Ideal vs. Real Morning Routine

I love these cuties even if getting them out the door in the morning proves hazardous to my sanity.

I love these cuties even if getting them out the door in the morning proves hazardous to my sanity.

Ideal – I will get Isaiah out of bed with plenty of time to do everything needed this morning.

Real – I race around helping my older kids get ready for school and end up getting Isaiah up 20 minutes later than I’d like.

Ideal – I will wait for Isaiah to make his way to the changing table and then will guide his feet through the process of climbing the step stool to independently (sort of) get on the table.

Real – I don’t have time for that so I swoop Isaiah up and lift him onto the changing table.

Ideal – I will have Isaiah work on bridging up (planting his feet and lifting his hips) so that I can change him without lifting and so that he can get that exercise.

Real – I lift his legs for him with a little stress on my shoulder as I make the move incorrectly. An hour later my shoulder is still mad at me.

Ideal – I will guide and wait as Isaiah learns to take off and put on his clothes himself.

Real – Isaiah can do some of the simple steps of getting dressed/undressed but looks at me like I’ve grown a second head and I’m asking him to do the impossible on the harder steps.

Ideal – I will clothe Isaiah in clean clothes. I mean, of course, I will!

Real – I can only find one clean sock. The other clean socks are in the family room which would require taking Isaiah off the changing table, going to get the sock and then putting him back on the table. So, instead I grab a sock from yesterday…it’s still white and doesn’t smell….who is going to know? The rest of his clothes are clean, OK?

Ideal – Isaiah will sit at the table and eat a good breakfast.

Real – Isaiah is NOT a breakfast fan and will only eat breakfast if distracted and I’m feeding him. Since he takes a heavy dose of medicine in the morning, I compromise by distracting him with Yo Gabba Gabba and literally put the food in his mouth for him. I can’t say that I’m proud of this, but if he doesn’t have any food on his stomach with these meds he will get sick.

Ideal – Isaiah will swallow his meds without complication.

Real – Isaiah decides NOT to swallow his meds no matter how much coaxing or bribing occurs. He holds the spoonful of pudding and meds in his mouth for a very long time.

Ideal – I will take some time as a natural part of his morning routine to get in a couple oral motor, core and stretching exercises. Isaiah will use ProLoquo2Go to communicate with me throughout the morning routine.

Real – Seriously? Why would I EVER think that was going to happen?

Ideal – The night before, I will make a healthy, well-balanced lunch to send to school with Isaiah.

Real – The night before I spent 45 minutes filling out ridiculously redundant school registration paperwork while my husband spent 45 minutes filling out 13 pages of paperwork to sign up Isaiah for hippotherapy. After I spilled my water on all of the paperwork I completed, I was NOT in the mood to prepare lunch. “Dear Teacher, Please order Isaiah a nasty, unhealthy lunch from the cafeteria. Thanks so much from his stressed out mama.”

Ideal – As soon as Isaiah gets on the bus, I will start working.

Real – Daughter calls to say she forgot her lunch and has to have it for a field trip today. Oldest son forgot his field trip money. Off I go to two schools. Are you thinking I should have made the teenager deal with the natural consequences of forgetting his field trip money? Well, maybe, but I was already out driving making sure my daughter didn’t starve.

Ideal – Sometimes you just have to laugh in the midst of the crazy and move on knowing you love these kiddos with all of your heart.

Real – I laugh in the midst of the crazy and move on, knowing I love these kiddos with all of my heart.


  1. Julie Sparks

    Love it! That is so me, too!

  2. Connie Holtrop

    That was wonderful, Julie. Hilarious and real. And, oh, how I can relate with my kids with their various special needs.

  3. Emily N

    Yes–my “real” world too! I think we have made it to school on time about 5 times this year! Praising God for understanding teachers! Hey–just found this website. Really wonderfully insightful and helpful site! I’ll be sharing with others!!

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