First, since this article appears in Confessions on my website …. I am a Type A mom who happens to have a demanding job and I struggle with rushing my children.
So here are my tips on how I try to reduce the morning push / pull in my house.
- Sleep is Key. This means be realistic about bedtime.
- Kids: For the baby this is 11 hours before I need her to get up. For my son this is a ½ hour less. Nap time for both of them effects this time as well. For my son (if he took a nap, he can stay up a little later). I know this is hard, because you feel so limited in your evening time with them.
- Me: This also means for you. I shoot for 7 hours, and know that I will probably get 6, and yes that means one more load of laundry doesn’t get done and that the baseboards in my house are just going to be dusty and I didn’t really want clean windows. And sometimes it means that I have to be like Elsa, and "Let it Go".
- Wake Up Time Should Include Some Me Time for Everyone
- Kids: Both my children want time to wake up slowly and they both want time to run and be silly for about 5 to 10 minutes before they eat breakfast. I wake them up 45 minutes before we have to leave. While they are waking up, I put away their laundry that I did after they went to bed. (When my Type A personality won out)
- Me: I find that I do best if I have time to work out. It helps me wake up and puts me in the right mind-set. I do chores for the day while I cool down before showering. (Putting the cold lunch stuff in the coolers, and add the packed lunch to the backpacks, I load my car, and I put away dishes that washed the night before) This is my protected time. Mr. Style will take care of any kid issues during this time.
- Give Yourself Time for the Unexpected. For example, they day the baby has a blowout when you are putting her in the car seat and you have to go back in and change her and set clothing to soak. (Confession: That was this morning, and I found myself being angry with the baby, but it wasn’t her fault … it was my fault, I hadn’t allowed enough time. As soon as that thought hit me, she stopped crying and we had fun as we laughed about her need for new clothes and “stinky, stinky pants” which she seems to find incredibly funny as she waves her hand in front of her nose.)
- Prepare the Night/Weekend Before
- Weekend: On the weekends, I make my mason jar salads and overnight oats for the week. I start the bento boxes for the kids for the week – the meat and cheese can be packed early. The fruit and veggies are the night before items. I also pack up for the baby’s sitter for the week (Diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, etc...). I plan everyone’s outfits for the week (including mine)
- Night: I finish the bento boxes for the kids by adding the fruit and veggies, Backpacks are laid out by the door with shoes and coats, Clothes are laid out (which is easy – since I planned at the beginning of the week)