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Challenge: Raising kids is stressful. Let’s share ways to make it less so.

In Case of Morning Mayhem, Break Glass (or just pack lunch the night before...)

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​Avoiding stress is not really my strong point. I’m more the type of person who, upon hearing about several activities all happening on the same weekend, or even on the very same night of the same weekend, becomes convinced that it really wouldn’t be difficult to do everything, all at the same time.

I tell myself that I’m going to cut back, do less, say “no” more often. But I never do, always convinced that missing out on the fun will be just as stressful as trying to cram fun in 24/7. What can I say? I’m the type who even makes a to-do list while I’m on vacation.

In addition to the “slow down” and “do less” stress relieving advice, I’m just as bad following that other age old parenting wisdom: sleep when the baby sleeps. It’s a nice idea, and always sounds great when other people say it. It’s just never worked for me.

Because for one thing, why do babies never sleep at night like normal folks?! Secondly, the entire idea of sleeping when the baby sleeps implies that you only have one baby, or that if you have more than one baby that they sleep at the same time. Mine always preferred to sleep tag-team style. Besides, I was never very good at magically getting sleepy on somebody else’s schedule anyway.

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There is one area that I happen to do okay with though, and that is taming the morning mayhem. I can’t claim that my mornings run as smooth as silk, or that we don’t leave late as many days as we leave on time. But I can say our mornings would be much worse, most likely an utter disaster, without my secret recipe for curing the morning mayhem:

Recipe to Cure Hectic Mornings

  • 1 part clothing, folded in ziplock bags
  • 1 part lunches made the night before
  • 1 part easy “​eat in the car” breakfast

Assemble first ingredient on weekends. Folding clothes directly from the dryer into the ziplock bags without making a stop at a laundry basket or dresser drawer will save even more time.  Assemble second two ingredients each night before bed.  Load car with all items before waking children.  Mix as needed with other methods of stress reduction.

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It sounds complicated, but the execution is really quite simple, and it’s a huge help. Now that I’ve established the routine, I barely think about it at all.

It hasn’t relieved ALL our morning stress. Nevertheless, there’s something to be said for having already paired socks and a balanced lunch just waiting to be grabbed on the way out the door!

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