If you are anything like countless other parents, your mornings getting out of the door are less like a graceful gazelle, and more like a wild-eyed orangutang dragging a resistant sloth behind it.
You know what I’m sayin’?
Mornings used to be hellish ordeals at my house.
They were peppered with people not wanting to get up, being super slow, being super picky with what clothes to wear, delay tactics and selective hearing…There was negotiating, bribing, snapping, eventually yelling….and always always with a side order of mom-guilt to be felt later on.
We’d nearly ALWAYS be late or at the very least cutting it to the VERY last minute, and the stress and struggle were very very real.
I decided something had to give so we could have a better start to each day.
Here’s what I did to change things for my family.
How to have a kick ass start to the day rather than feel like it’s something hideous you just have to get through with gritted teeth.
(read to the end, that’s where the good shit is)
Stick a drawing or list on the fridge of the steps your kids need to take before they get ready to go to school.
i.e. Get Dressed,
Brush Your Teeth,
Pop Your Lunch in Your Bag,
…and anything else they need to do in the morning.
That way it’s all clear in their minds, they get the hang of the routine, and they don’t have to ask you a-million-seven-hundred-and-sixty-five times what to do next.
Make the lunches the night before.
Pack the lunches, hell you can even get the kids involved – just make sure you keep an eye on the little suckers so they don’t fill their lunchbox full of potato chips and ice-cream when you’re not looking.
Make breakfast in advance where possible
Overnight oats, chia pudding and fruit salad are things that can be made in advance the night before. Otherwise try different things out that don’t take long to make like toast or cereal.
Or better yet, have a batch cook day where you prep your food for the week so that you have plenty of healthy options lying around.
Try this healthy porridge recipe from Clean Food Dirty Girl or these delicious strawberry oat bars from Bad Manners. Both these recipes are gluten free and diary free if you use gluten free oats.
Get washed the night before
Get the kids washed the night before and you save yourself a job in the morning.
Also, added bonus: I don’t know about you but I’ve always found kids to be more relaxed after a shower or bath and then they go to sleep easier. Win-Win!
Lay out clothes the night before.
This might sound obvious, but how many people actually have the self-discipline to get into a habit where they lay their clothes out the night before?
If you start doing this, and get your kiddos to do this, you are role-modelling a really great habit and life skill for them.
Get up before anyone else.
This may seem hard if you have kids that wake up at the butt crack of dawn, but try your best.
Go to bed 15 minutes earlier instead of binge watching that show you like while shovelling junk food in your mouth – it can really make a difference.
Now, here’s the best part.
When you have that little pocket of time ALL TO YOURSELF (yes it’s okay to be a bit greedy here) spend it doing something you love or something that will set you up in the right mindset for the day.
This could look many ways, but for me it goes a little something like this (RUN-DMC-style*):
I get up, do a short meditation, stick on an upbeat song, hop in the shower and dance while I am showering (careful not to slip). There may be some out of tune singing too. While I get dressed I say affirmations that make me feel good or remind me how god damn awesome life is. Then I have a delicious hot beverage – like a hot chocolate with Young Living peppermint oil in, or a hot chocolate that’s spiked with a splash of coffee.
By the time I am done I feel so ready and psyched for the day.
Some people do super hero or power poses in front of the mirror, some people bounce on a mini trampoline (it has lots of health benefits- look it up) – the options are endless. Just find a way to start off the day with some fun! It will work wonders for your mindset and patience levels.
When you’re in a good mood, everyone around you feels it. When you’re in shitty mood and clinging to last nights sleep and your pillow like a craven junkie clings to their stash, everyone feels that too. If you resent the day before it’s even begun, that ain’t nice for no one.
Treat your relationship to the new day like you would a pet dog, and don’t push it away when all it wants to do is love up on you and bring you nice things.
Try this new way to start the day on for size and see how your joy and patience grows.
When you feel good, the little irritants aren’t as irritating, nor do they throw you off-kilter the way they do when you’re already in a tizzy.
Drop me a comment and let me know how the day usually starts in your house.
* if you know, you know.