The mornings for our family are an endless rat race to get out of the house on time. Well, they were. That was until we started doing a few intentional and easy tricks that helped us wake, feed and get kids out the door in 20 minutes or less every day. The morning tends to be the most hectic time of the day for my family, but you could really adapt these tricks for anytime you want to get out of the house and to your destination on time. For example, a sporting event, a girls night, date night, trip out of town, etc. These tips aren't rocket science but I'll tell you, they are life changers.
1. Set clothes out the night before - Since I was 5 I've been laying out my clothes for school. Perhaps it was engrained in me or maybe I just knew that it would save time? I probably wasn't that intuitive, but, I'd like to think my 5 year old self was onto something. Right before the girls go to bed I take 30 extra seconds and lay their outfit out. Sometimes I let them be a part of the decision making process. I do that so that when they try to throw a fit in the morning about getting dressed, I can say well, this was your choice, not mine. They usually end up feeling less resistant to the pink unicorn t-shirt if they've picked it out. Any who, this saves so much time in the morning because it takes the guess work out of the picture.
2. Have drinks prepared and breakfast made the night before - Putting milk in the cup in the fridge takes 30 seconds the night before. It, for some reason takes 5 times as long to do anything in the morning. So, we've resorted to filling their cups the night before to save time in the morning. If I am able to make their breakfast ahead of time for the week, I feel like super mom and go into the day feeling on top of it. For me, there is nothing that is more cringe-worthy than plopping some sugary, no good cereal in a bag and giving it to them on the go. Don't get me wrong, it happens sometimes. But, I hate those days. So, on Sundays I take about 10 extra minutes to prep a breakfast that they can eat all week long. They can't have nuts at school due to allergies, so I like to prepare foods with nuts at home because they are so healthy! We love nut butters like cashew, sunflower and even the old school peanut butter. A go to make ahead breakfast that we often make is protein/energy balls as the kids go gaga over them. In addition to protein balls, we love smoothies, pumpkin oatmeal (I'm able to sneak a veggie in there for the WIN!) and egg muffins. Check out my Pinterest board titled - Own Your Breakfast Mama! by clicking the black button below.
3. Open the door to their room - If you open up the door to their room 5 to 10 minutes before you wake them up, it allows for what I call a "soft landing wake up call". When I parade in their rooms and flip the switch letting them know its time to wake up, I am sure to cross paths with the devil. Seriously, melt down city for the next 20 minutes if I wake them like that. But, if the wake is subtle, they are typically happier little humans.
4. Allow time for the mishap - Wake up 5 minutes earlier than you usually do so that you can plan for Murphy. Do you know who Murphy is? Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. So, if you go into every morning with a slight defensive pessimism knowing that something could happen, you'll be more mentally prepared for it. I'm not saying you need to be Oscar the Grouch with the what could go wrong situation, but a little defense mechanism is okay when it comes to ending overwhelm. So, if you wake up a tad bit earlier, then you will have time to change the shirt that you get spit up on or the explosive diaper that occurs as you are walking out the door, or even the attitude of your slightly grumpy kid who wants apple juice instead of milk in their cup.
5. Take 5 for you - Some of the most common responses I get from Mamas is that they are burnt out because they never take time for themselves. Self care is so stinking important. If you allow yourself to wake up before your kiddos do, and take 5 minutes to yourself in the morning, you will set your day up for success. I'm going to be addressing this in more depth in another blog post coming up because it is that important! Some things you can do is meditate, journal, sit on your butt in bed and just breathe, drink a cup of coffee in silence, or maybe just poop on the toilet with the door locked so no one can come in(okay for real peeps this is a big one for me). Taking just 5 minutes to find your center in the morning will pay off in dividends for the remainder of the day.
Now, I hope you've found these tips helpful. With just a few minutes of prep the night before, and time to yourself in the morning, you can really end the morning chaos and get to work on time! I do want to make a disclaimer that these don't always work because tiny humans are completely unpredictable. But, most of the time, we get out the door without a hitch. I would love to hear what you all do to make your mornings less chaotic.