my kids, without feeling like a cruddy mom who just yelled and nagged her kids till we were all buckled tightly in our cool mini-van.


2 responses to “I’m Sick of Being the Time Police

  1. Linda Ryan says:

    This is too funny and so timely. I spent the entire ride to Trevor’s gym this morning yelling (reeeaally yelling) at him because he was so late getting ready ( as usual) which in turn caused me to be late for my appointment. ! From “you’ll never keep a job to “you’re so selfish not caring about anyone else’s schedule, etc.
    Wish I had some advice, but I don’t. Oh wait–keep that hubby of yours! Tag team parenting has been my savior.
    Keep us the good work, Jess!

  2. I wish I had some helpful advice, but I don’t. I can tell what didn’t work as well. First, I created a daily schedule and posted throughout the house, but they didn’t pay attention to it; neither did my husband. I had better luck with the daily checklist on small clipboard for each girls that included what they needed to get done for the day. They happily get everything done for a couple of days, but then the novelty wore off. Sigh! I hate nagging them until we get out the door.

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