Mom Hacks: Evening Habits to Help You Have Easier Mornings
I was in a chaotic season of life that left me feeling totally exhausted, worn out and irritable by 5pm every day. I was anxiously watching the clock for bedtime and felt completely depleted by the time I crawled into bed. A good night’s sleep didn’t help me feel any better and I dreaded leaving my bed to find what the previous day had left for me. It was during this time that I decided to get serious about my evenings and came up with a game plan that has transformed my mornings. Here are 6 mom hacks for evening habits that are sure to make for easier mornings.
Evening Habits For Easier Mornings
1. Plan your dinners
Planning your dinners will help your evening because gone will be the days of not knowing what you are going to feed the troops when 5:30pm comes around and nothing is ready. Write down any extracurricular activities, birthday parties or date nights. Maybe you’re going to make a slow cooker meal on Monday because everyone is going to be going different directions and that’s easy for everyone to grab or maybe Friday is pizza night, because, the weekend.
2. Clean up dinner
Cooking, eating and then immediately turning around to clean up dinner is the bane of my existence, but it is a necessary evil, so just do it! I put on one of my favorite podcasts and while my husband does baths with the kiddos, I clean the kitchen, put leftover food into containers, everything in the dishwasher or hand washed and the counters wiped clean. I run the dishwasher at night too, and then in the morning I have clean dishes, a clean kitchen and a clear mind to start my morning.
3. Talk through the next day
Once my kids are down for the night and there is more than two minute increments to talk, my husband and I like to discuss the “game plan” for the next day. Who’s doing what, who is responsible for which chores and who’s going where? This is especially important for couples who have limited communication during the day, because they tend to feel left out of plans that are made during the work day, and everyone needs to be on the same page.
4. Pick up the living room
This is an evening activity where the kids can definitely help, and they can help starting at basically any age! Part of the bedtime routine is a cleanup time! This doesn’t have to mean sparkling, or pristine. No one has time for that in the evening. But toys, homework, books, bags, and any random objects need to be in their respective places. I have one toy box in my living room that my husband made that fits my motif and gets all of the little cars, tractors and figurines contained, win for everyone!
5. Set out outfits and pack bags
Everyone in the family needs to lay out what they are going to wear the next morning. There is nothing more aggravating than already running behind and someone needs a soccer jersey they can’t find. Making sure bags are packed with homework that is completed and that papers that need to be signed by parents are signed and back in the bag is a must. This also includes lunches made for the next day; kids can help out with this as well starting pretty young!
6. Prep tomorrow’s dinner
If tomorrow’s dinner is something that is going to need to go in the slow cooker in the morning and you won’t have a ton of time to prep it, make sure you take the meat out to thaw, or even prep the meat if needed beforehand and keep it in the fridge over night. Then in the morning you can throw everything in the slow cooker and leave without having to chop onions or brown ground burger while trying to also find that missing jersey!
Creating and enforcing a nightly routine takes work but the payoff is amazing! I would even argue that the kids will grow to enjoy it too. Waking up to find that half of the chores you normally had to do in the morning are now done is such a win for everyone, mom isn’t stressed, kids aren’t as frazzled and you might even get to enjoy the morning. Work on finding what works for you and your family’s schedule, and stay consistent. If you encourage yourself to get it done, your morning self will thank you!