Mornings can be difficult, especially when you’re managing an entire household with kids included. You’ve got to wake the little ones up, make breakfast, send them off to school, all while tackling a few chores and getting ready for work yourself. It’s a real battle, and it takes place every day. At the worst of times, it seems there’s no way you’ll keep your sanity intact.
What you need is a morning routine that would get things rolling efficiently with little thought or effort on your part (just a little dedication to a system). Here’s how to achieve that, say goodbye to stress and enjoy your mornings for a change.
Write Down Your Tasks
It’s all chaos until you make a “to-do” list, which is a great method for managing your precious time. Start off with waking up, and be very detailed from there. Don’t forget brushing your teeth, making coffee, taking out the trash and putting the kids on the school bus. The morning won’t seem so daunting once it’s organized on a sheet of paper.
Prepare the Night Before
Go through your to-do list, and you’ll find plenty of items you can tackle in advance. Those include packing lunches, picking out clothes and even arranging the items you need to make breakfast right on the kitchen counter. With less work, you’ll have more time to enjoy your own cup of coffee.
Get Yourself Organized
You’ll save even more time if you know where everything is. Focus on the kitchen, as making breakfast is one of the most important morning tasks. Place pots and pans on their sides so you can pull them out easily from the cabinet and hang utensils near the stove. As for the bedrooms, stack clothes in the dressers vertically and store items under the bed to create space. You can also organize your closets by adding an extra shelf and storing off-season items.
Stay Firm with Bedtime
Don’t forget to tuck the kids in tightly while you’re preparing for the day ahead. They need their sleep so they don’t wake up groggy and drag their feet on the way from the bedroom to the kitchen for breakfast. If you’re looking for some techniques to get the little ones to bed each evening without a tantrum, Positive Parenting has them.
Wake Up Earlier
Wake up well before the kids. That way, you can get ready yourself and even finish a few chores without chasing the little ones around the house to make sure their teeth are brushed and their bags are packed. If you set the alarm early enough, you may even have some quiet time to yourself.
Give the Kids a Checklist
Post a checklist on their bedroom door. Like your own “to do” list, it should consist of every task marked clearly from first to last, starting with “make the bed” and finishing with “go to school.” With any luck, you won’t have to interfere at all. Before you go making your own, check out the printables from Carrots Are Orange. They’ve got checklists for all ages.
There are plenty of devices on the market that were invented to make your life easier in the morning. Electronic toothbrushes (can be purchased for $19.99) and high-speed blow-dryers keep time in the bathroom to a minimum, while you can use a smart speaker to listen to the news so you can use your hands to make breakfast.
Put on Some Music
A writer with Bustle has come up with the ultimate playlist to get the whole family humming, and it includes kid-friendly tunes that won’t drive the adults crazy. You’ll start your morning right with hits like Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves, and Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.
Despite all the planning and preparations, sometimes you may find that you just don’t have time to get everything done in the morning. In these overwhelming situations, hiring professionals can come in handy. For example, an occasional cleaning service can help you focus on the aspects of your life that matter most: family, work, and even “me” time. Be sure to research the average costs of services in your area and budget accordingly. In Boston, you can expect to pay $119 - $248 for a cleaning service.
By incorporating these measures, you and your kids will have less stress to deal with every morning. Now that you have a routine, the mornings may actually be fun for a change.
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