Taming the Morning Routine Mayhem
~By Beth Prystowsky, Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom
If your days begin like mine, then they’re often rushed. My kids and I have to be dressed, brushed, fed, and out the door by 8 a.m., and too often I find myself yelling and ratcheting up the chaos while trying to beat the clock. Needless to say, it’s my absolute least favorite way to start the day.
The screaming and confusion aren’t healthy for any of us, nor is this how I want my children to start off a long day of school. Fortunately, I’ve discovered some tips to keep us all calmer in the morning.
- Set out the kids’ clothes the night before. This is helpful for many reasons. If your little girl is anything like mine, she will decide 494 times that she wants to change her shirt, socks, sweater, and underpants, which is fine at night. But in the morning she must wear the outfit she has chosen the night before, and she understands that. My son, who often wakes up early and watches TV, knows he must get dressed before he can leave his bedroom. This way, I’m not nagging him to get dressed five minutes before we have to leave.
- Pack lunches and set out backpacks the night before. Make sure all permission slips are filled out, supply money is sealed in envelopes, and homework is done the night before. I often get frustrated when I’m given an urgent form to sign at the last minute. The less that has to be done in the morning, the better for us all.
- Bag the breakfast. I’m not sure why, but my kids eat their breakfast incredibly slowly. If we’re in a rush, I give them their breakfast in a reusable bag. This way, if they don’t finish their breakfast by the time we need to leave for school, they can eat the remainder in the car. Amazingly, my kids seem to eat more in the car than they do at the table.
- Brush teeth with a timer. When I allow my kids to squeeze out their own toothpaste, they put half the tube on their toothbrush and the other half in the sink. This never makes me happy. So to avoid the stress, I put toothpaste on my kids’ toothbrushes for them so it’s ready and waiting in the morning. I then set an egg timer for 2 minutes, and they must brush for the entire time. This ensures that their teeth actually get brushed and clean.
- Hug and kiss them before they go to school. There is nothing worse than racing to school as the bell is ringing while screaming at your kids for not listening (hopefully I’m not the only one to do this on occasion). I feel awful sending my kids off for 8 hours of school on a negative note. So make sure to stop, hug, and kiss your little ones and wish them a good day at school, no matter how hurried you are.
These tips have made our morning routine much more peaceful for everyone. Do you have any additional ways to start the day off right?