The Sobriety Diaries {Day 27}

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Unrelated: I need help with a parenting issue.


This is unrelated to drinking and sobriety, although I guess technically, it’s an issue in my life that’s causing me stress, so maybe it IS related.

Whatever– I need help.

I can’t seem to get my six-year-old out the door in the mornings without a battle.

We are less than a month into the new school year and every day starts with tears.

I have tried everything.

I have let her sleep later. I have woken her up earlier.

I have let her watch TV shows. I have banned TV shows.

I offer her at least 3-4 breakfast options that she likes.

She has picked out her clothing the night before (and then refused to wear it in the morning).

She has picked an outfit out in the morning.

It doesn’t matter what we do, she always cries and complains about going to school.

Here is the current routine we are trying:

When I remember, I have her pick out her outfit the night before. However, this only works about 50% of the time.

She often will change her mind in the morning and struggle to find something “perfect.”

She thinks she needs her tops and bottoms to be the same color so that they match.

She also hates to wear sneakers, which she has to wear for gym class on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

In the morning, she will either come into my room when she wakes up (if it’s earlier than 6:30) or I will get her up by 6:30.

Her bus comes at 7:06 and it’s literally right at the end of our driveway.

I would prefer that she get dressed right after she wakes up (before coming downstairs), but she likes to either bring her clothes downstairs or get dressed after eating breakfast.

But yet when I ask her what she wants to eat, she whines that she doesn’t know. 

So it’s like…I don’t care if you get dressed or eat first, but just do SOMETHING. Know what I mean?

I have also instituted a no TV before school policy in the past week. This really bothers her and is a frequent cause for complaint in the morning, as well.

She will spend at least 10-15 minutes complaining or crying or whining about not knowing what to wear or not knowing what to eat, and then it’s time for me to start yelling because we are getting down to the wire.

At this point she has about ten minutes left to dress, eat, brush her teeth, and get out the door.

At least three times in the past week she has not had time to eat her breakfast. I’ve had to make her brush her teeth and then eat her food while she’s waiting outside.

Even when she’s outside, she’s still upset. She doesn’t want her friends coming over to her or anyone to talk to her.

Some days she will tell me she doesn’t want to go to school at all or she wants me to drive her.

But I’m not going to drive her, because then she will ask me to do that every day. Which is silly, considering the bus stop is right in front of our house.

When I ask her why she doesn’t want to go to school, she doesn’t have a reason, just that she wants to spend time with me. I tell her we can do that after school.

The bus comes, I send her off with a hug, but at that point I feel like the morning has already been ruined. For her and for me.

The bus pulls away with her on it, and I am relieved, yet I know it will just repeat tomorrow.


What am I doing wrong?

I am seriously at my wit’s end here. 

I’m currently considering these options:

  • Home-schooling her.
  • Sending her to boarding school.
  • Driving her in.

I’m mostly joking about those options, but I am getting desperate. 

I’d love to hear from people who have faced similar battles and how they handled them.

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  • Jane
    September 19, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    I Hate almost every morning…I say the Same things again and again as if we have never gone to school! I have to literally go step by step- get up, go to bathroom, brush teeth before getting dressed because you always get toothpaste on school shirt, get dressed, pick breakfast and eat and go! Two kids and it is tiring before going to work!!

    • Cristina L
      September 19, 2017 at 9:12 PM

      What about a reward system?? I know some people who had very similar issues and they opted homeschooling but that is not always an option for people. Some kids just don’t like school 🙁 I also struggle with getting my son ready for school. He’s fine until he actually has to get ready, fights it all the way to the car and then is fine when he gets there. I feel your pain though. Maybe a reward system/sticker chart with a special treat at the end of the week for getting ready without the tears and frustration??

      Good luck ❤️

  • Gina
    September 19, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    My son is 6 and in 1st grade. I need to leave the house at 7:05 to drive him to before Care so I can get to work at 7:35am. I wake him up at 6. He gets breakfast and eats while watching a 20 minute show (I shower at this point.) When he’s done he gets dressed and brushes his teeth. Then he can sit and chat with me or read while I finish getting ready. He is in bed at 6:55pm and tucked in/sung to/I’m out by 7:05pm. They are tired and need their sleep. They are slower moving then we are so that time in the morning is crucial. Good luck!

  • Jill
    September 20, 2017 at 4:01 AM

    I couldn’t scroll by your cry for help, I never could 😉 Here’s what I came up with last year (kindergarten and preschool) and it works for us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still all Drill Sargent Mom lots of days, but everyone is happy and on time leaving the house on a regular basis.
    It starts the night before with lights out as close to 7pm as possible. If they don’t wake on their own by 6am, I get them up. They have only 4 responsibilities that I chant regularly as the morning progresses: eat, get dressed, teeth and hair. If they can get it all accomplished before the alarm on my phone goes off (a sound they chose set for 20 minutes before it’s time to be waiting for the bus), they’re allowed to play with whatever they want until the alarm goes off, no tv, no screen time. When the alarm goes off, I hit snooze and tel them it’s time for socks and sneakers (I don’t allow other shoes because of gym and playground … and too many choices and lack of structure make for frustrated and indecisive attitudes…, hoodies, coats, whatever. when the snooze goes off, they’ve learned it’s time to get out the door.
    It took a lot of practice, but became easier very quickly. We only missed the bus one time, never got on crying, only got on one time hugging while sad with each other for the way the morning played out, and now we are successfully squeezing in a 3/4 mile walk with the dog most days of the week. Good luck!! Miss you! Feel free to call me if you’d like to catch up and chat more about it. Xoxo

  • Allison
    September 21, 2017 at 4:37 PM

    I know how you love parenting advice from people who aren’t parents, but I saw these watches for kids called Octopus something that track all their chores and they get points that they can redeem for stuff. You should look into it.

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