By: Hana Arafa
Are your mornings a nightmare? Do you feel like you’ve run a marathon by 9 AM? Believe me you’re not alone. Getting everything ready, everyone dressed, fed and at the door on time every morning is truly the most challenging part of the day for any parent. I’ve had my share of horrible mornings with my kids, to juggle everything and make it to work on time, until I paused one day, reflected on my life and decided to end this hassle. Dearest parents, find out how my mornings have become way smoother than before.
1. Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep
Getting enough hours of rest for the family members including yourself can really tame the dragon. A tired child is a cranky child who is extremely hard to please or even listen to you. Even an exhausted parent is an impatient one who will definitely start the day on the negative note.
Find below a chart with the global recommended daily hours of sleep per age group. Follow it and you might even need to tweak some routines to maximize the sleeping hours.
2. Do it the night before
The rule says if it doesn’t have to be done in the morning, do it the night before. The more you prepare at night, the less you have on your plate in the morning, the faster and merrier your morning routines will be.
- Pack lunchboxes
- Prepare outfits/school uniform
- If your kids have breakfast at home in the morning, prepare it overnight. Try to limit weekday breakfast to quick meals such as cereal, oatmeal or eggs that can be boiled in advance. Save hot time-consuming breakfasts to the weekends.
- There’s a place for everything and everything’s in place:
Assign a shelf/hook/corner for all the school essentials so you won’t be looking for shoes, socks, jackets, lunchboxes, and water bottles in the morning.
Save a spot at home for your keys, wallet, sunglasses, phone and charger so you save time treasure hunting for any of them.
3. Make a morning routine chart
Have a cozy talk with your children on a relaxed afternoon and discuss together how a perfect morning would be. Involve them in the process and set together the morning routines by order. Children are more likely to abide by an agreement they created than one being imposed on them. Afterwards, put the routines in a child friendly chart with pictures.
4. Get up before your kids
Set the alarm a little bit earlier so you have time for a cup of coffee, dressing up or a quick breakfast in a calm quiet atmosphere. Never underestimate the power of having a few peaceful moments for yourself in the morning. It will set up your mood for the whole day.
5. Stay connected
How would you feel if someone dragged you in the morning out of bed in a rush and kept giving you orders and screaming at your face “Hurry up”, “We’re late” or “You’re so slow” every single day????
Hating your life is the least that could happen.
Your kids are humans as well. Try to wake them up gently by a kiss, warm hug, some cuddling and positive words and give them some moments to stretch until they get up on their feet.
Your kids can sense when you are rushed and surprisingly will slow down even more and resist. They also tend to mirror your actions. So if you are usually frustrated, watch your attitude and set the alarm a few minutes earlier so you don’t reach the irritation level.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed take a deep breath and whisper to your kids in a firm voice instead of shouting.
6. Involve everyone
Getting ready for the next day is not your only responsibility. Children can have simple daily chores suitable to their age. Think with your child how they can be involved the night before school in the evening preparations routine.
7. Make weekends special
Celebrate your children’s success throughout the week in their morning routines and have a cozy relaxed breakfast together. Plan a fun activity to do even if indoors to bond and have a few laughs.
Try these tips and let us know how they went. Routines take some time until you reap their fruits. So keep on trying until you reach the smooth mornings that you’re so craving.