Today, my first baby started the first grade. I don’t know how thats even possible considering I’m only 22. Seriously though – breakfast was served, clothes laid out, teeth brushed, bed made, hair done & at the school on time. Can you believe it? The first day of school went off without a hitch.
I’ve been asked by several people how we get it all done in the mornings, especially having new-ish (is a 9 month old still considered new?) baby. Let me start by saying that everything about our routine is intentional. Not everyone wants to be the “morning mom” and that’s ok. But if you DO, there are a lot of things that you can do to help you get over that back to school slump.
- Wake up 1 hour before the rest of your family I know I know – this seems crazy to a lot of you. Now keep in mind, I have an elementary school aged child. I’ll revisit this rule when my kids are in high school. Until then, I think it’s important that we take some time to ourselves in the morning. How my day starts is typically how my day stays. I like to take the time to enjoy my coffee, read my bible & pack my sons lunch in quiet with no distractions. It gives my mind time to go over all the things that have to be done that day. Give it a try – be intentional with your hour – I think you’ll like it. (and yes… this is when I draw my sons napkin)
- Have a schedule & STICK TO IT We have our schedule printed out and hanging in our living room. It helps us to stay on task because lets be honest, breakfast doesn’t always take 45 minutes to eat but it’s easy to lose track of time. It’s nice having a reminder on the wall. The best part is that my son can also see the schedule and watch the clock.
- Give each family member a responsibility Moms aren’t the only ones who can get kids dressed, fed and out the door. Your family needs to have all parts working correctly in order to function at max capacity. I pack the lunch, pick out the clothes & make sure the backpack is ready. My husband makes the breakfast & does our sons hair. Our son is in charge of picking up his room, cleaning the table after eating and brushing his teeth. If we all know our roles, its easy. We all take care of the baby too. One will change the diaper while the other makes the bottle while the other gets his toy mat out.
- Have a command center Put a place in your main living area where everyone can go to know what the day has in store. My command center is in my living room. It’s got our large calendar & any other bulletins as well as a drop zone for back packs. We don’t waste time around here finding what we need – it is where its supposed to be.
- Pick up the house before bed Waking up to a clean-ish house can make for a much smoother morning. It goes along with the command center – You can always find what you’re looking for.
- Never stop moving My rule of thumb is that I don’t even sit down in morning to drink my coffee and read my Bible. I do that all standing up. I have learned the hard way that when I sit, I stay sat. The old adage “A body in motion stays in motion” is absolutely where we’re going with this.
- Get yourself dressed for the day If you do it right, you’ll have enough time to at least thrown on some clothes and freshen up before going out the door. It’s important to feel good when we leave for the day.
- Make your bed You would be surprised how the direction of your day can be determined by such a simple task. Most things are mental. If you have had time to get yourself dressed and make your bed, mentally your head will be clearer.
- HAVE FUN Wake up in a good mood on purpose. Sing a good morning song, turn on the lights, open the blinds, let the sun shine in. You may not be a morning person – who cares. Fake it. Your kids are so much more likely to peel themselves off the couch in the morning if you’re up and moving around too.
- Pray Take a deep breath and pray for your little ones as they go off to school. School nowadays is harder than many of us can imagine – and there is no greater protection we can offer them than a quick prayer in the morning. And lets be honest – a little Jesus makes everything better.
Momming in the morning just isn’t easy. It’s not. But just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean that we just get to avoid it. Our kids habits are being groomed RIGHT NOW. They are learning the ways they will parent their children one day. Something as simple as a morning routine could stick with them forever.
Plan B: If you give all of the above a good ol’ college try… I’ve heard that a spray bottle of water works pretty good to get people movin’. I’m not sayin’ I’ve tried it… but I’m not sayin’ I haven’t. 🙂