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"I'll Take Three Kid's Meals And Some Extra Patience"

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If only it were that easy. My mornings begin with a prayer of gratitude for my good health and precious family and the plea for strength and patience to last throughout the day. I do not have a high stress job but it is one of great responsibility. It is my job to take care of three young boys. I adore them but they can be challenging.

Our mornings begin around 5:00 when my husband gets up first. Soon after, I slowly pull myself from the warm cotton sheets before the sound of the shower lulls me back to sleep. If I am lucky, I will have almost an hour to pack lunches and start breakfast and coffee before any of the kids wake up. However, today our two-year-old is up by 5:30. I start moving a little faster and thinking a little quicker about what my boys will need this morning.

Our five-year-old stumbles out of his room next with his hair sticking out in all directions as a result of going to bed too soon after his bath. His eyes are barely open and he is rubbing them with tight fists. My husband tries to help by getting a glass of juice ready and bringing it to our sleepyhead. I am in the kitchen when I hear the crying. I rush to the living room and see my husband, still holding the glass of juice looking dumbfounded. I look at our son that is not quite awake but he is annoyed, upset and crying. My husband looks at me with innocent wide eyes and shrugs his shoulders. “I tried to give him this juice and he just started to cry.” My eyes go to the cup of juice and I immediately know what the problem is. “Oh, he likes the blue cup with the superheroes in the morning. “ My husband looks at me like this is the craziest thing he has ever heard. “It’s like how I have my favorite coffee cup. He likes the blue cup. It’s his thing.”

Patience. We need it from the very beginning of the day.

Our third son wakes up and I am working in record speed to get things ready for school. I have three separate breakfast requests and no one is willing to compromise so instead of a warm meal, I give them cereal. Now I have three kids complaining and we have only a half an hour to get in the car.

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I can definitely relate with the feeling of being a SWAT team officer. I have to be the disciplined "get-it-done" person while my husband gets to be the tickle monster. I happened to catch Jamie Lee Curtis on Leno last night promoting her new book "mommy hung the moon." It was an interesting exchange between Jay and Ms. Lee as they debated the roles of parents.

September 15, 2010 - 1:12pm
HERWriter Guide

The homework part is horrible and we're only dealing with 1st grade, Kinder and preschool!

Susan, you have infinite patience, you really do! I need some of yours, please!

We do not allow menus at breakfast (they all drink milk, all eat warm oatmeal or all eat cold cereal - they can work that out themselves- and fresh fruit) and brushing teeth is done military style, all lined up, one after the other! TV is never allowed, it causes mayhem! They line up at the door with backpacks by 8.10. There are no snacks allowed in the car. I'm on my own and cannot deal with the madness! Compared to you I feel like a SWAT team officer but I'm a kindly one - really!

We have good conversation on the country roads to school though. We have to drive nearly 11 miles each way through farmland to get there and while it's miserable in winter, we get to laugh and talk and mentally prepare for the day on our daily road trips.

We only leave at 8.15am though. 7.35am would kill me!

September 15, 2010 - 12:56pm

Again...glad to know I'm not alone. Can't imagine what it will be like when they have HOMEWORK! eek! It's bad enough negotiating which stuffed animals, toys and blankets can go to daycare/montessori school.
I do not have your early-riser attitude. We get the morning ritual all done in an hour--yes, it's rushed, but they know the routine (thank goodness!). And we even have time for "funny kisses" at the car side as they are leaving with their Dad.

September 15, 2010 - 12:00pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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