Oh how I love the lazy, no-rush mornings of summer. The kids have no specific time they need to wake up and we have nowhere specific to go. As summer comes to a halt I am not ready to give up quiet mornings for the rushed start of a typical school day. Does any one else scurry about the house getting dressed, prepped and fed before heading out the door?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of manic mornings that feel like a super-crazed blur. I’d prefer to start the day in a calm, peaceful manner that leaves time for smiles, hugs and lots of joy.
If you feel the stress of a rushed morning read the tips below. Then create a new morning plan to ease happily into your day.
Prepare the Night Before
Pack lunches, prepare afternoon snacks and pick out clothes and shoes the night before school. In fact, prepare for the entire week, if you can, on Sunday. Look at the forecast and choose five weather appropriate outfits for each child. Separate the outfits using a clothes organizer like the Household Essentials Cedarline Collection 6-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer available on Amazon. Place Monday’s outfit on the first shelf, Tuesday’s on the second, etc. until you have a complete outfit for each day. When your child wakes up he or she will simply grab clothes off the highest shelf that still contains items; ensuring there won’t be any more arguing about what to wear.
You can prepare lunches in a similar fashion. If your child likes grapes wash a bunch of them in advance and portion them out for the week. You can do the same with other fruits and snacks like raisins and crackers. Believe it or not you can even make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in advance and freeze them. During the week you simply pull out the portioned items and add them to your child’s lunchbox. Pack the lunchbox the night before and it’ll be all ready for the morning.
Create a Special Place for Everything You Need
Create a place for everything you need right beside the door. This Home Styles Naples Hall Tree, sold by Amazon, would be the perfect place to store hats, gloves, backpacks and other every day necessities.
Place a laminated checklist above this spot and mark things off as you prepare. Do you have books and homework packed, permission slips signed and lunch or lunch money ready to go? Before turning out the lights and heading to bed make certain you see a check mark next to each item. If the list is not complete take the time to gather the remaining items you need for the next day.
Leave an additional checkbox for food related items and anything else that can’t be placed in this spot overnight. Review the list so you won’t forget to grab your lunch from the fridge before you go.
Make Breakfast Easy
Ask your child what he or she would like to eat for breakfast and set the plates and cups out on the table the night before. If your child is too young to pour a gallon of milk without spilling it, invest in a small child-sized pitcher that will be easier to handle. Make certain the choices for breakfast aren’t too difficult to prepare. Some options, like waffles and pancakes, can be made on the weekend and stored in the fridge until the kids are ready to eat them.
A lot of kids will eat anything shaped like a muffin. Consider preparing zucchini muffins or even muffin shaped scrambled eggs. The Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Muffin Pans with Lids are the perfect option for advance preparation. You can make a batch on the weekend, put the lid on top and store the entire pan directly in the fridge. You can find these and other similar items on Amazon.
Listen to Music
If you think it should take your child ten minutes to brush his teeth, comb his hair, and get dressed each morning then create a play list of your child’s favorite music that is roughly ten minutes long. Tell him you’ll start the music as soon as he wakes and let him know he’ll need to be downstairs and ready for breakfast when the music ends.
Make sure the music is upbeat so your child will feel good about hopping out of bed to start his morning. You can create another playlist for breakfast time. When the music stops its time to load into the car or head out to the school bus.
The Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker can easily connect to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth-enabled device. Keep one upstairs for the initial wake-up sequence and another one on the kitchen table. The sound quality is quite incredible for this little speaker and it is bound to get everyone happily dancing in their chairs.
Treasure the Time Together
If you plan properly you won’t find yourself rushing through the morning activities and might actually find a little extra time for hugs and cuddles. My son is so much happier when I wake him up softly and slowly. Ask your child how he or she might like to greet you in the morning. Does he want to be tickled, snuggled or maybe even read a book? Wake him a few minutes earlier than normal if necessary, but don’t skip this step. When your child boards the bus you want him to feel rested, relaxed and loved.
You can end the frazzled feeling of manic mornings with advance preparation. If you need a little help search for the products mentioned above at Amazon.com.