Wednesday, 4 October 2017

AM arguments

Ben and I have always had a tough time in the mornings. At 8am, he used to ask me if he could take a ball in to school. We then had to search in the garden (as we were already in the car at this point) or in the garage. Or he'd forget something. I did threaten that if he forgot his lunch again, he would be having to pay for a school dinner. Funnily enough, that worked. I didn't realise for a long time that I was also stressed in the mornings, so when we clashed, boy, we clashed.

I know we could do that thing that all smug mums do - Get Ready The Night Before. Yes, I do in principle but there's always something you can't do until the morning. Like getting your packed lunch out of the fridge and putting it in your bag. Or realising you need money for a trip. Etc.

I could also get up earlier. I have an aversion to getting up earlier than 7am. I know some mums who don't work, but get up at 6 something just to make sure they're ready before the kids. I am not that sort of mum. I'm a night owl. I like snoozing "just one more time". I know that it takes me exactly one hour to get up, get ready, have breakfast and make sure we're both ready to leave. I just can't get up any earlier.

Some time in Year 5, my mother in law kindly suggested that we separate in the mornings. I should take my cup of tea in to the other room, after having written up on a whiteboard what he needed to get do. She could see he pushed my buttons, so having a list of what jobs he had, he could do them himself instead of me nagging him and getting cross.

This has worked (mostly). But today, we had our first major ding-dong of the school year. In year 7, everything is new. The time he needs to leave the house, remembering homework, PE kits (which he needs almost every day for either lessons or after school clubs), snacks.

Of course, when it all falls down, it's usually because I'm tired and haven't asked him to get ready the night before. I don't want to become a Night Before Nazi because I'm not rigid and never will be. But maybe I do need to have a laminated sheet with Morning Jobs. We used to have a list stuck downstairs with the following on:
  • water bottle
  • lunch
  • reading log
That was all he needed - those were the days!
So this morning, we set off in the car, up to where I drop him off and he says, "Mum I haven't got my football socks." This is for the cup match with the school team. After a few choice words, I turn around and drive back and have to help him go through the house trying to find them.

Back in the car, not 10 minutes later, I make him text my colleague saying he made me late because of football socks! I ask him to text that if he does it again, he will not be playing football that time. He doesn't text that, but I think it went in. I know I was half to blame, fixing the problem for him, but I don't want him to miss the match or for his team to be let down. I guess I'll have to "mum up" if that happens again. 

Right, where's that whiteboard gone? I'm just going to write a few things down that he needs to get ready for tomorrow ...