Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm not a morning person (or, an apology to my husband for saying "butthead" when he asked me to get out of bed yesterday morning)

Ever since I was little I have hated waking up in the morning. High school made the problem worse, combining my teenage moodiness with 7:30 a.m. classes. I always dreamed that one day I would become an adult and then I could wake up any time I wanted. This dream was realized briefly in college, when I had the freedom to schedule classes in the afternoon and evening. Those were the good old days: waking up at nine or ten, lying in bed while doing my homework, taking a leisurely shower, then sauntering off to school in no particular hurry. I miss those days.

Now my morning life is really bad because I have children. Luckily, they aren't the type of children who wake up at 5:00, but for me, 6:30 is the new 5:00 a.m. Anything before 7:00 is unearthly and simply immoral.

So the first thing to happen at about 6:00 or 6:30 is I hear Ruby cry. This automatically fills me with rage. I usually lie in bed for a while, pretending to be asleep and hoping that Mike (a total morning person) will go get her first. Then as I am lying there, pretending not to hear my baby crying in her crib, I begin to feel resentment over having to make Holden a lunch. Making Holden a lunch consists of about thirty seconds worth of work: spreading some peanut butter on bread, getting a juice box out of the fridge, putting it all in a bag. Zipping up the bag. It's not hard and it isn't complicated. But at 6:30 in the morning, while I am lying in my bed listening to Ruby cry and wondering when Mike is going to go get her, this is an insurmountable task. How can I be expected to do this?

Then there's Hazel, whose morning whims are as unpleasant and dangerous as they are varied. She'll be crying for ice cream, noodles, mac and cheese, jolly ranchers, skittles. Whatever. She'll want cereal with no milk. She'll want a different spoon. She'll want to eat her shredded cheese out of a ziplock bag instead of a bowl. I tell you it's a NIGHTMARE. Furthermore, I can count on at least one dramatic moment involving her choice of clothing, which, these days, usually consists of pajama bottoms and a mismatched or seasonally inappropriate top. I have completely given up on her hair, which hangs in her face in disgusting, food-ridden tangles. The other girls at preschool arrive in perfectly coordinated outfits with their hair in braids and buns and bows. Hazel inevitably has her shoes on the wrong feet, but insists that they are the right feet. I give up.

If I can get Holden out the door and on his way to open the chicken coop and walk to school without snapping at him, then I consider it a successful morning.

Is there any hope for a hideously non-morning person such as myself? I'm willing to try almost anything. So far I have tried: avoidance, diet coke, going back to bed for short intervals between meal prep and diaper changes, and lying on the couch while the chaos increases around me. I can't believe that none of those things work! I need your suggestions, you morning people. But, please, let's be creative here. What I am trying to say is please don't talk to me about getting up earlier than everyone else to exercise.


  1. I'm mad about the precious days of college we wasted working at 6 a.m. If only we could get those back (even if we did sleep from 11-2 afterward).

  2. I think you should get up earlier than everyone to exercise. It really makes a difference in how the rest of the day goes. You sing (or whisle) throughout the day, and your kids have better manners, choose coordinated outfits, and do their own hair. The other thing is that you need to be more patient and cherish these moments. When Ruby is crying, I know it's hard and that you are tired, but if you have already exercised you will be wide awake.

    Oh, and give up diet coke altogether. And chocolate.

  3. Oh man. I agree with making the lunch the night before. And, as much as I hate to do this, going to bed earlier helps me face the morning chaos.

    And from there I'm stumped. I have a fickle child (maybe Jacob and Hazel are a bit too much alike to have a viable future together...) and I'm driven crazy by his demands. Cra-zy.

    Good luck!

  4. You and Kacy gave me the gift of "the frozen waffle," so I will give you the gift of "school lunch." Do it.

    I remember college fondly because of my ability to nap without major hurdles. Sigh, why is youth wasted on the young? And no matter what advice I, or anyone else, gives you, your kids will just mess it up in a couple of weeks by changing their schedules or whims or routine. (I'm with you on the bag of shredded cheese--yowza.) How's that for a bright outlook?! So I will only suggest Coke Zero, versus diet coke. Good luck!

  5. I like to schedule one thing I am going to do first thing in the morning that I am looking forward to. Then when the blasted alarm clock goes off, I can remember that one thing I thought of the night before that I was looking forward to. And it helps me get out of bed.

  6. I HATE waking up early. I MUST wake up on my own too--if I'm waking up it's ok, but if a husband decides he's awake and thinks he'll roll over and basically suffocate me, or if he just decides to wake me up it basically ruins my whole morning.
    And I feel the same way about crying babies. And I agree that anything before 7 is just UNFAIR.

    Max and Hazel sound really similar. Though Max is getting old enough that he's through a lot of that awful horrible stuff where he wants everything some weird way and throws huge fits. That was an absolute nightmare. Everything is a huge fight--eating, sleeping, getting dressed, everything. I feel for you with her. It gets better though, or it seems have.

    Lately I get up early enough that I can read for like 10 mins before I get out of bed. I love doing that and it's a low stress transition from asleep to awake so it's kind of nice. Wouldn't do much for me with a crying baby in the other room though. :)

  7. I love your honesty! I have no suggestions, though... I am not a morning person either!

  8. Loved this blog! I'm not a morning person either, but agree with the person who said - Have something to look forward to and it helps to get you going in the am. I hate the idea of getting up earlier then everyone else and exercising. WHAT A THOUGHT! I hate to exercise any time day or night. Here's how your grandparents on your mother-in-law's side addressed the problem. For as long as I can remember my father brought my mother a cup of coffee in bed each morning. That got her going. Soooo maybe a cup of hot chocolate???
    Also, knowing Holden, I'm sure he would love to make his own lunch.

  9. Heidi Louderback in OhioMay 18, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Carly I feel the same way about getting up before my mission it was so easy to wake up at 9 or 10 get ready for work that most of the time didn't start till 12. the earliest I ever had to get up is 7am. now it is 6:30 every morning. what makes it easier for me is to 1st drink orange juice to wake me up some, 2nd read some scriptures to uplift my mood, 3rd and the biggest thing I do is hug my companion. that gives me some happy thoughts as I deal with the moring chorse i have to do. I agree that waking up and working out in the morning is not an option I like to do. my sister was right when she said I would be tired for a year and a half. Just look forward to the day when your kids can wake up and do everything themselves and you don't have to get up right away.
    p.s. make my Uncle wake up and get Ruby. you are right he is more of a morning person so he should do it that is what your eternal companion is for.
    Heidi Louderback

  10. This sounds like a hard core case. I agree with mysuestories.

  11. I'm in the same boat as you. I know that getting up before the kids is the way to solve it, but it is so hard to have the self-discipline to go to bed early when I cherish that evening time to decompress after a long day. I guess I need to take MySueStories and Heidi's advice. Bummer, they're right.

  12. Carly,
    I have no advice. My alarm clock lately is my kids. But, I do have to say your writing kills me. I love it. Not many people can write about "morning bitterness" with as much flair as you. You are highly entertaining. Where's the book?