Do you wake up dreaming about calmer mornings in your home? What are mornings like at your house? Are you usually running late, cranky kids, wondering where the heck the time goes? Do you feel like you’ve put in a full day’s work before you’ve even gotten out the door in the morning?
If getting ready in the morning and getting out the door on time is an epic daily challenge, then check out this checklist. You’ll love it! ?It make take some time to implement these things and that is okay. Breathe deep mama, be patient with yourself and know that with consistent effort you too can have calmer mornings. We pinky swear promise you!
Yep that’s right. Before you can help your family you have to help yourself. It’s time to take a hard look at that mom in the mirror and ask her “what else can I do to make my mornings calmer?”
Assess sleep needs
If you and the rest of your family are tired each morning, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. Try an earlier bedtime. A lot of times when our kids get crazy at night, we think they need to stay up later but sleep experts say it really means the opposite.
Prepare the night before
Accomplish as much as you can the night before so you’re less rushed in the morning. Pack lunches and confirm that homework assignments are completed. Lay out your children’s clothes and shoes. Fill water bottles and lay out backpacks.
Shorten your to-do list. Focus on the essentials and be flexible about the details. Let your kids style their hair their way as long as it’s clean.
Create systems that keep things running smoothly. Post a central calendar. Put out bins where your kids can deposit backpacks and bike helmets when they come in the door. Have a bin on the counter where they can place any school papers and messages for parents.
Budget extra time
Plan for delays. Give yourself 15 more minutes than you need so you’ll arrive at school on time even if you have to look for a missing toy.
Get up first
Enjoy a few minutes of peace before the rest of the family gets up. Taking care of yourself first will make it easier to deal with anything that comes up. Enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book, do some stretches. Try to avoid electronics if you can as this can add stress to your morning. Save the personal emails and social media for lunch.
Your children will follow the example you set. Take a deep breath and keep smiling. Find something you can say to yourself throughout the morning such as “this too shall pass” or “all is well.” It’s amazing how telling yourself everything is fine actually can keep you calmer.
1. Focus on connecting
Transitions are especially challenging for children. Pay attention to their feelings so you can be encouraging and supportive. Be patient guiding them through tying shoelaces and pouring milk. Hug them and thank them for their efforts. These seemingly little things are big deals to your children and go a long way towards keeping them calm.
2. Offer choices
Being presented with options is more pleasant than taking orders. Honestly this can be annoying at first as it does take more time to come up with choices instead of just telling your child what to do but it will pay off big time. Your child is likely to be way more reception to choosing an option than taking marching orders. Ask your son which shirt he wants to wear, or what shoes would be best for his day his Chucks or his Nike. Discuss whether your daughter would rather brush her teeth or comb her hair first.
3. Share responsibility
Give each family member a chance to weigh in. Assign tasks based on their age and abilities. You could even go so far as to have a chore chart.
4. Create incentives
Show your kids that good behavior pays off. If you manage to leave the house earlier than planned, stop for hot chocolate on the way to school or promise a fun activity after school.
5. Rehearse your roles
On the other hand, if your system still needs some tweaking, practice your moves at a time when you’re feeling less pressured. Schedule a drill on a Saturday afternoon.
6. Eat breakfast
A nutritious breakfast gives you energy and helps you to think more clearly. If possible, sit down together to share your meal. If that doesn’t work out, prepare something you can eat in the car, like smoothies, simple soft ceral bars, or bean burritos.
7. Turn off the TV
Minimize distractions. Keep the TV off and check phones or computers only for necessities like urgent emails or the weather report. Psst! Doing this will also show your kids you’re really tuned into what they are saying. Check out 30 Extremely Easy Ways to Show Your Child Love for more nuggets like this one.
8. Have fun
While you’re juggling so many different responsibilities, remember to enjoy any hours you spend together as a family. Find something to laugh about. Embrace the little moments and find a reason for play. Maybe race them to the car, tickle them while combing hair, or share a funny story from the day before. Smile more.
Put an end to morning madness and get those calmer mornings you’ve been dreaming about by following this guide to calmer mornings.
If you got value from this post, be sure to share it with another mom who could use it too! Be sure to share any tips you have for calmer mornings that may not have been covered in this article OR come back and let us know what you tried from this post that is helping in your family.
Remember, the way your family spends the early hours sets the tone for the rest of the day. Look for ways to simplify your morning routine and let your children know you appreciate their cooperation in getting up and out the door as smoothly as possible.