As many of you have already heard, this is this is my first week as the mom of a public school kindergartener. If you missed the part where we became homeschool dropouts, you can read all about it HERE. Let’s just say that this “getting-out-the-door-for-school” thing is enough to make me crazy. This was especially true on the days I serve at Bible Study Fellowship. But the chaos that surrounds getting three small (and relatively helpless) people out the door could have been a much more daunting task had I not made the conscious decision to get as MUCH done the night before as possible to smooth our mornings. Here are 5 tips for a less stressful morning from a mom who is still figuring out this new “normal”.
1. PACK LUNCHES THE NIGHT BEFORE. Why have I not been doing this all along?? For the past 3 years I have been running around my house like a crazy person on days when we eat lunch on the go. This one tiny step has revolutionized my mornings. I’ve found that I usually have a few minutes in the kitchen during dinner prep where I’m not actually doing anything but I can’t really leave because something will need to be stirred or pulled out of the oven. Rather than starring aimlessly at Facebook during those moments, I’ve been packing lunches this week! Removing that one thing from my morning takes so much stress away.
2. SET OUT CLOTHES THE NIGHT BEFORE. Anyone who lives with a five year-old girl knows that wardrobe selection can be an EPIC event. To help my indecisive daughter narrow her choices in a timely manner, she has been choosing her outfit for school the night before. I can’t believe how much this helps her in the morning. She comes out of her room DRESSED. There are no fits about the pants that she wanted that are sopping wet in the washing machine. There are not 52 wardrobe changes that result in a heap of clean clothes on the bedroom floor. It’s like a different kid is getting dressed in that room.
This one goes for me as well. I wake up EARLY to go to boot camp. If I don’t have my workout clothes set out and ready to go, I find myself fumbling around in the dark trying to locate what I need. It makes it so much easier in the morning when I can just roll out of bed and change. It also makes me less likely to stay in bed…sometimes having to get up and find my clothes is enough to make me roll over and push snooze.
3. RUN THE DISHWASHER AND CLEAR THE COUNTERS THE NIGHT BEFORE. When I forget to run my dishwasher at night, my whole morning is thrown off the next day. I really, REALLY don’t like dishes in my sink. When I forget the dishwasher, that’s exactly what I end up with once five people have finished breakfast. Likewise, preparing breakfast for five people on counters that are covered with stuff from yesterday is stressful too. There’s never enough room to prep that many plates if I’m working around piles of junk. So clear the clutter, and start the day with clean dishes.
4. GRIND COFFEE AND WASH FRENCH PRESS THE NIGHT BEFORE. We are big time coffee drinkers over here. And the first think I do when I stumble out of bed is make a pot of coffee for the hubs to take to work. If I have to grind beans at 4:30 am, it becomes much more annoying than doing it at a normal hour when people are still awake. If I happen to forget, I need to take the coffee grinder outside so I don’t wake anyone up (yes…small house problems…) And who wants to do THAT when it’s 35 degrees? Not me. The coffee routine takes all of 2 minutes if I have the pot and the beans all ready to go. And then I get to sneak a sip of the pot before I run out the door to boot camp!
5. GET TO BED ON TIME. Figuring out what time to get in bed is crucial. If I am not in bed with the lights off by 10pm at the ABSOLUTE latest, it is not going to be a pretty morning for me or my children. I cannot happily function on less sleep than that. So figure out how much sleep you need, then stick to it. With that, I’m going to bed. I have 10 minutes until lights out!
I hope that this helps you streamline your mornings a bit. I’m sure this will all get easier as we fall into a new routine. But for now, these 5 tips for a less stressful morning are what’s getting me through!
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