Mother’s Guilt: Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed

It’s only 8:40 AM and already, I want a “do-over” for the day. This morning, we all woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It was precipitated by staying up a little too late last night and inevitably waking up too late this morning. So late that my daughter missed first period. This was followed by me yelling “hurry the heck (I wish I’d said heck) up!” as I scrambled to make lunches tripping over the cats and spilling my coffee on my white sweater. There were tears, screams, and lots of rushing. An overall terrible start to the day. As I watched them get out of my car and walk up to their school, the guilt started bubbling up inside of me.

Just seconds after saying, “go, go, hurry up, you’re going to be late!” and I pushed them out of the car, I wanted a “do-over.”

We’ve all had mornings like this. I end up spending the entire day wondering if my nastiness in the morning set off a spiral of unhappiness throughout their day at school. Will they fail their geography test because of me? Are they going to answer less questions today? At lunch, will they sit alone and wallow in self-pity wondering how they ended up with such a mean mom?

Rationally, I know that they probably met up with their friends, walked to their classroom giggling and goofing off and didn’t give it a second thought. It’s not like it’s the first time they’ve seen me ranting and raving all the way to school. I’ll get my do over tomorrow… and thousands of days after that.

As for today, I’ll tell them I’m sorry when I see them–they’ll probably ask, “For what?” Tonight, we will get into bed a little bit earlier. I will vow to give each of them 10 minutes of uninterrupted listening time while we snuggle under the covers. Tomorrow, we’ll wake them up a little earlier and hopefully have a better day.

In the meantime, I made a list of a few ways to
bust the bad mood next time we’re off to the bad start:

1. Put on happy music.

2. Pop a piece of chocolate in their mouths.
Studies show that it stimulates the production of endorphins!

3. Smother them with a kiss and hug.
Grab them whether they want it or not and smother them with a kiss and a real hug.

4. Scream as loud as you can in the car on the way to school.
I don’t know why this works, but when we’re in the car and I say, “At the count of three, everyone scream as loud as you can,” we all end up laughing hysterically. It’s a release!

5. Watch a 60 second funny video
…even if it’s in the car on the way to school. Our go-to is Will Ferrell’s SNL audition tape.

6. Give them the morning off.
While you can’t do it too often, once in awhile, we all could use a morning off.
Give them an extra 30 minutes and make pancakes.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."