Get Your Own Damn Breakfast, Kids: We’re Sleeping In

Every weekday morning in our house, the alarm clock goes off at 6:30 a.m.

My husband and I groan. We push snooze.

Our two kids, ages 4 and 7, come pattering into our room. They climb into bed with us, and we all snuggle squished together like cozy sardines in a can. But there’s school, daycare and work to rush off to, and we need to get out of bed and on with our day.

There might be showers to take. There are clothes to pick out. Teeth need brushing. It’s common knowledge that kids can never find their shoes, and then take at least 10 minutes to put on each shoe once they find them. Backpacks and snacks need to be organized. Kisses and hugs are doled out in a hurry.

But no matter how early we wake up, it feels like we’re running behind as we head out of the door. How do kids make the short walk from the front door to the car last 100 years? The weekday routine is a grind, but it’s necessary.

That grind is not necessary on the weekend, so I’m not doing it. My kids can get their own damn breakfast on the weekends, because my husband and I are sleeping in.

Oh, believe me, my kids try to get us out of bed. They come in earlier than on weekdays, poking toys in our faces. They pry open our eyeballs. They step on my husband’s balls. They complete artwork and demand that we look at it. The kids snag our phones and watch YouTube videos until the batteries are completely drained. They turn on what feels like every noise-making toy they have right by our ears. Their efforts are fruitless, because we’re not getting up.

My kids are almost 8 and 4. They’re young, but they’re not babies. We’ve paid our dues, and woke up throughout the night to feed them when they were babies. No alarm clock was needed in those early years, because the persistent but honestly kind of adorable newborn cries woke us up. No matter weekend or weekday, we weren’t going to sleep in when our kids were teeny tiny. Unless either my spouse or I were feeling particularly generous and willing to volunteer as tribute and let the other parent catch a few extra Zs. As a breastfeeding mama who couldn’t pump much milk, though, there were some duties I couldn’t hand over.

Our baby days are behind us now. My son, the older of the two, is fully capable of putting a couple of frozen waffles in the toaster or pouring milk over a bowl of cereal. Both kids can wash a piece of fruit or open a cereal bar. If they fight, we yell threats from bed. I’m not proud of that, but hey: whatever works.

My husband and I have demanding jobs on top of keeping up with trips to and from school, daycare and extracurricular activities. On the weekends, we’re going to sleep in if we can. If the kids really need us, we’re there for them. If they’re sick or upset. But on an average weekend morning, we are going to catch up on our sleep. Or maybe my husband and I are just going to close the bedroom door and talk or do other things couples do.

Our kids will be fine. Cereal and some time to come up with ideas to fight boredom never killed anyone. More than fine, maybe our kids will  be better for having well-rested parents.

More Breakfast Ideas: