Mornings are hard AF. I’m a natural procrastinator and, sometimes, I pay for it in the mornings. It usually ends with me becoming super frantic and my daughter becoming super defiant. There is usually some yelling involved, a couple of tears (from her and me), foot stomps, and possibly even a time-out. Seriously, what a shitty way to start the day.
I had to get us out of that hump because it was brutal. It would put me in a terrible mood for the rest of the day and I hadn’t even walked out the front door yet! One thing that has helped tremendously is establishing a morning routine for both me and the kiddos. And you know what? It really does help. Shocking, I know!
Kids are creatures of habit. They need consistency and routine like a sundae needs hot fudge. Here are 5 tips to help establish a morning routine:
1. Get enough sleep.
Before we can even get to the morning, you have to set yourself up the night before. The first step is to make sure EVERYONE is getting enough sleep. Put your kids to bed early (a nighttime routine helps with this…we’ll get to that later). As a working mom, I struggled with this for a while. I wanted more than an hour with my kiddos at night. But the importance of sleep cannot be overstated.
It’s also important for you to get to bed at a semi-decent hour. Read more on how to become a morning person.
2. Prepare as much as possible the night before.
Another way to help yourself the night before is to prepare for the next day. Have breakfast planned, pack lunches, collect all the school bags and folders, set out clothes. Eliminating some of the morning responsibilities by taking care of them at night saves time in the morning and definitely reduces stress.
3. Wake up before the kiddos.
Give yourself time in the morning to get yourself ready without having to worry about the kids. Take a shower, get dressed, get all your stuff ready for the day and enjoy a cup of coffee. Have a few quiet minutes to yourself before the chaos begins.
4. Create a morning routine chart.
Creating a morning routine chart was super effective for us. Sydney LOVED being able to mark off tasks that she completed. I printed one off for morning and nighttime, put them in an 8×10 frame and hung it on the side of the refrigerator. She has little dry-erase markers that hang on the fridge to mark off her tasks. If your kids are young, use pictures instead of words and include all the things you want them to do. Go through the chart with them the first day so they understand what you expect. Use words of encouragement and celebrate when they do everything! Sydney gets a sticker when she does everything herself.
You can buy my printable charts here.
5. Remain calm.
This is the part I struggle most with. When Sydney is in one of “those” moods, I get frustrated really easily. It’s a problem that I am always working on. I’ve learned that your kids mirror your behaviors and moods. If you’re in a bad mood, they likely will be as well. Kids know when they are being rushed and they have this uncanny ability to behave the exact opposite of how you need them to behave at that moment.
If you follow the steps above, you should avoid this but sometimes, you just get frazzled. When that happens, get down on the same level as your kids and explain to them what you need them to do and why you need them to do it. It helps…usually 😉