Mornings can be a bit crazy around here during the school year. How about you?
When my now-3rd grader was in preschool (four years ago), I realized it was easier to help her get out the door smoothly by creating a poster which had her steps written out on it. I even used little icons, since she couldn’t read yet. I laminated it, and she loved it.
But what about me? What’s MY morning routine? How does a mom get through the morning without losing her sanity?
Let me tell you, it’s kids that slow down the process, BUT it’s YOU that usually gets the ball rolling and sees that the morning goes through well. We manage the littles while we manage ourselves.
Work with your body’s schedule
Do you want to wake at 5:30? Some people thrive on getting up early and getting around, spending time by themselves to gain clarity. Others thrive when they wake up and go for a walk or jog. Others, however, have internal alarm clocks that involve sleeping until as close to 8am as possible. Find which works for you and go with it, instead of fighting your natural rhythm. It’s also possible that this changes over time. I used to be a late sleeper, but have found myself to be more of a morning person as I grew older. I like to give myself downtime in the morning to sit and have a drink (usually Mountain Dew) before I start rushing the kids out the door.
Create a Weekly Breakfast Schedule
On Mondays, I make a breakfast. On Fridays, we have waffles. For the rest of the school week, we do cereals (or PopTarts) that don’t require prep. I have found that this schedule helps me and my kids know what’s to come and avoids those arguments about food.
Prep the Kids Clothes The Night Before
I have my school-age daughter pick out her outfit at 7pm before she goes to bed. This saves me from having to fight her in the mornings about what is appropriate or what matches. I try to remind her to pack her homework into her bag so that it’s ready in the morning.
Prep Yourself the Night Before
Even though I work from home, I need to get up and get dressed in the morning. If I have a big day that involves wearing more than jeans and a tshirt, I set the outfit out before I go to bed. That way, I can spend my morning focusing on getting the kids out the door, instead of coordinating an outfit. I am very minimalist when it comes to keeping clothes, so I only keep what I truly love and what fits nice. No more “trying on” multiple pieces. If I have to try it on and change because it doesn’t fit well, I send that article of clothing right out the door.
Minimize Your Makeup Selection
This was hard for me, because I’m a bit of a beauty product junkie, but honestly, I’m finding having less is more. Even in this area. 80% of the time, I do not wear makeup anymore. I have embraced my natural beauty, freckles and all. This is the most frugal and minimalist makeup routine a girl can have!
However, there are occasionally big days where I need to look a bit more polished. I keep those products (my foundation, neutral eye shadow, brown eyeliner, and mascara) in a case separate from my “party/going out” makeup. I used to keep them all together in a basket, but by separating them, I can get ready quicker and with less decision making involved.
Move The Shower
At my last job, I’d come home covered in ink from the mail, so I moved my shower time from morning to after work. As a stay at home mom, I now continue to take my showers in the afternoon (while the kids nap). I don’t want to go back to morning showers ever again!
I also have my younger two kids take their baths in the evening as part of their bedtime routine. So my fiance and my older daughter are the only ones that need the shower in the morning, and we currently don’t have to struggle over taking turns with the shower. Or running out of hot water. Because that sucks.
Put Your Phone on the Charger
I used to wake up, grab my smartphone, check the news, check the weather, and find something to read before getting out of bed. Then I’d get up and try to continue reading whatever I was now engrossed in while getting the kids ready. I’d start responding to emails over breakfast, all the while my toddler was making a mess with her cereal.
I decided to eliminate my smartphone from mornings. Now as soon as I wake up, I put my phone in my bedroom on the charger. Mornings go much smoother now.