Check out this perfectly normal looking school carpool picture.
It cannot be real, right? Especially yesterday…. the Monday after the daylight saving time change. The teenagers in this picture are smiling, fully dressed, and are not yelling at the driver of the car.
This was NOT the picture of morning carpool at our house yesterday. Mornings are always hard for my oldest. He is a night owl and stays up late. Add in the weekend and the God awful time change, and it was the perfect storm.
I posted my dilemma on old people social media (AKA Facebook) and there were a ton of responses. Lots of people lamenting with me, some also agreeing that they might need to apologize sometimes for their behavior, some who said we were just doing our best and no need to apologize, some had advice on how to get the teenagers to school on time without yelling.
I love that I have a network of fellow moms on old people social media to make me feel less bad about myself when I am not my best self as a mom.
All day I felt so badly about my behavior in morning carpool. I did not take the high road, and I desperately wanted to make sure that I lived until 5pm school pick up so that I could apologize to my first baby.
Now, my need to apologize did not mean our Monday morning routine did not need a new plan. Obviously what we have been doing is not working. So how do we make it better?
Yelling, counting down from 10, setting the home alarm while he was still upstairs, etc was not working. Instead I am taking a more proactive approach. Incentives for being ready and out the door by 7:40am, wait, really 7:38am. Note for readers who think natural consequences are the solution: we carpool to school with another family and the school has no tardy policy. So allowing him to be late as a natural consequence only hurts me by making other kids late.
Parenting teens is a work in progress. The best we can do is be present, honest, and true to ourselves. Sometimes that means we need to say I am sorry.
Want to chat about parenting in the teenage years? Check out the Let’s Talk Parenting link and get in touch. I would love to talk with you!