My Morning Routine: Getting My Child Out of Bed in Five Stages


Any parent or caregiver knows that it can be nearly impossible to get a child out of bed on a school day morning. I always marvel at how on the weekends, my oldest son can wake up before dawn, jumping on my head or trying to snuggle with me. I use the term “snuggle” loosely here, as his snuggles often mirror a young gorilla trying to hold onto its mother, grasping and squeezing for dear life.

But school day mornings? No amount of cajoling or bribery can work to wake my child and get him out of bed. Our morning routine is a struggle. 

My morning routine as I get ready for work involves my family running around trading shower times and my husband and I trying to get two boys up and ready for school and childcare. I realize that my attempts to get my oldest out of bed comes in stages:

Snow White with bluebird
Image courtesy of

Stage One:  

Just waking up after hitting snooze for the fifth time, I stumble into M’s room and stare lovingly at my beautiful child all wrapped up warm in his blankets. I am Snow White, kissing his forehead and singing silly songs to try to wake him up. I pull the curtains open and gently rub his back, reminding him that mama has a meeting to get to at work and can’t be late.  

Stage Two:  

I am out of the shower and my child is still not out of bed. I’m a little less Snow White now and I am now more Lois from Family Guy. I am still apt to sing a silly song and rub M’s back, but the reality of the lack of time to get ready is beginning to set in, and my voice is becoming more firm.  

Stage Three:alarm clocks

I am dressed, contacts in, calling from the bathroom that it’s time to get up. No more singing, I’m now reading the clock every few minutes reminding all of us of how fast the time moves in the morning, like minutes have turned into seconds and all of a sudden there will be no time to eat breakfast at home.  

Stage Four:  

The threat of setting a timer to get clothes on and throwing out consequences begins to happen. M is usually out of bed at this point, but may still be in his pajamas. Somehow, he has managed to find the lego piece he has been missing for months and decides now is the time to finish his starship/time machine/cruiser.

grumpy cat face
How I am beginning to feel at this point…

Stage Five:

I have turned into the Wicked Witch of the West. Snow White is long gone and I am not even close to singing songs or cooing like a dove. I am cursing at myself in my head for staying up too late watching Netflix and, subsequently hitting snooze too many times. I am also slightly freaking out at my child who has yet to get his shoes on but can find time to sit down in his room and read a book. I am like one of those dolls with the pull strings,

We’re going to be late! I have a meeting! You’ll have to eat breakfast at school!

For the record, not all of my mornings are like this.  

Like this morning, when M was out of bed and dressed before all of us were even awake, and we STILL managed to be late. I totally claim responsibility for this one.  

I know most of us go through some sort of circus in the morning, and there must be something somewhere that provides strategies on how to make this morning routine easier. I have read books and articles, and have googled ideas on the internet, but so far, I have yet to find anything that works for our family. I will keep up the good fight though, and hold out hope that our mornings will become a little easier with time.



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