Oh, the dreaded morning routine drama… Back to school brings this up full force. Some of us have it every day, year-round, with no time off for summer. YOU are not alone, but I know you feel like it when it is 7:45 am and you are going to be late for work because your darling child moves like cold molasses.
First of all, check your own cortisol spike from fear and frustration:
I am going to lose my job, my client, my reputation, my mind…I hate being late…my mom/dad would have killed me if I acted this way…he is never going to be able to get a job or survive with this behavior… Look who is in survival mode now!
BREATHE long slow breaths until you get some perspective. Your child is not going to be an ax-murderer or skid-row dude because he is struggling to get with the socially acceptable morning routine.
If you are actually about to lose your job over this, hire someone to transition your child in the mornings or beg a neighbor or friend’s parent to do this for you. Talk to your boss, schedule later appointments if you can, tag team with your partner, accept that this is your current lot in life so you can stop feeling like an atomic bomb is going off in your family every morning.
Face some realities. YOU chose to adopt a child and that rarely comes without the challenge of special needs. I am not blaming YOU, only reminding that adoption is a choice and comes with certain hardships of which morning routine shenanigans are just drops in a big bucket. Maltreated kids were often abused in the morning because of the morning routines, so our kids fear, dislike, resist, and deeply avoid mornings. YOU are such a good thing in your child’s life that morning feels INTENSELY SAFE, SNUG, COZY and DELICIOUS in ways that cannot be explained in words. The feelings say: I need to stay here in bed forever because it feels better than any other thing and I need to feel this SAFE, ATTACHED feeling more than I need to brush my teeth, put my clothes on, or get you to work on time. Sorry Mom/Dad. Sorry, I just can’t change right now. Please still love me, but I know you won’t. No one else has.
In no way am I intending to hit you right between the eyes. I am, however, trying to have integrity and speak as truthfully and insightfully as I can, so you can find ways to accept, stay loving, and little by little move your baby into childhood, your child into adolescence, your adolescent into adulthood with hearts and minds intact.
Patience is a true virtue. Personally, I was not blessed with much of it. I have to work hard at it every single day of my parenting life. Sometimes I succeed.