If you're like me, your little darlings wake you up ridiculously early and from that moment on your list of Mum duties has begun. While you're still mentally preparing for the day ahead you're listening to who knocked over who's Duplo tower, or who wants what for breakfast.
Mornings can be very overwhelming for Mums. There is always so much to organise and so little time.
In 2016, when I saw a psychologist for my Post Natal Depression, I was explaining to her that mornings were when I felt my most anxious. I gave her a detailed blow-by-blow of my morning routine with my three kids.
The key issue was that all three of my boys were so demanding in so far as the required some need to be met or even just a cuddle, RIGHT NOW. I would literally stop mid-way through my breakfast to help them with anything they were, perhaps something with sticky tape or maybe a block tower had fallen down. I would eventually get back to my now cold toast and equally cold coffee.
My psychologist said something that really stuck with me. It was a massive light bulb moment, she said...
"What message do you think you're sending your children if you're always stopping midway through your breakfast to help them with a non-urgent need, instead of just finishing your breakfast first"
By tending immediately to my boys non-urgent needs, instead of finishing my breakfast first, I was teaching them that my needs are less important than their needs. I was also missing the opportunity to teach them important lessons like patience and respect for others needs. I couldn't believe I hadn't realised it sooner.
Sometimes being an Early Childhood teacher while being a mum can feel like a curse. You feel the need to educate your children and extend their interests all of the time. You can't help it, it's just ingrained in you. So when I saw my son constructing something that had used about 40 metres of sticky tape on it, and he approached asking me to help him with it. I felt it was my duty to respond immediately.
The truth is I wasn't at work. I wasn't getting paid to educate him.
He is my son and I am his Mum. A mother who prefers to eat her toast hot and her coffee the same.
I won't lie. It took a few weeks for my boys to adjust to their mum not immediately jumping up to 'save the day' when their tower fell down or when they couldn't find something. I also had to continually remind myself that I was indirectly teaching them problem solving skills and showing them that I am important as well.
I am giving you permission to enjoy your morning cuppa hot Mamma!
Check your email or whatever you want to do while you eat your breakfast. I promise you that it's actually a good lesson for your children to do so. They may try and convince you otherwise, but remember you matter! More than any collage disaster.