5 Tips for A Stress Free Start to Your Day for Busy Parents
I like to be organised. Sometimes a little too organised or so my hubby tells me!!! I thrive on routine and having plans in place, as does my family. Over the years we have developed a morning routine that works well for us. A smooth and stress free morning is so important for everyone. The way a morning goes really can dictate your mood for the day ahead. Plus it is extremely important for children to arrive at school, ready to learn without any added anxiety or frustration that a rushed and hectic morning can cause (you can read more about importance of this in my tips for a successful school year and tips for preparing your child for school ).
5 Tips for a Great Morning!
Hopefully one or two of these tips may help your morning run smoothly.
1. Prepare the night before: make lunches, pack school bags, lay out clothes, sign school forms etc the night before. Once homework is complete I encourage my son to repack his bag and make sure everything is in it and I sign forms, notes etc then and pop any money needed for school into an envelope and into his school bag immediately so that I don’t forget. Backpacks are left by the door ready for the morning. When I was working outside of the home full time and both children were in childcare full time we had the same routine, and it really is a huge help for getting out the door on time each day.
2. Get up a little earlier: I know, not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you have been up late or up with a little one during the night! However, I swear by this tip myself. I try and get up about 30-45 minutes before everyone else, not the easiest thing to do on these dark and cold mornings but I feel it is worth it. I use this time to ease myself into the day. I take a shower, get dressed, put make-up on, do my hair etc without interruptions and by the time everyone else is emerging from their beds I feel like I am ready for the day ahead. I usually try and make my to do list for the day at this stage too.
3. Use check-lists or picture charts: My kids use a simple picture chart checklist each morning. This helps them to see what they need to do in order to be ready for school. We use a shop bought one but there are some really great printable versions available on other blogs and websites such as this great checklist from The Educators’ Spin On It and this lovely simple picture chart from The Pleasantest Thing. Another fantastic printable morning routine is this one from I Heart Organizing. I find that these are a great motivation for my kids. It stops me having to nag, I just point to the chart as a reminder plus I usually offer a little reward for having the list completed, typically it is a chance to watch a cartoon before school!
4. Eat breakfast: This is something I really used to struggle with when I was heading out to work everyday! Often I would forget to eat being too busy rushing around the place, but by the time I dropped the kids off at nursery and got to work I was tired and irritable. I now make time for breakfast everyday. It is a priority now. I sit down with the children, have a coffee, cereal, oatmeal, toast or whatever takes my fancy and enjoy breakfast while the kids happily munch their way through their weetabix and toast with chocolate butter or boiled eggs! It calms things down, ensures everyone is starting the day with a full tummy and sets us all up for a great day ahead. By the way, if time for breakfast is not always possible then I have to say that the Belvita Breakfast biscuits I received as a free sample for entering the Belvita #MorningWin Challenge are absolutely gorgeous and perfect for breakfast on the run! My particular favourite are the Apricot variety with my all important mug of Americano, while my children absolutely love the Choc Chip (Learn more at http://bit.ly/belVitaUK )!
5. Keep calm: Easier said than done on some occasions, oh boy do I know it. But snapping at the kids and barking orders is not helping anyones mood and really doesn’t help to get things done more quickly! Take a deep breath, assess the situation, decide does it really matter if the dishes make it into the dishwasher or not. Prioritise what needs to be done – breakfast, teeth, coats, into the car – or whatever it will take to get you all out the door without losing your temper or sanity and without tears from you or them!!! Once you’re on your way remember that there is nothing that you can do about traffic or weather so keep calm, you’ll there (eventually), safely and in a good mood!
There’s always room for improvement in our routine so I’d love to hear from you! What tips would you give for a stress free morning?
This post is an entry for #MorningWin Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at http://bit.ly/belVitaUK