I don’t know about you but my mornings are hell. Not in the fiery hell like I don’t think I will survive kind of way. But in the I miss my life before I had kids because then I could just walk out of the house whenever and however I wanted to. Now it is filled with chasing, arguing, screaming on occasion (by the kids only of course), reminding, etc. You know what I’m talking about, I know I’m not alone in this. Hopefully these tips on how to make your morning routines slightly easier will help you out – I know they have helped me.
This year my oldest offspring started JK and my youngest is part time in a nearby home daycare. We decided that instead of my son going to our local school he would come with me 20 minutes away at the school that I teach in. For us it made sense. We would save money in before and after school care, I could enjoy seeing him during special school occasions, and all of his daycare friends would be at this school. We thought it would be the easiest transition for not only him, but for me too. That is what we thought.
I so want to be able to stay home with my babes, to volunteer in their classrooms, be here for when they are sick, and to be here when they get home. But that is not our life now, and I work and my husband works crazy hours and shifts and multiple jobs and is amazing. But due to his amazingness I do mornings and evenings by myself most days and it is tiring. I don’t know how all you single mommas do it all by yourself. You are my heroes.
So although my mornings are busy, stressful, and annoying if I follow a few simple tips they are a million times more manageable, I get more sleep, things are less stressed and less running around, and all in all it is much more calm. Which equals happy family. My mornings are so much easier if I do just a few simple steps.
1. Make breakfasts and lunches the night before
I know this one is pretty obvious, and I wish I could say I do this all the time. I’m not one to bulk make meals at the beginning of the week because so many of the lunches I bring for myself or pack for my son are leftovers, so pre-packing them is not an option. So the night before (if I remember) I will cut up any fruits or veggies my son will need, or scoop out leftover chilli or pasta, I will make his breakfast (which he normally eats in the car or when we get to school), I will make my shakes (what I normally bring for my breakfast and lunch) and get them in their “to go” cups. I will do whatever it is I can do the night before, so in the morning it is just a grab and go. The only thing I have to do, is make my coffee(s) and pack our breakfasts and lunches.
2. I get myself ready
Everything except putting on my makeup and my clothes I get ready. Usually this means having a bath or shower that night, figuring out my clothes for the next day (which often means finding them in whatever laundry basket of clothes that we haven’t gotten around to putting away), straightening my hair, etc. I’m not so crazy as to lay out the clothes and accessories, but in my head I have figured out where they all are so I can just grab and go…no searching.
3. Dress my kids
Ok you may judge me on this one – but my mother actually gave me the idea. On mornings that I know I need to leave especially early, or I know I want my kids to sleep as much as possible I dress them the night before. They wear comfy sweatpants, or leggings or something that is comfy, but yet stylish that they wont be made fun of at school or daycare. This saves countless minutes and more importantly my sanity that I don’t have to battle it out in the mornings. No arguments “mommy I need your help,” “No you don’t, be a big boy” or “No mummy not this shirt and pants, THIS one” (after of course she was already dressed). Plus my kids think it’s a riot that they get to go to bed in their clothes. It’s a win/win. (
4. Go over expectations of your kids the night before.
This one I THINK would be good for most ages and it is definitely working for my 3 and 4 year old. At night time, when I am tucking them in, I go over my expectations of them the next morning. Don’t come out of your room until the sun comes up (Gro Clock) or until mommy comes to get you. When it IS time to wake up, you will quickly brush your teeth, use the washroom and go downstairs and get your outdoor clothes on, etc. Then in the morning I remind them what we talked about, what their “mission” is for that morning, and what fun thing we can do if they complete their mission on time, and in a pleasant manner. Now don’t get me wrong many nights I’m just so excited that they are going to sleep that I forget about going through my expectations but the mornings that I have gone through the expectations the mornings are WAY more manageable and enjoyable.
5. Dinner Prepped the night before
Have dinner for the next day either prepped or planned. Sometimes you don’t need to take anything out of the freezer, or prep the crockpot and sometimes you do. Whatever you NEED to do the following day to make dinner time go by smoothly – do it. I usually give myself and “easy dinner night” which is usually eating leftover (or thawing out) soup and grilled cheese for dinner. Other times I make a more complicated meal that requires more prepping or planning. Either way I usually figure out what I’m going to do the next day (take food out, chop up food for the crockpot, thaw out and marinade the meat, make a rub for the meat, etc.. I know many people love to meal plan for the week I can’t do that. I admit I am not that organized, nor do I like to be tied down to any one meal. My cravings, and ideas flow as the days go on throughout the week. But for me, as long as I have the next day or two planned out I have much less stress in the mornings.
None of these are rocket science, all very common sense type stuff. But I forget to do these things so often. In fact this is what prompted me to write this blog – just this morning as my husband was asking how the morning went I said “You must remind me to do more prepping the night before”. And I did. Hayden’s lunch is made (thank you hubby), my meals are planned, dinner is ready to go in the crockpot (which is staying cold in our frozen front porch thanks to winter here in Canada), clothes are ready for the morning, I’m actually on the ball. So this post has helped me remember the things that I need to do to save my lazy, tired ass in the morning, hopefully it can help you too. Because I DON’T have it all figured, and I have awful mornings… but following these does make it better. Good Luck!