18 answers

How to Make Getting Ready in the Morning Easier

I am a PT working mom with a husband who travels quite a bit, a 3 year old and an 11 month old. My trouble is in getting the 3 year old up and ready for montessori school in the morning. He does't want to wake and we can't seem to get him to go to bed before 9pm. That's problem one, of course. Problem two is we are trying to potty train - have been since he was 18 months - and while he knows what to do and will do it later in the day, he fights us on using the potty in the morning. He asks to have his diaper changed instead! Problem 3 is he doesn't want to get out of his pj's to get in his school clothes. All the while, I am also managing the 11 month old and trying to get him up, nursed, dressed and fed. HELP!!!!

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J.,

The not wanting to potty in the morning is my daughter. We found that she will hold it till around 10:30am. So, I get here right up and dressed before we ever leave her room in the morning. She is a totally different little girl if we do it that way instead of getting up and eating and then changing clothes. My husband use to travel a ton and it does have an effect on the kids too, which could have something to do with his sleep habits.
Bless of luck!

More Answers

Hi J.,

I raised 2 grandsons through the potty training and we did not frustrate ourselves trying to train them. We bought them potty chairs they both liked, but in the end they trained themselves when they decided it was time to quit wearing a pull up. Don't worry and don't listen to others who might try to make you feel guilty. One thing that happened for our first grandson. He attended Montessori and his little girlfriend graduated into a class for children who wore underwear and didn't soil their pants. The next day he told us he didn't want to wear a pull up anymore so he could follow his friend into the "upper class" and I worried he would wet the bed, but he never again used a pull up or had an accident. He trained himself. The second child did the same thing about the same age. My sister in law runs a day care and trains them before they are one, so I had a little pressure but ignored it.

Why not offer him a choice about his bedtime. He can go to bed at 8 or 8:30. Maybe giving him some control will motivate him to go to bed at a decent hour. As for the morning, you need a routine you follow every morning if you don't have one in place already. I would wake your son up in plenty of time, so no one has to be rushed. I know when I'm rushed in the morning, my kids always get grumpy and hard to deal with and I get frustrated easily. I would tell him, if he refuses to get up, that breakfast will be on the table in 5 minutes and will leave the table in 15 minutes if he chooses to eat breakfast. I would follow through and throw the food away after 15 minutes and let him go to school without
breakfast if he decided to sleep instead of eat. Just be sure to pack him a big lunch because he'll be hungry, but I'll bet he decides to opt for eating the next morning instead of staying in bed. As for getting dressed, I would offer 2 choices-get dressed right now or go to school in his pj's and follow through with whatever he chooses. Let him face the consequences of arriving at school in his pj's. Good luck!

J.,

Have you considered working from home? I left my well paying job to be home with my daughter and have been working from home and much happier.

I had similar struggles with my older one (they are teenagers now) with refusal to potty train and fussing about getting ready to go. How it worked out: The dressing battle--I took him to preschool in his jammies and overnight soggy diaper and left him there--and then at the end of the day, said to him, "Let's not do this anymore"--amazingly, that worked with a very stubborn kid! He knew I would do it and the next time he started to struggle, I just said if he wasn't interested in getting dressed, we might as well go to school. Potty Training: My son was over 3 1/2, had lots of cool underwear, very articulate etc and refused to potty train. He was very interested in Museum School but they (and a lot of cool things) don't deal with diapers, so that was the key. Postscript: I wish I'd taken a more aggressive approach. Now I have a 16 year old that has had a history of control, insisting on his own way and I realized too late that I created this monster behavior. If I had it to do it again I would be certain that there were no phyical barriors to potty training and then play hard ball with it--stop giving him that choice. If he's old enough to request a diaper change, he's old/mature enough to wear big guy pants. It is such a control thing--what's happening now lays the groundwork for the future! Good luck!

My apologies if someone has already said this as I have not read the other responses. You may want to try Love & Logic. You can start by going to www.loveandlogic.com. They have books and audio books. This is a fantastic parenting method that is all about choices. It will help your 3 year old to learn to make choices (hopefully better ones) as well as help him feel like he is doing things in a little more grown up manner so he may cooperate more. For example, when you are trying to get him dressed in the morning, you can say "You can either get dressed or go to school in your pajamas." If he decides to not get dressed, take his clothes with him and let him go to school in his pajamas. Let his teacher know what you are doing and most likely it will only take once or twice for him to realize that he needs to get dressed in order to go to school. It really is a great system to use and can be used from toddler to teenager. It has helped me out tremondously with my 2 yr old. Good luck!!

I personally couldn't do what you are doing, with the age your boys are.So guess in that regard I'm no help,but is there any way you could change your work schedule where you went in an hour later, and worked an hour later??? If your husband is a good provider, is there a way you could take a leave from your work for a bit?? When children are that age, they change everyday, and the first 5 years are so important, it would be great if you could be home with them. I wouldn't of traded that for anything with mine, If none of this is what you want to hear is there anyway you could hire a babysitter to come to your home every morning, and you could leave the boys in bed etc. and they would have to be taken anywhere. I know this may be hard to come up with , but I had a friend that happen to manage to find one a few years ago.

I have shared your pain! The thing that helped me was when someone told me to make it my son's problem that he was refusing to get ready. You can make that anything that works for you, taking away a privilege, bringing him to school in pjs and diaper (discuss with teacher first), or entice him with his favorite breakfast or something fun when he gets ready in time. Of course all the ideas on getting yourself & the baby ready with time to spare are great. I do everything I can the night before school, instead of waiting for morning.
If bedtime is a struggle, try cutting out naps or at least shortening them.
On potty training, you have to make your own decision. I fought with my oldest trying to make him do it, when he didn't want to. I finally enticed him with an ice cream sundae before bed if he removed his diaper all day and had no accidents. This worked, but only when he decided to do it. With my second son, I tried potty training. Then I completely gave up and he decided (a few weeks later) to do it on his own at 39 months. He has never had an accident, except when he's fallen asleep.
It has been a tough road for us, but my oldest is now 5 and we are getting some headway. I have found Love & Logic to be a great resource. Overall, try to make your son's behaviors his problem and not yours.
Best of luck to you!

J.,

The not wanting to potty in the morning is my daughter. We found that she will hold it till around 10:30am. So, I get here right up and dressed before we ever leave her room in the morning. She is a totally different little girl if we do it that way instead of getting up and eating and then changing clothes. My husband use to travel a ton and it does have an effect on the kids too, which could have something to do with his sleep habits.
Bless of luck!

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