Mom! I can't find my shoes! Mom, where's my homework?! Hurry up and brush your teeth. We are going to be late! Does this sound familiar? After my kids left for school in the morning, I would look around and think of the disaster that just happened. So frustrating! It was hard for me to find enough sanity to have a really productive day. This was not what I wanted for my family. Usually, I run a very organized home. But somehow, we got off track with our mornings.
I don't know about you, but if my morning is bad it's hard to get back on track that day. So, making over my mornings into a simple routine was in order. Now, our mornings are fabulous again!
Just start. It's the hardest part, isn't it?! I know you can so this! (You can thank me later.)
Make a list of what needs to happen each morning in your home. For example, in my house we have to:
check for homework
feed the dog
walk the dog
make sure everyone gets up and going on time
get kids to school
clean up the morning mess
do one chore done
get myself ready
go to work
Whew! That's a lot!
Not everything I wish would get done in the mornings is worth fighting for. I wish my kids would make their beds every day. It's not worth it. They all clean their rooms thoroughly every weekend. They need a win on weekdays. So, no bed making required on week days.
One weekend afternoon a month, I make various muffins- pumpkin, zucchini, etc.- and freeze them. I'll also make breakfast burritos or other individual freezable items. They are all easy grab and go items that can be a great meal if paired with a slice of ham, cheese or fresh fruit on a "tough to get it all done" morning. I always have 3-5 easy options like these for my kids for weekday breakfasts. They can each choose what they want and it's ready with very little effort. Yay!
Next, decide what you can do the night before to make your morning easier. For example, we prep as much of the lunches as we can the night before and just make sandwiches and/or assemble items already prepped in the morning. Other items on my night before list: check and pack all backpacks, prep what I can for dinner tomorrow, clean up main living areas, empty the dishwasher and choose tomorrow's clothing.
Have a family meeting and delegate tasks as much as you can. Many hands make light work. My kids are committed to either getting up when called or setting their own alarm and obeying it. I offer one free extra wake-up call a week. After that, I charge for extra wake-up calls.
I have a terrible sense of time. So, my compensation for this is to use a timer as a reminder. Setting a timer to ring 10 minutes before it's time to leave for school ensures there is time for everyone to get their teeth brushed and clean up before they leave. No mess for me and leaving on time without being rushed. Everyone wins! Bonus: I get to feel like a good mom for a few minutes. =)
This is my best trick. In the last 2 minutes of those 10 minutes before we head out the door, everyone cleans and straightens up whatever they can their hands on as fast as they can. When the timer rings, drop everything and grab your backpack. And we're off to the races!
From my experience, there are parts of your plan that will not work the first time. Adjust. And be prepared to re-adjust from time to time because broken systems happen. Admit when you are wrong and fix it! For example, one of my boys is just not a morning person. Fighting him to get up in time to shower and do everything else was creating a lot of stress for all of us. I finally came to my senses and changed the plan to fit his needs too. What a concept, right?! Now, he showers at night before bed. It helps him sleep, and means less to do when he gets up. Bonus: There is less demand for bathroom time in the morning as well.
So, what are you waiting for?! Get started making over your mornings!