A no-stress way to getting the kids ready in the morning
How high are your stress levels in the morning? Let's face it: getting everyone ready on time (preferably in weather appropriate clothes with matching socks and full tummies) is a big task for any sleep deprived parent. If your heart is racing by the time you've arrived to work, you might want to think about making a few changes in your morning routine. Here are a few ideas, where to start.
Define pain points. Take a few days to observe your mornings: where do you waste the most time? What stresses you out the most? Then, come up with a strategy to solve the issue. Just remember: don't implement too mancy changes at once or it will add to the stress instead of relieving it.
Start early. Like, the evening before early. Spend a few minutes in the evening to prepare for the morning. Let the kids choose what they want to wear and pack their backpacks. Locate everything you will need the next day (books that need to be returned to the library, equipment for sports practice, permission slips that need to be signed, etc.) and put it near the door, so you can quickly grab it on your way out.
A place for everything. Avoid the frantic morning search for car keys, phones and wallets by designating a space where all these items should be kept. Some hangers or a shelf near the front door will do wonders for your morning well-being.
Most important meal of the day. Hungry people are grumpy people. This is especially true of kids. A healthy breakfast is guaranteed to lift the spirits and set the mood for the entire day. To avoid battles with picky eaters, let your kids know in advance what their breakfast choices are.
No screens. And this goes for the kids as well as adults! Scrolling through social media or reading email first thing in the morning will not only stress you out, but also distract you and waste valuable time.
Me time. Wake up before everyone else (even a few minutes will do, for all you nightowls). Enjoy a quiet shower or drink a cup of coffee in silence, meditate, work out or read a few pages of a book. Starting the day before the rest of the family will make you feel in control of your day and will save you plenty of time in the long run.
Keep your lips sealed. Despite your best efforts, every now and then you will find yourself getting stressed. Remind yourself that this is only a temporary state and that yelling at the kids will only make things worse. To avoid losing your temper try taking a few deep breaths, stepping into another room for a moment to cool down or just laughing at the hopeless situation. Sometimes just a few seconds of pause can make all the diffference.
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