First things first. I am not a morning person. Never have been, am not now, never will be. One of the good things about your children getting older is that they can learn to be a bit more independent, and I have decided now that they are 6, 8 and 10 that it is time for them to sort themselves out of a morning (luckily they are all early risers, so that’s a good start).

The rules are that I will make all the lunches and put their clothes out the night before and my husband or I will make breakfast. All they have to do really is get dressed when they get up, pack their bags with everything they need for the day, eat, brush hair and teeth etc. and then they have free time until we need to leave. Methinks this deal is pretty reasonable.

So naturally, I came downstairs this morning to find my son- the 10 year old – playing Xbox in his pyjamas. Awesome. I prised him off the couch (after he had paused his game of course), and asked my little one to put the lunch boxes in bags while I made breakfast. Lovely, we were back on track.

Next minute – an awful noise is coming from the living room. My son has reappeared and is despairing loudly in the manner of someone who had just been advised his best friend has been killed at war. I rush in to face the disaster head on only to find two lunch boxes on the floor, and my little one with Xbox remote in hand smiling manically. Apparently she had been diverted from her lunchbox duties and drawn towards the gaming console in order to “help” her brother score a goal in his (apparently) super critical, world changing game of FIFA. Obviously this plan had backfired and somehow ‘he’ was now losing this all important fictional game of digital soccer.

Then came the screaming. 10 year old was screaming at 6 year old. 6 year old was screaming back. 8 year old chimes in for unknown reason. Cue the tears. Actual tears of utter 10 year old despair, interspersed with more yelling, accusations and declarations of hate, tears spilling into his Fruity Bites. I tried to remind him of the Catastrophe Scale they have at school but to no avail. His fictional soccer team in a completely make believe competition of soccer, played on a telly, was ‘going to be relegated’ and this was in fact a full scale catastrophe. Didn’t I get it!?! Er, no obviously I didn’t. Must be time for coffee, its not even 8.15!.

For the rest of the morning, into the car, and all the way to school the sorrow and rage abounded. Everyone was having a crack, the little one was crying because the other two had declared her “chewing gum” for the day (whatever TF that means). And then finally, as we pulled up at school, it was declared that our family was, in actual fact, “lame”.

We get into class – late – only to find my pint sized 6 year old inexplicably has a Grade 4’s size 10 jumper in her bag (cue returning of jumper and stealing of smaller one from lost property for the day). Leaving school with a huge sigh of relief, contemplating a return to bed and a restart of the day at a later time, I return home to discover 10 year old’s lunchbox still on the bench, propped up behind a cereal bowl, empty but for some leftover milk and tears. And its back to school we go.

No wonder I’m not a morning person!!

Posted by catherine burrows, 3rd October 2016

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  • I too am not a morning person and never will be.


  • My kids would get distracted by to in the mornings. So it was….no to until you’re all ready to walk out tether four for school. They were ready super early each morning, until the arguing over which channel began. But that’s another story lol


  • You could also make them pack bags the night before! thus leaving 4 tasks for the morning: getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth and putting lunch in bag. It is great that you have decided they should be more responsible and independent, good luck ! (Next step is make their own sandwiches.. maybe the night before too!)


  • Yep, hide the x-box! I drew up a morning getting ready list and afternoon to do list and laminated it. It sits on our fridge. The rules in our house is that you must do all the things on the list (and tick it off) before you can play. If you’re playing before you’ve finished your list, whatever you’re playing with is put in a box and you have to earn it back. It sounds hard-arse but mornings for us are stressful and rushed enough without throwing it screaming and tantrums. This has worked really well for us and my competitive children now get ready so quickly (they actually race each other to see who wins but hey, we’re all ready and we’re all winners in my books).


  • Some mornings can be difficult – maybe hide the X-box! ;)

    • Thanks for sharing your morning story too – sure some parents can relate to it!


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