It was early Saturday morning. We had no alarm clocks going off and definitely didn't need to be at the bus today today by 7 a.m. to get our older son off to school. I had been excited about this very moment all week. But of course, our little babe had other plans. Our otherwise great, through-the-night sleeper had decided that on that day, the one where I just needed a few extra moments in dreamland, that she would be my alarm clock.
We've all been there. These moments where nothing more than getting an extra 15 minutes of sleep can make or break our day, and we are determined to get it. So what should parents do? Anything and everything they possibly can to bridge that gap between only half asleep and zombie.
So in the name of parenthood, here are some practical (and funny) things parents do to get that extra 15 minutes of sleep in the morning.
"If it’s a weekend, I make my older son (he's 9) babysit the younger kids. There’s nothing wrong with him learning early, and I get some extra shut-eye." —Natalie McCune, Ohio mom of three.
"I pretend I don’t notice my daughter’s stinky diaper and then hand her off to my husband." —Nilsa Medina, New York mom of three.
“I have the Hallmark North Pole Communicator, which she calls and listens to. And I leave out a bowl and the cereal box so she gets dressed and has breakfast.” —Estelle Sobel Erasmus, New York mom of three.
“I give them YouTube Kids and let them sit in my bed to watch it. I use the parental controls, so if I want to sleep 20 minutes instead of 30, I limit YouTube to that amount of time!” —Gemarla M. Babilonia-Gaskin, New York mom of three.
“I lie right there and pretend I don’t see them.” —Valerie Pierre-Cadet.
“Leave the TV on the preferred kid-friendly channel the night before and teach them how to manually turn the TV on. If they are a bit older, you can even leave a covered cup of milk in the fridge at their level to grab themselves. Just don't forget to change the channel from HBO or they might see something unexpected.” —Kristin Strange, New York City mom of two.
“I taught my eight-year-old daughter how to use our remote to turn on Netflix Kids (only my 11-year-old knows how to navigate from there), and leave out cereal bars and bananas for breakfast.” —Nancy J. Horn, New York mom of three.
My tip? On that morning where I need a bit more rest, I get our daughter up, change her diaper and then prop her in her swing with an extra blanket for her bottle to rest against while it gets the credit for her morning feeding. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do, and sometimes we will all go to great lengths—even prep the night before—in anticipation of an early morning.
Reflecting on sleep and early mornings made this new mom realize this: It’s not because we’re lazy parents (well, sometimes we are), but because we love our kids to pieces.
We want to make sure that we have enough sleep in us so that we can be present to deal with the temper tantrums, favorite shows on repeat and millions of questions that the morning brings.
At least until the coffee kicks in.
This article by Allison Cooper originally appeared on Ravishly and has been republished with permission.
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