I appreciate my dishevelled attire; messy hair, no make-up and thrown on yesterday clothes may give you the impression we got up late due to a lazy mum but would it surprise you to know I’ve been up since 0630?
That said, I was up at 0630, but he was not. My morning starts with getting up and the effort into the previous mentioned attire. I wake the house; lights on, feed the cat and (most importantly), get the tea brewed.
AND so it starts, the first of many wake-up attempts.
By 0700 the school bag is ready, neatly packed by the front door with shoes and coat: all that is required is the boy.
Second, third and forth attempt.
I can be calm: “morning darling, let’s get going”, I can be persuading: “when you get up I’ll make you pancakes” and yep, I can be a bit grumpy: “I am fed up with this every morning, get up now!”. Let me tell you – NOTHING works. My whole morning depends on his mood, when he wakes and when he wants to get up.
Now I am incredibly aware that there will be critics to my practice, you know – how I say and do the wrong thing. As a professional I know this, as a mother – it is blooming hard!
Please do not judge. You can tell me how you wouldn’t have that, how I should use a reward chart; different words; routine etc. So let me clarify, I have a Social Worker, Psychologist and he is sat on mental health referral waiting list. All of which is a work in progress, so let’s get back to my point.
Some mornings the first words I hear are “fuck off” and “I hate you”. Nevertheless, I keep my cool and keep trying. Anyway, by 0730 (if I’m lucky), or 0800 he will be up. Then the getting ready starts.
I know many parents will share in the pain, I also know some parents do not have a clue, most days I ‘ease’ his morning in.
I will serve breakfast and have to tempt him to eat, which typically means sitting over him. I might be able to distract him with TV (he’s much more obliging then) and other days I turn it into a game. Not to mention the getting dressed, cleaning teeth and shoes on stage.
Throughout all these stages, all the stress, bribing, aggression and upset, I am clock watching. Continuously conscious of the time, the being late and the impending ‘look’.
Therefore, if I manage to trick him out of the door, yes I say tricked – he NEVER wants to go school. He may scream, he may shout or, for a treat he may head to the car not detesting at all.
It may be a good morning, I may have him at the school gates at 0830, maybe 0845 or maybe later. But you see, that’s half the battle. I still have to get him into the school. Oh the joys.
You see Teacher, I battle every morning for hours. I deal with emotions, so high and so low all before you take that register and I do really try to get him to school on time. Hence, when you give me ‘that look’, you are not supporting me or us, you are judging our situation and you ADD to the stress and panic.
So my alarm is set for 0630 tomorrow morning – like everyday.
I will get myself to bed early and be prepared for tomorrow, whatever it may bring.
I will still bring him to school.
Footnote: I am actually a teacher. In fact, this look may have crossed my face. I am thankful how my experience has taught me not to judge a book and to appreciate the larger picture.