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Amanda Lamb: Waking the world

Posted April 29, 2012

There are many things I didn't know about parenting when I first signed on. But specifically, I wasn't aware that as a mother you are also supposed to be an alarm clock.

Not only are you responsible for waking up your children and husband, but you need to continually check on them to make sure they get out of bed. So, in essence, you also are the snooze button.

Because I wake up early to run, before I leave the house I must make sure the first shift, my older daughter and husband, is up. I can wake my younger daughter when I return from my run, but if she wants to shower in the morning, I have to wake her earlier, but not too early. So, essentially, she needs to be woken up while I am in the middle of my run.

I have returned to my house many times to find everyone still comfortably snoring, curled up in their bedding like they are settling in for a long winter's nap. This, despite the fact, that I have turned all of their lights on and woken them before I left. When I re-wake them, I am met with startled screams. "Mommy, I don't have time to get ready now, why didn't you wake me earlier?" Amanda Lamb - waking the world

You would think we didn't have a working alarm clock in the house. We do. We have four perfectly functioning digital alarm clocks by everyone's bed that are set to go off at their prescribed wake-up times. Yet, somehow, the mother-alarm-clock is the only one that is truly effective.

Oh, and let's not forget my work partner, photographer Chad Flowers. I call him after I leave carpool on my way to the office to wake him up. He groggily answers his phone from the comfort of his bed and tells me it's too early, that he wants to sleep for a few more minutes as I give him a probable rundown of our day that I know he is not fully understanding in his sleepy state.

I'm thinking about going on strike. That's right folks, one of these days this time piece may just go off the grid and not set a clock. If that happens, you can be sure a lot of people in my life will be getting a late start that day.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Her latest book "I Love You to God and Back" came out this month. Check her website for more information. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • pipolia25 May 2, 2012

    One week of no one gets the pleasure/pain of you rousing them from dreamland... The whole family gets to go to work and school with bad hair and smelly breath for a week and they may be more responsible.

  • iriemom Apr 30, 2012

    I read about an alarm clock recently that you have to get up and enter the current day in order to get it to stop buzzing - maybe you guys need *that* clock set to go off while you are out running! :)

  • littleteacher Apr 30, 2012

    I did this same thing for 13 they are in college and have not missed a class yet! But when they come home for breaks, I'm still the alarm clock--but I kind of like my sleepy sweeties in the morning!

  • br549znc Apr 30, 2012

    Let them be late for a few days and they'll start waking up. Stop enabling them or it will never get better.

  • Zelda Apr 30, 2012

    Your husband really doesn't need to be the third kid in this situation! Tell him you aren't going to be responsible for waking him up and that he needs to be responsible for being sure that everyone else is up at the appropriate time when you are out for your run. Good luck rearranging things!

  • grannybam07 Apr 30, 2012

    Smiling as I read this, thinking you do need to go off the grid or you will become my friend's parents. Into her 30's they would call her in the morning to make sure she was up for work. Only after she married and moved out-of-state did they stop. How long do you want to be their personal alarm clock? It's your choice :)

  • snowl Apr 30, 2012

    So, so true Amanda. I purchased many new alarm clocks for my daughters bedroom because she claimed they never worked. I finally figured out that she was turning them off, then falling back to sleep with no memory of doing this.... p.s. Now that she is away at college, this never seems to be a problem for her. Perhaps your idea to retire from this responsibility is a good one! Good luck with that! :-)

  • lyndiaboswell2 Apr 29, 2012


  • Killian Apr 29, 2012

    Absolutely. If those people have their day ruined because of their own irresponsibility a few times, you'll be amazed at how quickly they can learn to get their tails out of bed on their own. There is no reason that you should be responsible for getting them up. You have enough to deal with on your own!