You can NOT beat the morning

Today was the day that I realised that I will never, ever beat the morning. The morning always wins. Always.

Yesterday the morning didn’t just win, it kicked my arse. Complete domination. I had to be out of the door early to get one kid to an excursion, which meant dropping other kids at irregular places at irregular times. Shit was always going to go down on a morning like that, the morning can smell weakness.

A parent of four has to have certain systems in place – systems that the kids mostly ignore and which more often than not get completely f*cked sideways – but they are systems whose mere existence prevent me from spending the rest of my day sitting on the mountain of dried cereal that has accumulated under the dining chairs, and rocking.

Yesterday I woke in a flap. EXCURSION DAY! Let’s do this … move it. Move it. Of course the kids gave exactly zero f*cks about the amended timeline.

“Dude! Up – off the lounge, we have to move.”
“Hey, what are you are you doing? Do you even WANT to go on this excursion? Get dressed, come on.”
“Who gave the baby a Texta? Jesus Christ!”

It was the kind of morning that was always going to result in a dropped sugar bowl smashing on my toe, before spreading sugar snow and broken glass for miles while nobody was wearing any shoes. I had exactly negative-seven minutes to deal with a situation like that.

When I finally arrived to pick up my friend for excursion car-pooling it was apparent the morning was winning at her place too.

“SHOES! Come on …” I could hear her yelling from the door.

The morning always wins

Today I awoke early. I sipped a (sugarless) coffee and worked downstairs while the rest of the house slept. It occurred to me that what I had before me was an opportunity to win. Time was on my hands today, and I should be making the most of it.

Rather than the usual lunch box assembly line of doom, I took my time. Perfectly balanced, healthy lunch box fare. I sliced, diced, prepped and presented. I made muffins. MUFFINS. There was nary a tin of baked bins tipped into tupperware in sight.

The uniforms were laid out, the bags were packed. I made up a new batch of anti-nit rocket fuel in a spray bottle, and I found the brush and the hair elastics, sans-panic … all before the jerks cherubs awoke.

So far? Kiss my arse, morning.

I even ducked downstairs to get a bit of work finished. Mistake. Big mistake. Taking my eye off the ball was a weakness – see? The morning can sniff it.

Because while I was sitting downstairs feeling efficient, the morning and the baby worked together to throw a massive spanner in the works. A spanner I would not discover until it came time to herd the young folk into my mum-van.

“Grab your bags, come on.” I say.

“But they’re empty,” they respond.

Damn morning!

Duke had taken out the lunch boxes, the hats and the homework and hidden them. Cue massive search, stage right. Cue massive yelling, stage left.

They were nowhere. Not in cupboards, not in the bath, not in the bin, not under the cushions. Nowhere.

Cue swearing, stage everywhere.

“Duke! Where are the lunch boxes? WHERE?” I beg, using sign language and trying to channel the force, “Where?”

Duke: *blank stare*

“Guys, are you looking? Don’t lie down on the lounge, we have to go. We need to find these … what are you doing? DON’T TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF! FARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK!”

I scramble together some more sandwiches, but the only bread I have is frozen and that never works well. I lob apples and muesli bars into paper bags.

Ivy: “We can’t have food that’s in packets. It’s not healthy, my teacher says …”
Me: “Your teacher can go eat a d…”
Me: “What now?”
Cael: “I just tripped over that pile of blankets …oh cool. Found the lunch boxes!”

Duke had stashed everyone’s lunch boxes under a pile of blankets in the middle of the loungeroom floor. A pile of blankets that is never usually there, but for some reason we all ignored in the great lunchbox hunt of 2015.

So we had lunch, which was lucky since it was nearly lunch time – OK, slightly dramatic exaggeration, but we were not early as I had planned. In fact we were barely on time.

The morning always wins. Always.


    • says

      The thing is – in theory, each morning should be the same. They know we HAVE to leave by a certain time. They know they have to a) wear undies b) be dressed c) have clean teeth d) have all their shit in their bag e) make their beds


      • says

        I have given up on the undies. It’s one battle I don’t mind losing, and eventually the boys will realise that all this time Mummy was RIGHT for wanting them to wear them (after they get dacked by mates / change clothes at school / massive shart etc).
        I can wait.

        • says

          I’ll be honest here, I feel like the whole reason I became a blogger was that I could create a space where someone could drop ‘shart’ in the comments section #dieshappy

  1. says

    I can’t figure out why my kids continue to act as if every day is a brand new adventure! Shoes, teeth, bags – exactly the same as yesterday! These are not foreign concepts! I’ve never been a morning person, but now as a parent I’m a non-morning person who HAS to make mornings work efficiently. It gets pretty ugly 🙂

    • says


      I have tried testing it out and seeing if they launch into action on their own, without me doing my Roseanne Barr impersonation.

      Yeah, nah. Nobody actually ended up at school or work that day.

  2. says

    I’m not sure what’s worse… mornings or dinner time?? They both bloody win don’t they! This morning we had a plate smash and a framed picture fall behind the bookcase and smash. All whilst the huz snoozed soundly and had a bloody sleep in!! Xx

  3. says

    Every single morning here, too. We have lists up that are supposed to remind our seven year old of what he needs to do before we barrel out of the house with his brother in the pram. Yet despite the same routine having to occur, and him telling me I don’t have to remind him what he needs to do because of the lists, I’m still running around getting stuff done and asking him where his shoes are. You’d think the way they carry on, I change the routine every day just for shits and giggles. Without coffee, it would be much worse!

    • says

      Oh man, I hear you. This morning I noticed that when my kids go out the front they just stand there on the porch. ‘YOU KNOW WHAT’S NEXT! GET IN THE CAR!” Doh.

  4. says

    I had the single most successful morning ever today. I got up for day shift at 4:45 am, put the slow cooker on (roast chook and veg I chopped up last night) and got out the door, fully dressed, by 5:15 #winning
    Just realised, however, that I’ve done my bra up with the strap twisted as fuck, forgot hairspray and deodorant (have some in work bag- phew!) and only packed snacks and no lucnh. Half victorious, but I’m claiming it!

  5. Fiona says

    Finally a morning win for me, I was due one after last weeks attempts, after me telling the 11 & 9 years olds that if morning did not improve I would move out. Well it must of hit home, I slept in until 8am waking and thinking shit, shit, shit, this is not going to be good, but when I emerged from bedroom I found all 3 on the lounge watching tv. 2 older kids dressed (shoes ON) breakfast done, bags packed the only thing left for me to do was have a shower, and dress the 2 year old. Wonder if I can keep this going tomorrow.

  6. says

    Relating on so many levels over here…this morning was a toe-curler. And yep, I always get complacent, taking my time with making the school lunch, leisurely showering, getting outfits sorted. I mean, I wake up 3 hours before we have to leave, easy peasey right? Wrong. Every morning, without fail, it’s suddenly 20 minutes to go before we MUST leave and I still haven’t given the twins their porridge, brushed everyone’s teeth or found the shoes. DAMMIT! Yes, the morning always wins.

  7. says

    Haaaaa I love this! I have this struggle most days getting my 5yo to Prep, with an energetic 3yo and 22 month twins. I’m a crazy lady by the time we’re all in the car! The neighbours must think I’m insane – or that the kids are actually deaf. 😉

  8. says

    I’m going back to work tomorrow after 2 weeks off. What I’m dreading most is the mad rush to get everyone out of the house by 6.50am. It sucks! And we don’t even have lunch boxes and homework to worry about until next year. It’s only daycare where everything is provided!

    • says

      Aw hai – welcome aboard. How awesome is Mrs Woog? The very first night I met her we jumped into bed and drank wine. That is a quality human connection.

  9. Kirsty says

    I’m so pleased I featured in this post Rebel. So appropriate for me – the biggest non-morning mother ever. Even my kids know it.

    I once read about an Aussie bloke who set up his own ad agency in NYC. Biggest stress of his day? Getting the kids to school. Say. No. More.

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