Real talk. We have had our fair share of crazy mornings in our house. You know the kind . . . at least one of the kids is screaming and as soon as they calm down another one starts. You’re trying to pack lunches and feed breakfast simultaneously. You finally get everyone dressed only to find that one of the shoes . . . the only shoes that your child is willing to wear . . . is missing. Cue more tears. Mornings are rough, mamas. But there are some things that can really help you cut down on the chaos of your morning routine and help get you out of the house with smiles on your faces, at least most of the time.
1. Sit down with your kids and discuss what your morning routine should look like.
You probably know all of the steps you’d like them to take and the order you’d like them to do those steps in. But, they probably know most of those steps, too, and if you can include them in the process of creating the routine, they will take so much more ownership of it when the rubber meets the road. So sit down with them and ask them to help. Ask them, “What do you think we need to do in the morning and what order should we do it in?” Of course, you can help guide this discussion, but if the plan they come up with is reasonable, go with it. They’ll love being able to take a leadership role in helping to craft their own routine and ultimately will be more excited to put it in action when they feel some level of control over it.
2. Create a picture chart that’s easy for them to follow.
List out the steps they came up with (with your input) and draw pictures next to each one. Then hang your list at eye level so they can follow the steps each morning just by looking at the chart. I’ve done this with my kiddos as young as 2 years old, and its worked beautifully. My kids also love sticker charts, so whenever we start a new routine, they get a sticker chart that they get to add a sticker to each morning after a job well done.
3. Prepare the night before.
As much as you’re able to prepare the night before, the better your morning will go. Pack lunches, set out clothes, fill backpacks, even prep breakfast if you can. You will thank yourself in the morning. Trust me.
4. Wake up before your kids.
If you’re not a morning person, this one can be rough. But, I will say it again, trust me. If you can give yourself enough time to wash your face and take a few moments of quiet time by yourself before you wake up your kids, you will be so much more calm and ready to conquer the day. I’ve started setting my alarm for 5am every morning, and every time it goes off, I think to myself, “Why did I do that? This was a terrible idea. I’m going back to sleep.” But when I force myself to get out of bed, take a shower and read for a few minutes, I feel like a new woman. And that way, when I wake my kids up, I am way more on top of my game and my level of patience is 1,000 times higher.
5. Schedule time before your routine starts to allow kids to wake up slowly.
My kids love their snuggle time when they wake up. I’ve learned that scheduling in wake-up time is essential for our mornings. When I don’t allow time for it, our mornings suffer greatly. It’s so worth it to shift their sleep schedule a tad and get them to bed a little bit earlier at night so that you can wake them up a little earlier in the morning. It has made a night and day difference in our house. When I don’t allow for this time, they are irritable all morning, throughout the entire routine. When I build in an extra 20-30 minutes for snuggles or quiet play before we get everyone started on their routine, the morning goes so much more smoothly.
Do you have other things you’ve implemented into your mornings to help get everyone out of the house more easily? I would love to hear your ideas! Mornings set the tone for the day, so I love to try as many creative ideas as possible to make them fun and enjoyable!
If mornings have been a struggle for you lately, you’re not alone. I’ve so been there and I know how hard it can be. It will get better, mama. You’ve got this! I’m here, hoping with you that your mornings get a little easier in the near future