If you have a rough start to the morning then it seems down hill from there. It is easy to get stuck in a cycle of bad day after bad day. However a few tweaks to your morning routine you could change your entire day. I use the word routine loosely because when you have children everything is unpredictable!
How Your Nights Can Make Your Mornings Better!
-Take the trash out before going to bed.
-Have your toddlers clean up their room before going to bed. When kids wake up they can find what they want to play with. Reduce clutter and reduce stress. Also it is a fire hazard to leave toys on the floor so it is a good habit to keep the floor clear.
-Get the coffeepot push button ready.
-Clean the kitchen at night so its easy to cook in the morning.
-Take showers and baths at night before bed.
-Pick out everyone’s outfit for the following day and set it out.
-Have a plan for breakfast.
Prep-work To End The Chaos.
-Have a designated shoe area. It is amazing how misplacing one shoe can wreck your schedule.
-Get rid of the sock bin and match sock right out of the dryer.
-Meal plan. Knowing what you need and what your budget is will save you time and money. This is important prep work when grocery shopping with small children.
-Keep up with your laundry. A load a day will not keep the laundry monster at bay!
-Take the dog out to pee before the kids wake up.
It’s not about time. It’s about order.
In a perfect world you could write a schedule on a pretty chalkboard to hang in your “always clean” kitchen. The most impressive part is that in this fantasy world your never a minute late and you execute your schedule flawlessly. Now let’s get back down to earth. In real life if you try to create a routine based solely around time allotments you always be off schedule and that causes stress. Keep the stress low and your moral high by doing things in the same order. A daily to-do list is the more kid friendly approach to routines.
Wake up BEFORE your kids.
Every mother is more prepared to handle fussy hungry toddlers when they are awake. The quality of our entire day can easily be improved three times over by being awake and alert when you start your busy day. I changed this one area of my morning routine and my kids behavior improved tremendously. Most children wake up with the sun so as you can imagine this means for a very early start. If possible try to wake up about an hour before your lil’ ones.
Don’t Expect Perfection.
Not everyday is the same and if it was we would go crazy! Perfection is boring. Allow room for each day to be a new day. Expecting perfection is setting your children and yourself up for failure.
Don’t feel guilty!
You are your worst critic. What you think other moms think of your mothering is way worse than what they really think. The standards you have set for yourself are admirable but there is no such thing as a 4.0 grade average in parenting. Routines do create security and structure in a child’s life but new experiences are what allows children to grow. Let go of the guilt. Even that mom who seems to “have it all together” isn’t perfect. Don’t feel guilty for life happening.
Do you have any secret tips on how you make the mornings smoother? Leave your golden nugget ideas in the comments below!
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Photo attribution: Photo credit to Amelle via Flickr