It all started two weeks ago. My husband got a new job that came with a new commute. His old job had him working at home. I liked having him home. We had a good morning routine. We got the kids out of bed, dressed them, got them breakfast and then we’d all eat as a family. Then my husband would walk my daughter to her bus stop and I’d drive my son to preschool.
The new commute would change all of that. My husband had to leave earlier, so no more family breakfast, no more teamwork in the morning. Sort of. These days we divide and conquer. My husband wakes my three-year-old son early, gets him dressed and takes him to school. I wake my daughter, get her dressed, have breakfast with her, and get her to her bus.
It would make sense for me to handle both kids, because I’m home, but we decided on the new routine for two reasons. First, my son is potty training and he always has to poop right about bus time, and if he had to wait, either he’d poop his pants on the way to the bus or my daughter would miss the bus waiting for him to poop. Second, whenever I brought both kids to the bus stop back in Seattle, my son would drag his feet and cry and carry on all the way to the bus stop. My daughter was always lucky to catch the bus.
The simple solution would be for me to drive both kids to school, but we don’t want to do that. Our cross-country move has been hard on my six-year-old daughter. She had a whole group of friends in Seattle and has doesn’t have anything like that here, yet. It’s important that she get as much socialization as possible, so we want her to ride the bus.
We’ve worked with the new routine for two weeks now, and this is what happens. My husband brings my son into our bedroom before the two of them leave, so I can hug him goodbye. My son sobs that he wants me and he doesn’t want to go to school. I hug him, put him down; he walks halfway to my husband and turns around, asking for another kiss. I oblige. Then he goes, still crying. I may or may not be able to go back to sleep. During this whole process, my husband is annoyed, mumbling something about what are we gonna do this isn’t working etc. I don’t really know what he’s saying because I’m half-asleep.
My husband is complaining but a) He’s always been a complainer, b) It’s only been two weeks and c) It was his idea in the first place. I don’t think the new routine is a problem, just yet. For one thing, my son is waking up almost an hour earlier than he used to. That alone would make me cry — sometimes it does. For another, he was used to having my attention and chauffeuring skills in the morning, and now he’s got Daddy’s, so it’s an adjustment. And for another thing, his school says he’s just fine when he gets there – no crying or missing anybody.
What’s exacerbating this whole thing is that my son doesn’t see me that much these days. My husband puts him to bed – something that started months ago so I could have a family time in the evening, because by the time I’d got my son to sleep, I’d have to go to bed. My son cries at bedtime because he doesn’t want to go to bed and I’ve started walking him up to his bedroom and dressing him. That seems to help, but I think I’m gonna have to go back to putting him to bed.
As for the morning, my contention is that it will take more than two weeks for my son to adjust to his new schedule and routine. My husband thinks everything has to be fixed right now. The truth is that this is the best solution we have for the morning, and it’s not likely to change. My husband says that my son recovers halfway to school, and I think that’s progress. Hopefully he’ll stop crying altogether soon. Until then, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.