We’ve all had one of THOSE mornings. The kids are being sleepy-heads, your husband comes to you with a stain on his tie, and you can’t find that blouse you planned on wearing for the meeting this morning. You still haven’t prepared the kids’ lunches and you find a run in your stockings. A chaotic morning can make for a very bad day. But if you’re prepared, mornings can run much smoother and, eventually, like clockwork.
How many times have you heard that preparing the night before is the key to the start of a good day? Well, it’s true. Spending 20 to 25 minutes each night getting things ready for the next day will make a huge difference. Start by laying out the clothes for you and the children. Letting the children help with this (depending on their age), will avoid battling over what they want to wear in the morning. They can also assist in preparing lunches for the next day, or placing lunch money in labeled envelopes and having them waiting on the kitchen counter.
Breakfast will be a snap if their bowls/plates are on the table, along with non-perishable breakfast foods. Again, depending on their age, they can pour their own cereal, or an older child can do this for the younger ones.
Speaking of breakfast, one of the biggest myths parents seem to adhere to is that only breakfast foods should be eaten for breakfast. Arguing over what a child is going to eat for breakfast is a scene played out in millions of homes each morning. Why battle over something you don’t have to?
Let’s say that little Janey insists on having a PBJ for breakfast. True, it’s not your “traditional” breakfast food, but is a PBJ unhealthy if eaten in the morning, but suddenly becomes good for you at lunch time? Of course not. If Janey wants a PBJ for breakfast, then give her a PBJ. Or potato soup left over from last night, or even reheated spaghetti. If it was something you fed your child for lunch or dinner, it’s fine to feed it to them for breakfast. Remember, pick your battles.
Pack backpacks with homework, important notes for the teacher, or school projects. Have these waiting by the front door, ready to grab as you leave. Coats, jackets, sweaters can be waiting there as well.
Another important component of making mornings run smoother is to make sure each family member knows that parents have to get ready for the day as well. Let children know that while they have to get ready for school, you have to get ready for work and have your own things that need done in the morning. Although there will still be times when they come to you 10 minutes before it’s time to walk out the door with last minute earth-shattering “emergencies,” they will get the idea that they need to do their fair share of getting ready independently in the morning. Avoid trying to accomplish tasks in the morning that you can do the night before or after you get to work, such as phone calls and stopping to get gas. These things can make mornings seems rushed and hectic.
Every family and every home as a rhythm, a way of doing things. Implementing these tips into your family’s evening and morning routines will soon become second nature to all of you. It won’t be long until you see a difference in your mornings. When your family experiences mornings that run smoothly, with no chaos and battles, each member will get a happier start to their day.