Does your morning routine feel like you are always trying to beat the clock? Does your morning sometimes feel like a sprint to get everyone ready and out the door on time? For me, mornings can be stressful if we don’t follow a routine.
When my children were toddlers and younger (they are ages 5, 8, and 10 now), mornings would be crazy for me. I was trying to get myself ready for work and 2 and then 3 children ready for school. I would be ready to go, but then I had about 1 minute to diaper the baby, pick out matching clothes and find socks and get the older ones ready too. As anyone in my family can tell you, I am not a morning person.
My husband suggested many times that I set out their clothes the night before, but I could never get into the habit of doing this every night (or even every week). I would have the diaper bag ready which helped, but I would not plan on breakfast taking 15 minutes instead of 5 minutes. Finally, I found a system that did work.
5 Steps to Reduce your Morning Stress with a Routine
- On Sunday night, I decide what everyone will wear for the whole week. I set aside complete outfits for each child.
- I use hanging sweater shelves in the closet. I use one shelf for each day of the week. I place an outfit and socks/underwear (and sometimes I would include a diaper to make my life very easy) on a shelf for each child. Each child had a hanging shelf for their clothes. In the morning, once I was dressed, I would go to their room, grab their clothes for the day and dress them. We would be off to school and work much faster and with less hassle. No more scrambling for matching clothes and socks.
- My children are older now attend a school that requires uniforms. We still have a similar process. All the uniforms for the week are neatly folded or hanging together in each child’s closet. When they get up, they are able to pick a shirt and pants or skirt to wear for the day. All the uniform tops/bottoms are mix and match.
- Breakfast will slow the process down. Either because it takes too much time to decide what everyone would like to eat or because they just sit and eat slow. Make breakfast simple or only offer a few choices like 2 cereals or oatmeal or yogurt. The more choices offered, the longer breakfast will take. We also usually require that everyone get dressed and be ready first, then eat breakfast. This way, even if they eat breakfast slow, they are still ready to go.
- We also have all book bags prepared the night before and placed by the front door (preferably hanging up if they are not too heavy). We make sure all books, homework and gym bags are ready to go when we are. No hunting for last minute papers and books when it’s time to leave. Lunches are prepared the night before and kept in the refrigerator till morning when they are placed with the book bags.
Routines take discipline and discipline is not fun. Teaching a child simple discipline when they are young will produce big results for them as adults.
Plan what everyone will wear for the week on Sunday, make breakfast simple with limited decisions, and have all your bags and lunches packed and ready the night before. Morning routines make life easier for your children and mom too!
What is your morning routine? How do you start your day?