Alright moms, show of hands: who thinks that mornings are for the birds? It seems to be their domain, anyway – always chirping cheerfully, enjoying the sunlight and fresh air, while we rush around the house like headless chickens trying to get everyone out the door.
Yes, for most of us, mornings are hectic, and they rarely (if ever) live up to that perfect routine we have in our minds. You know the one: the kids get up the first time you wake them (or possible even – gasp – on their own), breakfast is freshly prepared and eaten together at the table, everyone takes their time getting ready, you might even squeeze in a workout and a shower, and best of all, everyone gets to work and school on time.
While you may not ever have the morning of your dreams, you can take a little of the stress out of your mornings with a little planning. Of course, it is important that you tailor your routine to suit your household, but once you do mornings will actually be something to look forward to!
For The Early Birds
You’re usually up with the sun, but what are you doing with those early hours? Surfing through Facebook and thinking about all the things you have to do, right? Instead, take those solitudinous moments and use them to your advantage, so you can take on your day with confidence.
Try This For The Kids: Since you’re going to be up before them, you’re likely going to be the one waking them up. Try to make sure you spend some time snuggling with each child as he or she wakes, to put them in a cheerful, loving mood before the morning really gets going. You’d be surprised how cooperative a five-year-old can be when they start their day in a relaxing way.
Try This For Yourself: It’s important to get your body moving when you wake up. After 8 hours of relative stillness, those muscles need to wake up too! Try something low impact, like yoga, to ease you into your morning. And while you’re in downward facing dog, try some deep, meditative breaths. You’ll be stunned at how a few moments of meditation and “me time” will help your mood throughout the day.
Try This When You’re Hungry: Skipping meals, particularly at breakfast time, can make a huge difference in your child’s performance at school. So make sure your kids get something in their stomachs! A healthy breakfast, like this egg and spinach roll up will boost their brainpower and keep them alert and attentive to their lessons. Not to mention they taste great! Don’t forget to make one for you too – the kids aren’t the only ones who get loopy when they get hungry.
For The Night Owls
The very idea of waking up a minute before you have to might seem like a real struggle. Trust me, I get it. But instead of going to bed each night, unprepared and promising yourself that “tomorrow’s the day” you’ll wake up early, embrace your nighttime style and take that time to get ahead of the game!
Try This For The Kids: Once those kids are put to sleep and your partner’s turned in for the night, it’s your time to shine. Pre-pack the lunches, pick out the outfits, line up the backpacks by the front door. This way, you won’t wake up in a panic, thinking about all you have to do. In fact, you’ll wake up already feeling like a winner – because you’ll have already conquered the day.
Try This For Yourself: Night owls are not at their best in the morning – that’s what makes them night owls. So when you get up, make a list of your top three “Most Important Things,” and don’t focus on anything else until you’re fully awake. This will keep you from feeling stressed, and it will ensure that when you do take on your major to-do list, you’re in the mindset to crush it.
Try This When You’re Hungry: Preparing breakfast the night before, or even making meals that can be kept in the fridge or reheated, will keep your kids’ bellies full and save you a ton of time. These sunflower seed energy bites are a great option, as is this strata cake that only takes 25 minutes to bake (all the prep is done the night before). Say goodbye to drive thrus and Pop Tarts!
Of course, you can always mix and match our suggestions, or tweak them here and there until you find what works for you. Get creative, try things out, and soon you’ll be wondering why you ever stressed out over the start of the day!