Put on Your Shoes. It’s Time to Leave!

Put on your shoes. Get your coat on. Stop bugging your sister. Where is your hat? No, you are not playing iPad now. You left your homework where?  I said, put on your shoes. Now. I’m not waiting any longer. I’m leaving. Get your hands off your brother. It’s time to leave.

These are the typical words out of my mouth each morning as I herd my husband and children out the front door, to the car and off to school. Getting the people I live with to listen to me in the morning could be my biggest challenge in life. It is stressful and often painful. Why don’t they listen to me? Why don’t they move?

I will admit that we do not have a great morning routine in our house. I am usually the first person to wake up and get myself ready. When I wake up I find a different person in my bed each day (okay not quite, it is always one of the four other people I live with!). That person, whether it’s my husband or the baby, does not want to wake up.

Getting my children to wake up, get dressed (forget brushing their hair, I gave up on that a while ago) and eat breakfast is a struggle. But we always get through it. I brace myself when it’s time to get ready to leave the house. Put on your shoes. I must say that a dozen times each morning.

Why does it take upwards of ten minutes to leave the house in the morning? Is it really so hard to put on your shoes? There is definitely a mix of distraction and intentional ignoring going on. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to a wall. I think the wall listens better than my husband and children.

I know that today’s post sounds a bit absurd and even rather shallow as there are far more important issues in my direct life and greater world where I should focus my attention.  But this is driving me crazy. As I write this, with my children sleeping and my house quiet, I feel compelled to yell, “put on your shoes!” Maybe if I start the process the night before we will get out of the house on time the next day?

As we head into the winter, my morning stress levels will no doubt increase. Put on your shoes will turn into put on your boots. There will be heavy coats, hats and mittens to put on (first to be found under a chair or deep in a school bag). There’s often a sidewalk to be shoveled and car to warm up. Tuesday is garbage day, which adds a whole extra layer of delay to my morning.

I am happy to listen to any suggestions about how to get my gang moving better in the morning, in particular how to get them out the door on time. Do you have slow moving people in your house? I look forward to reading your comments, posted here, on Facebook or on Twitter @AliciaRichler.

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