Getting my son out the door to school every day was always a challenge. But now that I have two children, I can safely say that I'm a hot mess five mornings a week. So let me tell you how a hot mess mom gets her kids to school, because the struggle is real, even if the struggle stems almost entirely from my inability to get my life together and be a damn adult.
As much as I'd love to blame the various challenges of my morning routine on my two beloved but chaotic offspring, if I'm being honest with myself I have to admit that my kids aren't really the problem. The problem is that I'm never quite as prepared as I should be. Don't get me wrong, the kids certainly don't help the situation, but they're kids. How much can I reasonably expect from them? When you're dealing with children you have to build in time and energy for a certain amount of nonsense. I basically never build that time in because that would take intention and forethought and waking up with a lot more brain function that I've generally got going for me before 8 a.m. and at least two cups of coffee.
But it's really easier if I show you what I mean. Allow me to walk you through my hot mess of a morning:
Hits Snooze Too Many Times
Honestly, who's the jerk who decided school should start at such an ungodly hour? It's absurd. Wouldn't we all be so much happier if it started at 10 a.m., or even 9?
Sure, some people would say you should go to bed earlier, but that's just silly. Your days are jam-packed and require at least two hours of unwinding at the end of the day with either reality TV trash or true crime documentaries about serial killers. But it does leave you in the tricky situation of hitting snooze until 7:20 a.m. when you need to get out of the house (with kids) by 7:45. a.m., at the latest.
Goes Through Stages Of Grief Trying To Get Her Kid Out Of Bed
Your kids are just as adverse to waking up before 8 a.m. as you are, because, yes, they are little Hot Messes in the making. Unfortunately, you still have to convince them to pry their tiny butts off their mattress. This process often resembles the Kübler-Ross model of processing terminal illness, and often goes as follows:
1) Denial ("It's not a school day!" "It's not time to go to school!" "I don't have to go to school!")
2) Anger ("I don't want to go to school! You can't make me!")
3) Bargaining ("Just five more minutes, please?")
4) Depression (Loud sobbing included.)
5) Acceptance ("Ugh. Fine!")
Picks Through Basket Of Unfolded Laundry For Clothing
Your children call to you that they have no clean clothes in their drawers and you start to get annoyed until you realize that, actually, that's true. Everything is in the basket that's been sitting somewhere in your house, untouched in the same spot, for about a week now. But you're confident that tonight's the night you're finally going to get to it (read: you absolutely won't, because those serial killer documentaries aren't going to watch themselves). But for now, you sift through the fast-diminishing basket and pull out a suitable outfit for your kids and tell them to go get dressed.
Struggles Through Breakfast
Between the children not knowing what they want, and the fact that you seem to be out of literally everything, it takes a while before you eventually just throw granola bars and fruit snacks at them and hope they don't tell any teachers about it.
It's like Breakfast Struggle Part II, made more difficult by the fact that your kid has, like, three things they'll eat for lunch and you don't really have any of them on hand. Some days you know when you're defeated and tell them to buy something in the cafeteria, which means you can't monitor what they're eating, which means they're going to be a box of sugary cereal and a bag of chips. Between that and the Fruit Rollup for breakfast you're pretty sure they're going to get scurvy or something.
Argues About Child's Outfit
When your children appear in the kitchen they are not wearing the outfits you hurled at them. They have dug deep into the back of their closet and pulled out something absurd, like a too-small shirt that you've been meaning to donate for about a year, a pair of cardboard butterfly wings, a Cinderella costume, or a snowsuit (even though it's early September and going to be 80 degrees today). They don't want to hear that these clothes aren't appropriate for school, and how the issue is resolved ( cajoling, threats, compromise) depends on the day. There's only so much you have time for right now and you really need to get them out the door.
Inevitably. Always. And spectacularly, of course. This can happen at any point during the morning. Sometimes it happens more than once.
Remembers That The Clock On The Stove Is Slow
By four whole minutes. And, of course, even by the slow clock, you're running late. This means you're going to have to seriously motor if you're going to get to the bus or parent-drop off on time. You cannot handle being on the receiving end of the smug face of the lady at the front desk as you sign in late...
Rushes To Get The Kids Out Of The Door
You're shouting at them like they're about to parachute into a war zone: "Go! Go! Go!" This is the moment, of course, when they suddenly remember a dozen things they need to bring to school and they just need to go get it "really quick." You may be a hot mess, but you know that the only thing your kid knows how to do "real quick" is get in trouble. Everything else moves at a glacial pace. So then it's a fight about how they can't do that right now and they should have thought of it earlier and they need to get out the damn door.
Remembers She Is Not Wearing Pants
BRB: going back to the unfolded basket of laundry to find some leggings.
Manages To Make It *Just* In Time
Whether you run to the bus stop, waving down the driver before they pull away, or manage to drop your kids off just before the doors close and the bell rings, you've done it yet again. You may be a hot mess, but you've learned how to cope with your condition and you get sh*t done.
Experiences A Socially Awkward Moment With Another Parent
Perhaps you've called someone Amanda when her name is Ashley... even though you've known her for years. Maybe someone has informed you that your shirt is on inside out. Maybe this is the moment you spill something, on someone, because this sort of thing is not beyond you. Whatever it is, you will be embarrassed about it from here on out whenever you see the person, which is frequently.
Goes Back Home To Find Several Necessary Items That Were Forgotten
Try though you may, you're going to have to face the smug lady at the front desk regardless. It's OK: we know you did your best.