How To Have Stress Free Mornings
Even On School Days
As the holidays are drawing to an end, it’s time to start thinking about setting up new routines so that you can have stress free mornings.
If your child is starting school this year or changing from say kindy to school, there maybe tweaks you need to your current routine. If you work, having the kids from under your feet with make a big difference to your work day too.
This might seem obvious but it is surprising how many moms I talk to who try and fit the new school adjustments into their current routine then wonder why chaos reins every morning!
5 Steps To De-Stress Your Mornings
What I recommend is sitting down with a cuppa and make a list of everything that needs to be done in the morning, from actually getting yourself and kids out of bed, to feeding and watering everyone, getting everyone dressed and presentable and then making sure that everyone has what they need to get out the door and this will help you have more of a stress free morning!
Then jot down how long each thing will take, and be generous with your time, brushing teeth might be 3 minutes but it takes a minute or two to get in the bathroom and to finish up and I’m sure you don’t need telling that kids do everything at a slower pace (especially when you are short on time – what is it with that?)
Makes sure you answer all 5 of these questions, I know this is going to take a bit of time but it will save you time in the long run!
- What needs doing in the morning (and what do you do know that you can ditch?)
- What can be prepared the night before?
- How long does each item on your list REALISTICALLY take?
- What can you tweak to make things easier for you and the kids?
- What can you delegate?
Once you have a good idea how long everything takes it’s time to reverse engineer everything.
What time do you need to leave for school?
Work backwards and add everything in that you need to do so you know what time you need to get up. If suddenly it looks like you need to get up at 4am, then you know there are some adjustments to be made.
- What can be done the night before?
- What can be dropped from the morning routine?
- What can you do to slimline things?
Now you have a plan of sorts, time to make it look official – especially if you have certain little people in the home who resist change. If you type up a nice schedule that looks like it could be ‘official paperwork’ from school the kids are more likely to follow the routine – cheeky mama trick, I know!
Stick it on the wall and explain to the kids how it is all going to work.
The final thing is to start the new routine before school starts, I know it’s tempting to milk every second out of the holidays but to have a smoother transition it really is worth starting the new routine early and having a couple of trial runs the week before school starts.
Starting school or kindy is a big change for everyone so setting things up and working them in gently will make the whole new experience much easier for everyone.
Five more top tips:
1. Tell Them To Stay In Bed!
If your kiddie wakes up and gets up too early then make it a rule that they have to stay in their room until the alarm goes off. If you have a child that you have to literally tip out of bed each morning, then this won’t be a problem!
If your kid is an early riser, like mine… set some rules in place.
Give them a time that they have to stay in their room until (if they can’t read the time yet, a clock like this works well).
Make sure that they know that you don’t have time for them until the pre-set time and that there will be no breakfast at stupid o’clock. This will give you the time you need for number 2…
2. Get Yourself Ready First
It is so much easier to deal with the kids if you have yourself suited and booted first. Then there is no multi-tasking as you try and put on your blouse whilst untangling the toddlers hair. This is as much as a de-stress tactic as it is practical. Just like when you are on the plane and the oxygen mask drops, take care of you first because then you’ll be set to deal with the kids.
3. Lead by example!
Make sure that YOU are organized and have everything you need ready to go, you can’t expect your kids to be calm and relaxed in the morning if you are running around like a blue-arsed fly looking for your car keys and forgetting to brush your hair! Get into the habit of prepping your thing as well as the kids prepping theirs, the night before.
.4. Allow for extra time!
Starting school nerves and change of routine can really throw a spanner in the works, if it means getting out of bed 30 minutes earlier then bite the bullet and do it, you will soon get used to the new routine and so will the kids. And it is well worth it to start the day in a relaxed way rather than stressed out and panicked – because the kids will pick up that too and it’s just not a nice way to start the day.
.5. Be Prepared!
Do everything you can the night before, prepping school bags, getting out clothes, making packed lunches etc. Then everything in the morning will soon become automated.
Think about the times when a spanner has been caught in the works, what caused the problem?
- Suddenly needing 6 egg cartons for school…
- Not being able to find the paper slip that needed signing…
- Losing keys/gym kit/phone…
- Not having homework completed…
Whatever it is, tackle the issue and set up a plan to prevent it and/or how to deal with it better the next time.
I always like to see other peoples way of doing things so this is the basic rundown we have on a school day- this is how I am to have stress free mornings…
6.00am Get up & get dressed & I start making breakfast
6.15am Ebi-kun makes the morning juice, I finish off making breakfast
6.20am Eat breakfast together – this is family time, relaxed breakfast, chat about our day etc.
6.50am Everyone clears their own dishes away the brush teeth/have a wash etc.
7.00am Daddy will have checked Ebi-kuns homework the night before but he gets back really late so if anything needs fixing or correcting it is done now. Then daddy and Ebi-kun have some one on one time, usually playing a game or looking at books
7.20am Out the door for school for Ebi-kun and my husband (This post might help with this if you struggle with the kids)
I usually sit down to start work at 8am so I will use the time until then to get house jobs done, hang out laundry, vacuum, whatever it is that needs doing.
Our mornings generally run really smoothly, the routine is settled now so there is no nagging of what you have to do and when and there is hardly ever any manic rushing around, (obviously we still have our moments!)
We make sure everything is prepared for school the night before and we made the conscious decision that breakfast would be a proper sit down affair where we could have some decent family time together. With my husband getting back so late, he rarely gets to see Ebi-kun in the evenings.
Have you already gone through the start of school change? Do you have any pearls of wisdom for those doing it the first time? Share in the comments below…
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