How are your mornings? A leisurely potter or a frantic race to get yourself and everyone out the door? Here are 5 things you can do to make your mornings easier; starting right now.
When my children were tiny, I loved the mornings; the kids would have breakfast and potter in their pjs for an hour or two and I would do the same. There was no real schedule except for the days when we’d arranged a play date and coffee and the newspaper featured heavily for me. I remember them fondly and often wish for those days back.
A few years on and there are no tiny ones in nappies (here’s where I shed a little tear) … Now, more often than not, my mornings are a struggle. A solid hour and a half of highs and lows emotion-wise, rushing, showers, lunches, notes from school, notes from kindy, homework someone has forgotten, Weet-Bix stuck in someone’s hair and of course, a little person having a very strong opinion about what they should be wearing that day to childcare.
So by the time I’ve done the various drop-offs, parked and carried various bags into the office, I feel as though I’ve run a marathon (and it’s only 8.40!). I look at the PYTs (pretty young things) in the coffee shop and remember wistfully what their mornings must be like – hit the snooze button 3 times, a quick brisk walk ’round the block, a long hot shower, time spent on the blow dry and makeup, a healthy breakfast and a quick flick through the paper and then onto the bus/into the car to get to work with plenty of time to collect a coffee on the way into the office.
Yes, that seems just so long ago.
However I do calm myself knowing that there are 5 things I can do, starting today, to make my mornings, and life for all those who live under our roof, a calmer and more pleasant experience …
1. Plan your week.
Work on a 5 day horizon and think about what you’ll need for the week. Are you having kids over for a play date? Is there a dress up day at kindy this week? Does anyone need to be out the door earlier than usual and is there a night you’ll all be getting home late? If you know what’s coming, you can get ahead of the game – dig out the dress ups, plan a couple of slow cooker meals and figure out whether any particular uniform needs to be washed.
2. Get organised the night before.
Pack lunches or better still read our tips on making lunches ahead of time, put out as much as you can for breakfast the next morning, lay out clothes for the little ones and get the older kids to get all their bits together. If I do nothing else I decide what everyone is wearing the next day! This means there’s no last minute ironing, holes in stockings, lost shoes or missing school hats. The one thing I know is that it’s easy to find another 5 minutes at night but completely impossible to do the same when the clock is ticking in the morning.
3. Assume something will go wrong (even a tiny thing) that will throw the schedule off track.
In our house one thing is certain … no one is predictable and with a tight schedule to maintain, there’s no time for mini meltdowns, the smallest of sleep ins or sibling arguments. So I assume that at least one little ‘episode’ will occur and allow a 5 minute window for this to happen. The 5 minute window also enables me to react differently to the situation too – if I know we have the time for it, I cope. If not, my reaction is far from what it should be and does nothing for anyone’s overall state of mind.
4. Energize yourself – when you’re firing on all cylinders, everything is easier!
There’s nothing worse than trying to get everyone else moving when all you want to do is roll over and go back to sleep. I’ve always maintained that ‘everything is worse when you’re tired’ so try as hard as possible to keep myself on top of my game (although the current size of my waistline makes this point debatable)! Go to bed earlier – yes, switch off facebook half an hour earlier and ditch that late night trashy TV show and get to bed, include some regular exercise as often as possible and get yourself into a multi-vitamin routine. Current chat has me now starting each day with a Berrocca – I used to reserve these just for the mornings when a hangover may have been on the cards but it’s amazing the difference the fizz + the vitamins + the big glass of water is making overall.
5. Start the day with 15 minutes that are all yours.
In the morning rush, it’s easy to feel swept away and a little out of control. Get up before anyone else in the house and have 15 minutes before anyone else is awake that is just for you. You may decide to make this a time for a quick cuppa and a flick of the paper or (like me) you might devote this to your shower and makeup – I always try and be at least 80% ready by the time the littlies wake up which frees me up to help them. When all I have to do is my own last minute touches, everything seems to be smoother.
Chances are you’ll read these, nod in agreement and think it’s all great advice. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll start out well and then fall off the wagon. The best thing about all these little snippets of inspiration is that they will be there again tomorrow – just waiting to help make your mornings easier.
Thanks for reading mums xx
And if you have any tips on making the morning rush just a little bit better, we’d love to hear them here.