How To Make Your Mornings Magical: No, Really. I’m Asking…How?

I’ve been reading {aka trolling the internet} looking for tips on how to make our mornings magical. You know, like the ones you see on TV, where everyone wakes up all happy and you have breakfast together complete with eggs, pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice. Everyone chit chats and then pleasantly gets dressed and heads out the door to school and work humming a merry tune.

Yeah…I want that.

Instead our mornings are NUTSO.  Like, cover you ears, because the screaming {both happy and mad} can be heard all the way in Canada.

The internet is full of moms with tips on getting out the door on time, but I find them not-so-helpful.

Like one mom, who said she has her kids wear their school clothes to bed so she doesn’t have to dress them in the morning. Um…yeah…she must not have a kid whose diaper leaks on a nightly basis or a first grader that sweats buckets while he sleeps.

Or the music thing…yeah…I don’t think I could handle another sound in our already LOUD house in the mornings.

So I’m back to the drawing board, trying to find a solution to our morning mayhem, because this isn’t the way to start a good day.

Let me lay out the scenario for you, so you can get a better feel for my suffering and that of my family:


brook Morning TimeI wake up at the crack of dawn, before the birds and sun in order to hit the gym. After-work gym sessions are a no-go due to kids’ sports and that dreaded dinner-making, so I have to squeeze it in when I can.

I’m home by 7 {hopefully} at which time everyone is awake and ready to eat.

Immediately the three year old asks the inevitable question, “stay-home day?”

I dread answering this and try to change the subject, but he persists until eventually I just tell him “it’s a see-your-friends-at-school day.” At which point, he throws himself to the floor and starts screaming. See, I told you … screaming.

“I feel your pain, little man,” I think to myself as I proceed to tick him off more by exposing his toasty bum to the cold morning air for a diaper change.

All his fussing has awoken my oldest, who stumbles into the room demanding food.

Sometimes the hubs will get them cereal and sometimes I will. Note that I said cereal, because we need to be out the door by 7:50 at the latest and pancakes don’t cook in the thirty seconds.

During this time someone will start complaining about cereal choices or that they aren’t hungry just yet… cue another meltdown.

At this point, with two boys melting down, I’m about ready to lay in the fetal position on the floor and have my own.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the clock now reads 7:20 and I still haven’t showered?

I finally shower, which is my refuge from this meltdown storm. Only to be intruded upon by a three year old who doesn’t want daddy, he just wants me for no other reason than to cuddle, which is impossible because I’m in the SHOWER.

Emerging from the shower, the three year old immediately takes up residence on my leg, clutching it like a little kitten.

While the hubs is making the big kid a peanut butter sandwich (because mozzarella sticks are not lunch, they are an appetizer…nor are nachos in my opinion). He makes sure homework is done, and in the backpack, while trying tear the big kid away from his LEGOS so he will get dressed.

I am pulling together an outfit that hopefully coordinates and trying not to forget underwear, with my little passenger still attached to my leg.

Finally dressed, we say our goodbyes and give kisses as we fly out the door.

Safely buckled in the car we are ready to roll, only to discover {as I’m halfway down the block} that we forgot blankie and kitty.

Turn around in neighbor’s driveway.

Pull car back in our driveway.

Get out of car.

Run around house searching for blankie and kitty. Only to find them lying on the bench next to the garage door where I had put them earlier so we wouldn’t forget them.

Then run back out the door and head to preschool.

It’s now 7:55.



By the time I make my way downtown, drop the little kid off at school {shaking him off my leg as I leave} I’m in the car and headed to work at 8:15.

{Keep in mind this is only half of the drop-off story, because the hubs is in charge of depositing the big kid at school, which is an adventure too.}

I roll into the office at 8:30, where I can FINALLY enjoy a cup of coffee in silence, and start the easier part of my day.

As you can see, our mornings are anything but perfect.

So, if you have any magical morning tips to share I’d love to hear them, but just keep ‘em realistic…and don’t expect me to make pancakes.

Brook {without the "e"} is a spunky faux redhead and former UI grad who has decided to call Iowa City her home for over 10 years. She met her husband on the internet, and they spend their days playing superheroes with their two boys, Edison (2007) and Grant (2010). She juggles mom life with a full-time job as a marketing consultant, competing in triathlons and writing her heart out on her personal blog She believes life is a journey, not a destination.


  1. I should say I am a bit shocked that no one has left you any comments yet – I figured by this time of the day there would be a whole bunch of ideas thrown around. Well, I will give you a few – I am a fellow morning hater and though I am blessed to be able to stay home so (most of) my mornings are not too rushed, I do have a few ideas.

    My number one thing is to do as much as you can before. Here are a few ideas:

    1. Pick out clothes the night before or even all the outfits on the weekends (some use a cubby system for this)

    2. Make ahead breakfast – muffins and things can be made the night before or even put them in the freezer (once a month maybe) and then just set them out the night before. Your kids can learn to just grab these and it will at least curb the meltdown. You can also cook pancakes (I know you said no pancakes but hear me out) and freeze them, then just pop them in the toaster and you have 30 second pancakes! This can also be done with waffles if you prefer…think cheap Ego. Also, you are leaving in the morning (does you husband get up 20-30 minutes later?) you could pre-make breakfast burritos or such and pop them in the oven on your way out the door and then he could pull them out. You might also try a little variation – yogart, toast, bagels, English muffins, etc. Even having a set day of the week for each food might help mix it up but keep it simple at the same time.

    3. Would your husband be willing to get the kids up a little earlier?? That way maybe they could be dressed (if you have their clothes laid out maybe they could dress themselves) and possibly have food in front of them when you arrive home. That would allow you to jump in the shower while they eat.

    Overall, my suggestion is to do as much as you can before and to make as many things into a routine as you can so that everyone knows what to do and what to expect. I will pray for your mornings to find some peace 🙂 And hey, maybe if the screaming stops you can put on some music for everyone to dance to 🙂 Good luck!

    • I love all your ideas, Christy! I’ve seen some cool breakfast muffins on Pinterest, made with egg, sausage, hashbrowns, cheese, etc. that would be fun to try. I am always so relieved when I make food ahead of time and then have it on hand when things get stressful. I’m going to try to do that more often. 🙂

  2. Keep the ideas coming. I can only commiserate with you right now as I seem to have given birth to a teenage daughter whose only in preschool. I’m trying the cubby/set out clothes night before and so far that helps alleviate some of it morning tantrums.

  3. I dread mornings! I get everyone’s clothes out the night before and my 5 year old can dress herself. Whether she will or not, that’s another story… I drop off both kids so I. am. always. late. The big kid gets left at school first and she wants one more kiss, or a hug from the baby. Ahhhh!!! I keep thinking it will get better as she gets older but it seems to be worse!

  4. I make up individual bags of items (bunnies or goldfish, veggies straws, grapes, etc) for my son’s lunch ahead on Sundays when I’m putting away groceries or while watching TV and throw them in the pantry or fridge–it saves a bit of time, plus he can grab what he wants, which helps on weekday mornings when I’m making the rest of his lunch.

    We’ve also implemented a rule: no TV until you’re completely ready for school–eat breakfast, brush hair/teeth, get dressed (including socks and shoes)! This is a great motivator for my kindergartener. Most days he has enough time to watch a show before school, but if he doesn’t get everything done in time, he doesn’t throw a fit, because he knows it’s up to him to have the time. I have a one-year-old as well, so I also just need to make sure I get up early–usually by 5:45–so I can get in a shower before she wakes up!

  5. I am loving these ideas!! I dread mornings with school starting…add to the normal craziness daily meds my daughter (6) needs that she fights me on I plan to put some of these ideas to use…now I just need help with meds…


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