Childrearing

I May Be A Mom But I’m Still Not A Morning Person

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I hate morning. Always have, always will. Sure, the idea of embracing a brand new day is wonderful. But in actuality, I wake up every single morning of my life feeling hung over (groggy, irritable, huge bags under my eyes). And I loathe anyone who dares to speak to me before I’ve had a coffee, including my own children.

Of course, I try and fake it. I’m a mother, after all, and I don’t want my kids to think I’m a bitch. I mean, I like to think I’m a good mom most of the time, but in the morning it takes every ounce of energy to muster up a smile. My guys can forget about decent conversation, and they can pretty much forget about anything other than me getting them fed, dressed and out the door.

Nighttime, on the other hand, is a dream. Oh, how I love nighttime! Always have, always will. In junior high, I’d hide under the covers with my phone – remember the kind you had to plug into a wall? – and gossip with friends ’til way past midnight. College essays were written between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m., while study sessions started long after my roommates said their goodnights.

My now-husband fell in love with me, I think, because I was the only other person looking for an after-hours place to hang out while the rest of the world slept. This was during our 20s, mind you, and so we didn’t have kids to think about. But we were such night owls, the two of us, often arriving home as the newspaper deliveryman was beginning his workday.

I always just assumed that once you become a parent, your internal clock shifts. I figured that everyone becomes a morning person post-kids because, well, it’s not like you have a choice. In my house, anyway, my little one wakes us up by 6 a.m. on most days. By 7 a.m., both boys are begging for milk and bananas, as if they’ve been starving for days. By 8 a.m., there’s usually been at least one meltdown, a couple of spills and a handful of fights over who gets to watch what on TV or whose turn it is to have the (crusty) Spiderman placemat.

My parenting style during this early-morning drama can go either way. Sometimes I’m too tired to care, and so discipline goes (temporarily) out the door. At other times, even a minor feud over the remote control is reason enough to send both boys to their rooms. (My husband’s just as bad in the mornings as I am, so it’s not as if he can handle mornings and I take evenings like so many other couples we know.)

The worst is having to deal with the other parents at school drop-off. Because I’m an adult and not a teenager, I refrain from rolling my eyes when the chipper parents – the “morning people” – exclaim “Good morning!” in a little singsong-y voice. I suck it up and deal because, like I said, I’m an adult. “Good morning,” I’ll respond with a smile, but what I’m really thinking is, “Why are you talking to me?” (At pick-up, on the other hand, I couldn’t be more social – and genuine – if I tried.)

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