Tips To Making Mornings Easy
Mornings for most people can be horrendous. Everyone’s just waking up, nothing’s done; everything needs doing. All within the space of 1-2 hours (depending on when you wake up).
One of the reasons I wake up so early in the morning (other than have time to myself) is to truly get my feet on the ground before the kids come out. To feel like I have my shit sorted – even if I don’t.
HOWEVER, it doesn’t matter if I wake up early, because the mornings can still be hectic if I don’t have some kind of routine set in place for the kids.
So after a bit of research (because heaven forbid – I don’t know everything! HA!), here are some tips for making mornings easy:
1. THE NIGHT BEFORE
In an ideal world, we have an opportunity to prepare things the night before. We all know it’s best if lunches are made the night before. However, as a Mum parenting happens, and often even I get too tired (or lazy) to make lunches the night before.
So my tip is even if you prepare the “snack” portions of the lunchbox the night before it helps the next day. Often I will just do the smaller parts of the lunchbox, and then in the morning make the sandwich fresh.
ANY prep the night before is helpful.
BATH / SHOWER AT NIGHT
Most of us already do this with the kids: bath time at night. Well after the kids go to bed, parents can have a shower too. I know that waking up and having a nice warm shower is wonderful, but if you want to have more time in the morning, then you might need to let go of this one.
The night before, I often get my kids’ clothes out of their drawers ready for the next day, and put them in the lounge. So that when the kids wake up in the morning, I’m not running around thinking about what clothes to get.
In the past, when we have a really early morning start, I will sometimes put my kids to bed in the clothes they have to wear the next day: You do whatever you need to do to make the next day easier. Heck even I sleep in clothes I wear the next day LOLOL
2. THE MORNING
One of my tips is, even if you aren’t a morning person, get up FIVE minutes before you think your kids will get up. Even five minutes to just get your bearings is a really great way to start the day.
Get up, come out: assess the situation. How does the kitchen look from last night? Do you need to prep the cereal for breakfast? What is everyone eating? Can you make that sandwich you didn’t make last night? Do you need to make lunches?
Just start processing the day, and what needs doing.
DO YOU FIRST
One of the bonuses of getting up early is that I can get ready before the kids come out. Once the kids wake up, all hell breaks loose. So have a shower. Get changed. Have something to eat – do as much as you can for YOU before everyone comes out.
If you’re not a morning person, that’s ok; fit it in with your morning routine. But if you are serious about getting your morning sorted, and making it easier, then getting up earlier is really a must.
ROUTINE ROUTINE ROUTINE
You don’t have to have specific timings, but just knowing what order you do things in is REALLY helpful to getting the morning going. Plus, kids LOVE knowing what happens, and if it’s the same each day, it makes it easier for them.
This is our routine (no timings)
1. Kids Wake Up
2. Kids’ Breakfast + I make the lunches (if not already made)
3. Kids get changed
4. Kids play + I eat breakfast
5. Pack bags + leave the house
That’s how simple it is. My husband and I work ourselves around what the kids are doing. Sometimes when my husband goes away for work, when the kids FIRST wake up, I will get my kids changed before they’ve even had breakfast – to speed the process up.
USE A TIMER
For the love of god, use a timer. It’s not just a tool for helping boil an egg, it’s also great at organising your life AND your kids. When breakfast is put on the table for the kids to eat, put a timer on for both yourself AND your kids to know roughly when they need to be finished by. It’s not helpful if kids take 2 hours to eat their breakfast.
Also a timer is great for helping kids get changed. My daughter takes, what feels like, 50 million years to get changed. She runs around the house with no clothes on for at least 10 minutes … so I put a timer on and say “you’ve got 10 minutes to get changed by yourself, if you don’t do it by then, then I’m helping you”. My daughter LOVES to get herself changed, so the prospect of me helping her is usually enough to hurry her along haha
I’m doing this as a separate point because I think it’s really important to talk to your kids, and let them know your expectations.
“Ok kids, this morning it’s breakfast, get changed and then play” or “TV after breakfast and get changed” … use things as an incentive to get them moving.
No TV until breakfast is eaten. No playing outside until you’ve eaten and gotten changed.
Constantly remind your children of your expectations. Kids live in the moment and forget almost everything once you’ve said it: so keep reminding them.
USE YOUR PARTNER
Unless you’re a solo parent, then utilise the second pair of hands at your disposal (if they’re there). Delegate the chores. Delegate the responsibilities. It’s not all on you if there’s someone else there!
Often while I’m making the breakfasts / lunches, then my husband is looking after the kids at the table, supervising them eating. Making sure they eat.
Gosh this is a long post. Mornings are f’ing hard though, and we all need a little help. Try and do as much as possible the night before, and then try and have some kind of structure to the way things work in the morning.
We actually have a NO TV rule during the weekdays because the kids get too distracted by it and nothing gets done. We try and save it for the weekend when it’s a lot more relaxed and we don’t have to rush off.
Everyone is different, and every family functions differently – if TV in the morning works and helps to get things going then DO IT! We all do what we do to survive.
Do you have any tips or tricks for surviving the morning chaos?