Most schools are back in session or are starting very soon. Our family homeschools and we started back on August 12th. Whether you homeschool, attend private school or attend public school, the morning rush can be hectic.
Having a hectic morning is good for no one. It causes cranky kids and a stressed mom.
Today we want to share a few tips to help calm the morning rush.
- Prepare what you can the night before. Have showers done at night, not morning, and have their clothes and back pack laid out and completely ready before they go to bed at night. This will trim your time down and help things go more smoothly. We get everything from undergarments to jewelry out. It really does help.
- Prepare breakfast ahead of time. If possible, spend a couple hours one morning and prepare a stock of breakfast burritos and pancakes and whatever else your children like to eat for breakfast and freeze it. It will make for a good, home cooked meal yet fast and easy morning. I do this for my husband too.
- Have a bedtime and stick to it. Kids need sleep. Have a set bedtime and make sure they are in bed at that time. If your child struggles with staying in bed, consider putting a lamp and books at their bedside and tell them they can read (or look through if they are younger) the books for 30 minutes then it's lights out and sleep. This was not only a life saving strategy when my girls were little, but also gave them a deep love of reading.
- Make sure you get to bed on time too. Not only do kids need sleep, but us mommies need sleep too. Have a bedtime for yourself and make sure you get to bed on time. Allow yourself at least 7 hours of sleep. I pretty much don't function on less than 8 hours, so every evening I figure out what time I need to go to bed in order to get 8 hours of sleep.
- Say no. If your family is too busy to get to bed on time, check your activities. Does something need to go? Does your family need to cut out an activity? Do you need to say no to something? It's okay to say no. It's even okay to say no to your kids' activities sometimes in order to get them the proper amount of sleep. When my kids seem to be really cranky, it is almost always because they haven't gotten enough down time at home or enough sleep. So sometimes we just have to say no.
- Rise before the kids. Get to bed early enough so that you can wake up earlier than your children. I am so not a morning person and will hit snooze on the alarm as many times as I can. But I've found that by rising before the kids, I can get so much done. I wake up 2 hours before the kids, I am able to shower and get completely ready, make my bed and pick up my bedroom and bathroom, and have a quiet time with God. Then, once it's time to wake the kids, I am free to make breakfast.
- Wake them slowly. My kids are not morning people, just like me. To help, I wake them slowly. 1 hour before they are to be up, I turn on the hallway light. 40 minutes before they are to be up, I turn on their bedside lamp and say something quietly to them, like, "good morning. It's almost time to get up," then I leave the room. 20 minutes before they are to be up, I open their window blinds so that the sunlight streams in and say good morning again. This allows for them to slowly and quietly wake up before their alarms buzz.
- Make time for God. A football player knows his game, knows his plays and is physically fit to play. Yet he always warms up before playing. That is what it is like having time with God in the morning. You know your family and your home, but when you spend time with God, you are warming up for your day. So be intentionally about spending time with God every morning.
- Make time for God together. Now that you are up and ready before the kids, you can prepare breakfast while they prepare for their day. Then sit down together for breakfast, even if it's just cold cereal, that's okay! As you eat, read a few Scriptures and pray. You can also play Christian music quietly. We have a radio in our kitchen that allows praise music to fill our home. Let this time with God together become a highlight in your family's day.
- Breathe. Not every day will be perfect. Your children will have bad days. You will have bad days. It's okay. Just breathe and move forward.
What are some ways you try to calm the morning rush in your home? Share your experiences with us.