We have reached a milestone phase in our family.
I have officially changed the time of my weekday alarm clock.
When I first went back to work after my mat leave with Maggie, almost five years ago, it was necessary for my alarm to go off at 6:00 a.m. I would enjoy one lazy snooze, reflecting on the previous day and all that was ahead for the current one, and hop out of bed at 6:09.
Maggie hadn’t even celebrated her first birthday at that point, and Frannie was three. One needed a diaper change, both needed help getting dressed and fed, and at that point we were packing their milk and snacks for daycare. My goal was to get myself completely ready before even waking them up, so we could all be out the door on time.
Fast forward to recent days. I hit snooze at 6:00. Then again at 6:10. (My new alarm clock does 10 minute snoozes instead of nine, in case you caught that.) Then again at 6:20. Only after listening to the 6:30 news, (and waiting to see if by any chance it’s another snow day), do I hit the shower.
For months now, my husband has been asking me why I don’t just reset my alarm. The thing is, every night I would go to bed with the intention of getting up at 6:10, but when it came time to either hit “snooze” or “off”, I would remember that the day before we had been ready on time, even with an extra snooze. Which turned into one more. And one more.
Let me tell you, it is a huge change in your life when your children are independent enough to use the washroom, get dressed and make their beds every morning. While I still make (by which I mean pour or toast) their breakfast, they can eat independently…with forks and spoons! They even put their dishes in the dishwasher, and the lunches they packed the night before in their school bags. I do their hair (always put up, due to my lice paranoia. Though it shouldn’t be called paranoia if it’s justified, right?) and they brush their teeth, put on their own winter gear, get into the vehicle and buckle themselves in. Can you imagine how much mommy time is saved with all of that independence? I try to eat my “breakfast” (muffin/oatmeal bar) while they’re eating, but then I’m off to get myself ready for work.
Since my husband is in the routine of doing the morning dropoff, I usually stay home for an extra five or ten minutes to unload the dishwasher or fold a load of laundry, if something is ready from the night before. (If it was ready before bed, it would have been done then. Because I have a problem.)
So a few days ago, I officially changed my alarm clock time to 6:20. I still enjoy one luxurious snooze, and roll out of bed, so much more refreshed after that extra 20 minutes of sleep! (Hey, if I believe it, that’s all that matters.)
There are many who warn that parenting keeps getting harder as the kids get older, but I’d like to share that some aspects of parenting do get easier. Independence is a wonderful thing.