Do you dislike mornings as much as I do? They are just not pleasant in our house. AT ALL! I take that back, they are wonderful during the months of June, July and August. But from September through May, they are the most stressful hours we have all week!
Most mornings, we all need to be out of the house by 7:15. Many mornings I am solo while my husband is already at work. That means I need to get 2 kids to 2 places and myself to work by 7:45. (serious kudos to parents who do this single handedly 5 days a week). I feel like I’ve conquered a marathon by the time I pull into the parking lot at my work!
I decided that I couldn’t stand the constant nagging in the morning of my kids. “Did you brush your teeth?” “Why aren’t your shoes on?” “You’ve been in your room for 10 minutes, where are your socks?” “Get in the car, Momma’s going to be late for a meeting.” I prayed, please don’t let this be what my kids remember of me if something happens to me today!
If this is you too, then let me tell you that I have yet to fully solve this problem. I don’t know that I ever fully will! But that’s ok. I’m working on my baby steps to move my family in the correct direction. We might never be the family to enjoy homemade pancakes before school, but hopefully we can move away from, “Why haven’t you finished your cereal yet? Get back here and eat!”
Lunches the Night Ahead
Some of the mornings I’m the most frazzled it’s because I’m not properly prepared myself and take it out on my kids. I am MUCH better if I have sandwiches, salads, etc made ahead of time for everyone’s lunch. On Sundays I package up the baggies of snacks my son needs all week. I have bins in our pantry that are easy to grab and go with. I will prep my salads in separate containers too or put leftovers into lunch-size containers. Do I do this 100% of the time? No, but I enjoy my mornings when I have things ready to go.
My kids have 5 jobs in the morning – Get Dressed, Eat Breakfast, Make Bed, Brush Teeth, Socks/Shoes/Coats on. We keep breakfast simple and have worked on their other chores. Get dressed is sometimes tough for my kids because my daughter can’t reach her shirts yet in her closet and my son has a dress code at his school. Life is much easier if I lay their clothes out for them. Then they have no excuse not to get dressed when they are supposed to.
No Screen Time Until Your Jobs are Done
This is the toughest. My son gets up more days by 5:30 and I’m more than content to let him watch a show while I shower and get ready. But as with most kids, if I don’t stop him or set limits, he would miss school completely to watch some more Netflix! So we told him he can have one show until we are up and ready to enforce the 5 chores. He knows why this is important to be on time but it still is rough by Friday and everyone is slow moving!
I know my tips are not anything new or magical. Maybe though, if it’s something you vowed to try and haven’t, this will be a reminder to you to set this goal and try these things too! I hope your mornings go better than ours! We’ll get there sometime in the next 18 years!