When my children were small, I was deliriously happy and exhausted every hour of every day. I was in constant awe and wonder that I was really a parent and that these two beautiful kids were really mine. Their smiles were infectious and their hugs —addicting. I thanked the Lord for blessing me with two amazing children, but often felt inadequate to handle the daily challenges.
Many mornings, when my oldest daughter was in preschool, I found myself sleeping through the alarm, then rushing to get everything done: breakfast, diaper changes, and getting everyone dressed and out the door. Most days we found ourselves tiptoeing quietly into the classroom, while Miss Amanda was singing Skidamarink-a-Dink-e-Dink. Twenty sets of eyes would turn to us and Miss Amanda would sigh. “Why do they always interrupt my circle time?” I know she was thinking with exasperation.
After months of sighs and serious looks, I knew something had to change. I came up with a clever plan and was amazed that it really worked. In order to shave off prep time from our morning routine, I decided to put my kids to bed in their clothes the night before. I know this idea sounds crazy. Wouldn’t it be uncomfortable? Wouldn’t the clothes get wrinkled?
No! I purchased soft and cozy sweat pants for my boy and loose cotton stretch pants for my girl. I chose wrinkle free, cotton shirts in bright fun colors. I found that choosing solid colors was the best choice. Blue/yellow, orange/green, or teal/black; any solid colors look perfectly wonderful together. As parents, we often let our kids pick out their own clothes. By using solids, they never made a bad choice.
It was amazing. No one figured out my clever plan. I woke up late (as usual) and called my children down to breakfast. They looked great and were ready to start the day. There was more time to fix a nutritious breakfast and more time to enjoy eating it with my family. Later, I only had to change one set of diapers and encourage my daughter to use “the big girl potty” then we were on our way.
I found that by making this simple change in our routine, I was happier and my kids were too. Miss Amanda no longer gave me the evil eye for my tardiness. A simple change really can make all the difference. Even now, I will occasionally spy my teenagers tromping off to bed in a pair of comfy, yet stylish sweat pants and tee shirt. I know I will see them leave for the bus, wearing that same outfit. Crazy parenting? Maybe, but if it works, who cares.