You’d think that since we homeschool my mornings would always go something like this:
I wake up, begin my day in the quiet of the house, and after having a devotion I putter into the kitchen to make a hearty breakfast just as the kids are padding down the stairs to eat. Then we do some morning chores before everyone sits around the table to study.
Okay, so some days go that way. But the reality is, between physical therapy sessions, music lessons, early morning ice skating, multiple doctors visits, regular dental appointments, and trips to the orthodontist each month – not to mention the random things that come up – there’s a lot of rushing around in the mornings to get to our various appointments and activities each week.
I mentioned a few days ago about how I’ve been struggling with finding a good balance with our current routine. One thing’s for sure, mornings can make or break the day.
10 Morning Hacks to Simplify Your Routine
I’ve come up with 10 Hacks or Tips to Simplify Your Morning Routine if your day begins like our – jumping out of the bed as soon as the alarm goes off even though you really just want to shut it off and throw the blanket over your head and get a few more hours of sleep.
I mean, we’ve been waking up at 3 am so we can leave by 4 am twice this week and for the next few weeks it looks like that’s going to be my reality! Maybe you don’t have to get up that early, but regardless – mornings can be exhausting!
1. Start the Night Before
The night before a busy morning is key. Never underestimate the power of preparation the night before. I like to have my girls get all of their school books packed and by the door. If we are going ice skating the following day, Hannah will make sure she has her skate clothes and gear packed and her ice skating bags by the door.
If I plan to take a lunch with us, I will work on those the afternoon or evening before we leave so that I don’t have to do anything more than put the lunch boxes into our lunch bag.
Go ahead and make your to do list before you go to bed. Your mind will be free to focus on sleep instead of everything you don’t want to forget.
2. Go to Bed Early
Okay, if this were as easy as it sounds I think moms every where would rejoice. But, really getting to bed early enough so that you get an adequate amount of sleep is really important for a lot of reasons:
- it’ll be easier to wake up
- you’ll feel better
- your mind will be clearer
- you can make better decisions
- you won’t be tempted to hit the snooze button
- you’ll be healthier
- your metabolism will thank you
3. Avoid Hitting the Snooze Button
If you’ve been exhausted or just didn’t get to bed early, or maybe you just have a hard time getting going in the morning – the snooze button is just too easy to hit – over and over again. The problem with that is usually hitting the snooze button means you’ll have to rush to get everything done before you leave the house.
Which means more stress. Because when mom has to rush, more than likely, the kids have to rush too. And then mom might feel an urgent need to raise her voice when her children just are moving fast enough. Not good.
4. Plan Your Outfits the Night Before
This kind of goes with #1 above, but when we realize how much time and thought actually goes into what we’re going to wear each day, it deserves it’s own category.
It’s no fun to realize no one has clean underwear. Or that your shirt is incredibly wrinkled. Or even just what you feel like wearing. When you’re in a hurry, checking your closet at the last minute can be really stressful.
5. Turn on All the Lights
If it’s still dark when you wake up or the sun just isn’t shining, it’s important to turn on all the lights so your body feels like it’s time to “get going.” Believe me, it really helps!
If the sun is shining, go ahead and throw up the blinds or open the curtains. In our house, we don’t have curtains – our house is far enough away from the road and other houses – because I feel so much better when the sun streams in the windows. It makes me happy.
6. Create a Bathroom Schedule or Routine
I have a houseful of girls. Even with three bathrooms in our house, the reality in my life is that two people cannot take a shower at the same time if you want any water pressure at all. It’s one of the joys of living in an old house. Plus, I know that certain girls of mine take longer than others. If we don’t want to be late, said girls need to take their showers first or last depending on different dynamics. There’s one teen I won’t mention by name who will take forever in the shower if allowed – meaning no one else has time to take one if she goes first!
This is easily fixed by determining who gets to use the bathroom when.
7. Have Freezer Meals for Breakfast
You can prepare any number of make-ahead recipes for your freezer or you can purchase freezer breakfast meals at your local Wal-Mart and let them do the work for you.
In our house, breakfast always happens. Even when we’re in a hurry to get out the door. I make sure everyone has something to eat every morning. It’s just so important.
Starting off the day with a good breakfast is doesn’t have to be hard! Kids need fuel to get their day going right. In fact, moms do too! A good breakfast does so much:
- improves concentration levels
- improves problem solving skills
- better eye-hand coordination
- provides the body with energy and strength
- improves your metabolism
- less likely to be cranky due to low blood sugar
My girls loved these new Griddle Melts™ from Aunt Jemima®! We like the Egg and Cheese Griddle Melts™ and the Apple Cinnamon Griddle Melts™. I like them because they are made with real mozzarella and cheddar cheese and real diced apples.
Pop them in the microwave for a minute, grab a mandarin orange, a banana, some grapes or your favorite fruit and your kids can eat breakfast on the way out the door if necessary. Don’t ask me how many times we do this.
Aunt Jemima® Griddle Melts™ can be found in the freezer aisle of your local Wal-Mart. Be sure to check out Aunt Jemima® on Facebook and share your ideas!
8. Update Your Coat Closet
In our house we have a mudroom. Unfortunately it does not have a closet. We do have a coat closet by the front door. So, usually, I’ll have the girls set their things ready to go by the back door in the mudroom. Depending on the weather, we’ll grab other needed items from our coat closet.
Organizing your coat closet for the mornings is a great way to make sure everyone has their gear ready to go out the door when you are. Changing out the items in your coat closet or mudroom a based on the season is smart.
- light rain jackets
- rain boots
- swim gear
- picnic items
- heavier coats
- snow boots
- mittens and gloves
- hats and ear muffs
- packaged hand warmers
- packaged foot warmers
- snow suits
9. Get Creative with Family Devotions
You know I love to have family devotions around the breakfast table. The reality is that it doesn’t always happen. Keep story CD’s in your car or download favorites onto your smart phone and listen to them while you drive. It’s an easy way to share a good message with your children and start the day off right. You can ask questions and discuss what you’ve learned through the story, building character in your kids while you drive!
10. Wake Up with a Cheerful Attitude
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. You get to choose your own mood. You can either allow the trials of yesterday or a lack of sleep or ________ to dictate your mood. Or you can determine in your own heart to wake up with a smile and a cheerful attitude.
Moms, if you wake up with the determination it’s going to be a good day and you wake up your children and/ or husband with a smile and a pleasant, “Good morning!” your day is bound to be better for the whole family.
It’s your choice!
What tips do you have for making the morning rush easier?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aunt Jemima®. The opinions and text are all mine.