Mornings at our house used to be chaotic. Some mornings still are.
Then you are in the right place.
My husband and I both work full time. Luckily, I have a great husband who helps out with everything around the house. Even though we both get things ready in the morning, there was a time it was extremely chaotic. It was ok when we just had one child. Then we had a second child and the chaos magnified. I’m not sure how adding one little person to the mix could do that, but it did.
In the mornings we would:
-Unintentionally be short with each other.
-Lash out at our 4 year old for not “moving fast enough.”
-Rush out the door with not a minute to spare.
Every morning was a nightmare. I would feel stress for at least the next half hour after leaving the house, even though that part of the day was done. Needless to say, it was not a good way to start the day.
One morning on the way to work, I was thinking about this dilemma. What made the mornings chaotic and how could we solve the problem? In short, everything which had to get done!
Photo Credit: cuppycake fiend via Compfight cc
I talked to my husband about this later in the night, after the kids were in bed and we could think. We came up with three ideas to make our mornings easier. Here are 3 steps you can take for a smoother morning with kids:
1. Prep everything you can the night before.
Think about what does not have to be accomplished in the morning.
Did you write those things down?
Those are the items you can prep the night before. The main excuse I get for this step is “I’m too tired.” I understand that. The last thing I want to do after the kids go to bed is prep for the next day. I would rather plop down and watch tv, write, or go to bed.
However, by spending 15 minutes prepping for the next day, I save myself from having a huge headache in the morning
Items I prep the night before:
-The kid’s lunches
-Set out clothes
-If it is Sunday, I pack bags for preschool and the sitters for the week
Although prepping is not my favorite thing to do, it sure helps in the morning.
2. Make sure you are completely ready before the kids get up.
I like sleep. A lot.
When I went back to work after having our second daughter, I realized simply being up before the kids were up was not going to cut it. I was going to have to be completely ready before their little eyes opened up.
For me, this meant showered, make up on, hair done, dressed, coffee drank, and my daily reading.
Does my morning always turn out like this? Nope. Some days the girls decide they are going to get up 5 minutes after I do…at 5:30 am. Thankfully this is not the norm.
When I am completely ready, I can then focus on their needs once they are awake.
3. Have set “jobs” each morning.
The prep you have done the night before makes finalizing lunches and other items much less complicated. However, there are still numerous things that have to be taken care of in the morning.
Breakfast has to be made and lunches need to be finalized. The preschooler needs to be poked and prodded to get dressed, eat breakfast, get her hair done and brush her teeth. The baby needs to eat breakfast and *most* of the time we get her dressed before taking her to the sitters.
There is still a lot that has to be done to get the kids, and us, out the door on time. We figured out early on there are certain parts of our morning routine that we like over others. And thankfully we each like doing what the other would rather not.
The hubs loves to make breakfast, which means he takes care of all of the food in the morning, including finishing up lunches. I usually handle corralling the kids and getting them to the breakfast table and then finish up getting the preschooler ready.
This doesn’t mean this is the way it always is, but it allows us to each have something to own in the morning. This also means we don’t get in each other’s way or assume the other person is going to take care of that one thing neither of us want to do.
Ensuring mornings are a little less chaotic and a little smooth(er) with kids can be achieved. It takes some planning in the beginning, but once you find your groove, the process of each morning is much smoother. Are mornings still chaotic for us sometimes? Yes. When they are more chaotic than normal, odds are we skipped one of these steps.
What can you do to make your mornings smooth(er) with kids?
Here’s to the Journey!
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