Mornings should be when we are as fresh as a daisy, right? This is the time, when we stumble out of bed and stretch off the sleepiness after being lost in the world of dreams. So, ideally morning should be pleasant and cheery.
Real life scenarios are usually different. We get up with a jolt, rush to the bathroom. We get ourselves ready helter-skelter and start rushing around trying to get everyone up and on their way to catch the bus or get to the office on time. In hurry, we slap down a bowl of cereal for the kids, toss some kibbles to the cat and we gulp down whatever we can for breakfast. We tuck the kid’s shirts in as we run out the door and put on a swipe of mascara as we sit at a stoplight. Suddenly we turn back remembering you have forgotten to sign a school paper, you can’t find your bag and myriad of other miscellaneous items you desperately need for the day. Does this sound familiar?
It is time to stop the morning rush. A few easy planning steps will help reduce the morning craziness and put a smile on the faces of your family.
1. Make a habit of reviewing what you will need to make your start to your morning a happy and relaxing time. What will you need to take with you…your purse, briefcase, backpacks, lunch? Do you need your new, snazzy red lipstick? Put it in your purse now not later. Your son’s homework that he needs for the next day is scattered all around. Have your kids pack up and zip up their backpacks the night before. Find and organize each item. Use an organization hutch or whatever works for you and make it a standard place that the whole family uses to store what they need take with them. Have all the necessary items organized the evening before, so that you do not have to search for them.
2. Anticipate what you will need tomorrow today. Ever stare at your closet and not have a clue on what you are going to wear? You have 30 seconds before you have to leave and you have a right shoe but somehow the left shoe has disappeared. You would be amazed how much calmer you day can start out if you select your clothes down to the socks and shoes the night before. Have your kids (and yes this does include your biggest kid your husband) put their CLEAN shirts, shorts, skirts, undies, socks on a hanger or neatly stacked on top of their dresser and shoes by the door. To ease weekly morning stress even more, organize the week’s clothing on hangers or cubbies for each day. For the fussy dresser it allows some flexibility to pick an outfit out of the week of choices. Being able to grab your clothes easily in the morning saves time and lowers the mommy anguish factor.
3. Use time management routine to tame your morning. Stick to a morning schedule and use your smartphone alarms or a timer to keep everyone on track. For slow pokes set a series of alarms (wake up, breakfast time, what we call the scurry alarm 5 minutes till they need to leave and finally the walking out the door alarm). Allow for an extra 10-15 minutes so that you can relaxingly arrive at your destination. Use a whiteboard or chalkboard and list bus, school, work and activity schedules. Calculate the amount of time it would take to get to each location and add a few minutes to allow for traffic. Anticipate regular schedule changes due to business trips, football games, ballet recitals. Plan a work around for scheduling hiccups in advance.
Morning calmness sure beats morning chaos. As mothers we want to do the best for our families. A few minutes of planning can ease the stress for the entire family as well as teach life organizational lessons to your children. Remember children grow into adults and they imitate what you do, not so much what you say. I prefer happy mornings. What about you? Do you have any tips to avoid the morning rush? We welcome your comments below.