Here are tips for getting your day off to a good start by building a better morning routine.
Nothing starts the day off on the wrong foot like a hectic and harried morning. One way to avoid this is through some simple planning that will make your mornings run much smoother, setting the tone for the rest of the day. These are a few things that have helped me have a better morning and therefore a better day in general.
Building a Better Morning Routine
Get a good night's sleep– If at all possible go to bed early enough that you are getting your 8 hours sleep, kids, of course, need more. It is not always possible due to sick kids in the middle of the night, insomnia and a host of other parental Waking up exhausted is a sure way to begin a rough day.
Eat a good breakfast together – This doesn't always mean a sit-down, full on breakfast. Even a banana and a granola bar can fuel you for the day, a full belly to fuel you for what is ahead- carpool to dental appointments or work. Sit down together and enjoy the morning, even if it is only 5 minutes, so you can touch base with the family before everyone heads off in their own direction. These overnight oatmeal recipes make a quick and nutritious breakfast.
Wake up early enough– Even though 20 minutes of hitting the snooze alarm feels like a great way to steal a few more precious minutes of sleep, those 20 minutes can make or break your morning routine. Make sure you allow enough time to get yourself ready as well as
Pack lunches the night before– I learned that even when the evening is hectic it is better to make lunches for the next day in the evening during dinner making or right after. Then you are only cleaning the kitchen once. While it seems like it only takes 10 minutes or less to make lunches, you also have to factor in washing whatever dishes you dirtied, wiping the counter, and putting away baggie, etc. This is actually quicker to do amidst dinner prep.
Lay out clothes the night before– Offer kids a couple choices, once they make their decision lay out clothes down to socks and underwear, even children as young as 2 can often dress themselves, leaving you to just supervise. If you are not running around picking out clothes for yourself and everyone else or making a child change a stained up shirt, you will save a lot of time in the morning.
Delegate– Older kids can help younger ones get their shoes and backpacks on. Your spouse can start the coffee and let the dog out. You cannot and should not try to do everything by yourself. Asking for help and assigning jobs will assure that everyone's needs, including your own, are met. This will also help each member of the family feel like a useful and vital part of the routine.
Use a checklist– If you need a visual, I know I do, make yourself a morning checklist- breakfast, make bed, feed and walk dog, etc. Having something physical to look at and check off not only assures that you won't forget something- it gives you a feeling of accomplishment to carry with you into the rest of the day.
Hug your family– Every time before you or them step out the door. Hug, high five, or whatever is your family's way of parting. Make it part of your routine for everyone.
How do you make your morning routine smoother for you and your family?