Do you remember the last time you woke up energized and ready to go, the kids got dressed and ate breakfast in a timely manner, and everyone shuffled into the car peacefully? Yeah, me neither…
Mornings with kids have become notoriously chaotic. Some days getting everyone dressed, fed and out the door can feel as challenging as climbing a mountain. But we believe it doesn’t have to be this way! Let’s talk about a few simple ways you can take back control of your morning routine.
1. Prepare Lunches & Outfits the Night Before
The name of the game is to reduce responsibilities in the morning. The fewer things to accomplish, the more time you can spend enjoying a cup of coffee, exercising, or cooking breakfast together.
Try to prep lunches (yours included!) the night before. This is something you can do together, or if your kids are old enough they can even do it themselves. Additionally, if outfits are a struggle in the morning - have them picked out and ready to go the night before.
Better yet - if your Sunday evenings are free, prep outfits and meals for the whole week!
2. Make Mornings a Tech-Free Zone
Having a TV on in the background or using phones and iPads first thing in the morning is not only distracting, but it can also create a chaotic atmosphere. Avoiding shows or video games in the morning will keep everyone focused and on track.
If you are early risers and you time in the morning for those kinds of things, try instead listening to music or doing something active to get energized for the day.
3. Communicate Expectations & Consequences
Remind yourself - this is a team effort. The weight of the world doesn’t have to fall on your shoulders. That means, if you have a partner, they should be contributing equally in the morning routine. Communicate your needs and discuss with one another things that would be helpful to tag-team or to delegate.
Communicate with your kids as well (from a young age) the importance of being on time and taking responsibility for themselves. Discuss the consequences of being late and being unprepared, rather than saying, “because I said so.” You might be surprised how responsive they are when they understand the timeline and the reasoning behind it.
4. Keep it Simple (You Don’t Need a Chore-Chart!)
Okay, hear me out. If a chore-chart, task-wheel, popsicle stick system works for you… great! That’s fantastic and keep it up. But I have to say, for many of us, it’s just unrealistic. The Pinterest-perfect morning routine doesn’t work for everyone, and it doesn’t have to! Maybe you try it out and stick to it for a few months, but eventually, it gets forgotten. Don’t feel bad if those color-coded systems aren’t your thing.
My advice, keep it simple. Try to minimize the tasks that you need to accomplish in the morning, by tackling things at night. Remember that the world won’t collapse if a shirt is inside out or a bag of grapes gets left out of a sandwich bag.
5. Designate (and Stick to) a Backpack & Shoe Area
This can be a major timesaver. No more searching for backpacks, running back upstairs or down the hall to grab one last thing. If you designate an area (by the front door) for backpacks, purses, and shoes, the last push to get out the door and into the car will go much more smoothly.
Another good option is parent-child yoga classes. Do a quick Google search in your city and I guarantee you will find a yoga class designed for parents and kids. Even babies! These classes are getting more and more popular and are a great way to combine family bonding with exercise.
6. Make Sure Everyone is Getting Restful Sleep
Ask yourself (and your kids!) these questions
Are you hydrated?
Have you exercised?
Are you unplugging from technology before bed
Are you sleeping enough hours?
Are there light/noise distractions?
If you’re waking up groggy every day, something is off! Maybe it’s diet and/or exercise related. Or perhaps you’re just not sleeping enough hours. With newborns, this is just the way it goes, but once your kids are on a regular sleep schedule - really try to do everything in your power to get a full night’s rest (even if it means swapping out Netflix for a quick meditation!).
7. Consider Convenience When Buying Clothing & Other Products
How many seconds does it save you to use velcro shoes instead of shoelace? Maybe only a few...but that can add up.
When buying clothing, lunch bags, etc., consider speed and ease-of-use. Maybe opt for the zipper jacket rather than buttons. The onesie that slips on rather than the one with snaps and twists. Go for the coffee pot that has a setting to automatically brew in the morning.
You’d be surprised how quickly those seconds turn into minutes! Minutes that make your morning a whole lot easier.
NannyPod provides long term nanny matches and short term occasional date-night babysitters and infant care on demand, at an affordable price. Our service is convenient, safe and secure for families and our staff. Parents can request childcare instantly by using the NannyPod app. Get started with NannyPod today and find babysitters or nannies for your childcare needs!
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