Mornings are hard! With the help of our readers, we have put together a list of tips and tricks to help your mornings run smoother.
There was a time, before kids, when you could wake up at a leisurely pace, pee in peace, drink your coffee hot, shower as long as you liked and still make it to work on time. Now, you’re lucky if you remember to brush your teeth!
We hear you. If you’re looking for more peace and less fuss in the mornings, check out these tried-and-true tips and tricks from some of our readers.
The Night Before
• Lay out clothes (yours and theirs) the night before.
• Prepare and pack lunches and put them in the fridge to be packed into school bags the next morning.
• Make some grab-n-go breakfasts if you’ve got the time and/or inclination. Muffins and granola bars tend to work really well.
• Get enough sleep. Kids generally need between 10-12 hours at night, while you need 7-8 on average.
Take Care of Yourself First
We cannot recommend this highly enough. Waking up 10-15 minutes earlier than the kids should give you enough time to do the following:
• Drink a big glass of water.
• Get showered and do your hair / make-up.
• Have some coffee (One mum suggests pairing this with some Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers. We don’t disagree.)
• If you’re feeling extra brave, try waking up an hour earlier to meditate and start the day off right.
Waking Them Up
Try these at your own peril.
• Start the day with a hug. This lets them know they are loved and puts them in a good mood.
• Sing loudly as you’re walking through the house on your way to their room. By the time you arrive, they’ll be wide-awake. Grumpy, sure. But awake!
• For older children, put their alarm at the other side of their room so that they have to get out of bed to turn it off.
• Let older children be responsible for getting themselves up on time. If they’re not ready, then they’ll learn from that.
• If your kid is really upset about going to school, it might be worth talking to their teacher and checking that nothing is going on that you should be concerned about.
• Get dressed AFTER having breakfast to avoid having to get changed if there are any accidents or spillages.
• Use a checklist so that they know what they need to do. Little kids who can’t yet read can use picture reminders (toothbrush, clothes, cereal bowl, etc.)
• Parents should be sharing morning duties between them; one getting the kids fed while the other gets them organised/dressed.
• Give yourself more time than you need. If you allocate the time in advance for any accidents, tantrums or spills, you won’t go into panic-mode when they happen.
• Limit time on showers and have an agreement on who will use the bathroom first, while the others have their breakfast.
• No TV in the morning. It’s too much of a distraction, and they won’t want to leave before the end of their show.
Getting Them Out The Door
• Leave on time, even if they’re not 100% ready. They’ll soon learn to hustle.
• Do a quick tidy-up before you leave. It’ll make coming home in the evening much more restful if you’re walking into a reasonably clean house.
• If they are late because they refused to get out of bed or dawdled in the morning, let them take responsibility and tell the teacher themselves.
The most important thing is to relax. Kids will usually take their cue from you. If you’re stressed out and panicked, chances are they will be too. So, take a deep breath. Things don’t always go the way we plan, and that’s okay.
Mumma, you’re doing fine.