There were dishes to be done, schoolwork to be found, kids who needed clothes picked out, beds that needed to be made, breakfast to be served (more dishes), and I was already feeling an overwhelming sense of anxiety and my day had not even begun! If you’ve ever been there, feeling overwhelmed first thing in the morning, it can sabotage your attitude and accomplishments for the remainder of the day. If this sounds familiar, dear friend, I’d like to share a few tips that have helped me “take back” my mornings.
Tips for taking back your mornings
- Make a list: Take a few minutes and sit down and make a list of the things that take the most time in the mornings and see which of those items you can do the night before.
- Create a “night routine”: Once you’ve determined what items you can do the night before, create a night routine that includes setting aside time to complete these tasks. For me, the things that help me out in the morning are the following:
- Always clean the kitchen before bed! Dishes done (and put away), counters wiped down and garbage out. (My husband is a HUGE help with this one.)
- Set out breakfast (and if possible, prepare breakfast) the night before. My kids love muffins and breakfast bread, so on the mornings that we will have those, I bake them the night before. They’re ready to go when my kids are up and hungry. I also set out my coffee mug and make sure our coffee maker is ready to go in the morning. (Priorities, right?)
- Pack lunches the night before. I homeschool our kids, but lunch still goes SO much smoother when I have the kids (and my) lunch prepared the night before. And, it takes the guesswork out of “what’s for lunch?”
- Have your kids set their clothes out for the next day before they go to bed. I set my clothes out to save me time each morning as well.
- Get any schoolwork needed for the next day set out and ready. Since we homeschool, for me that means getting all the books, papers, and resources that I’ll need for the next day’s lesson set out and ready. (Along with sharpened pencils and art supplies if necessary). If your kiddos go to school, this could consist of checking their backpacks and having everything packed and set by the door ready to go in the morning.
- Checking my calendar for any upcoming events, birthdays, appointments, etc.
- Get up and ready BEFORE your kids are up! I know, I know. This one is sometimes HARD! We as moms are typically the ones who get the least sleep; however, starting your day with some peace and quiet and having time to get yourself ready before the chaos of the day begins can be life-giving. This is one I struggle with but when I get in a good routine of getting up at least an hour before my kids it ALWAYS pays off, and I need to keep that at the front of my mind when my early morning alarm goes off. I enjoy having my first cup of coffee in peace (while it’s still hot) and taking some time to read or check my calendar for the day.
- Have your kids help. During the week my two oldest girls (11 & 6) know that before they come downstairs for breakfast, they have to first make their beds, get dressed for the day, and take any dirty clothes from their room to the laundry. Giving your kids morning chores also helps them start their day with a sense of accomplishment and gives them confidence in their ability to do things for themselves.
- Give yourself grace! Motherhood has “seasons” and when you’ve got babies, you’re focused on meeting their needs. When you have toddlers, you’re just trying to keep those crazy little people alive and the “chaos” doesn’t end there. Give yourself GRACE friend. There will be days when your mornings run so smoothly you consider running for President (or managing a Chick-fil-A). Then there will be “those days” when you’re dropping your kid off at school in your PJs, praying that you have enough gas to get to the school, with your toddler screaming in the backseat when you realize that your child who is going to school has no shoes on and you wonder if you’re even qualified to raise these humans.