The school year is just around the corner and it’s almost guaranteed to throw your family into a bit of chaos as you all adjust to a new morning routine. Whether you and your kid(s) thrive with a strict routine or like to fly by the seat of your pants, there are a few simple things that can help everyone start the day smoother!
Here are 5 easy and realistic tips to help you create a morning routine that works for everyone:
1. Make Breakfast DIY
I am a big advocate of kid independence and leadership. If you adjust your grocery list to include mom-approved breakfast items that kids can make or grab on their own, you will eliminate a major pain point in the typical morning routine. Think outside the cereal box and stock things like whole wheat toaster waffles with peanut butter or yogurt with granola to give your kids options. Better yet, enjoy some time on Saturday or Sunday morning preparing breakfast items that can simply be reheated on chaotic school-days.
It only takes me about 15 minutes to whip up these egg cups and it’s a game changer to be able to offer my kids a protein-packed breakfast that I feel good about without dirtying a pan or turning on the stove every morning! Bonus because I use whatever meat and veggies happen to be in my fridge–some of our favorite add-ins are chopped deli meat, broccoli, riced cauliflower, or diced sweet potato! Store egg cups in an airtight container in the fridge and zap them for 30 seconds each at breakfast time. Here are some great freezer pancakes or freezer burritos to add to the rotation too.
2. Play Fun, Upbeat Music
The right music can pep up any morning routine. Try making a playlist of your favorite kid-friendly tunes to make slow mornings more exciting and encourage upbeat attitudes. You can even use the music to help track time and cue your kids where they should be in their routine by each song (i.e. “You should be done eating breakfast by the time this song ends” or “By THIS song, you should be putting on your shoes”). Here are some great ideas for songs your whole family will love.
3. Set Out Clothes the Night Before
This makes life so much easier because there is no arguing about what to wear or wasting time looking for socks. The kids already know what to put on for the day and (again) you can foster independence! It’s also great for young kids that need help making appropriate clothing selections so you can narrow it down together as part of your bedtime routine, avoiding the potential meltdown the next day. Bonus if you find BOTH shoes and set them by the door the night before, too! 😉
4. Wake Up Before the Kids
This is the hardest thing for me, especially when I’ve been up with a little one during the night. I’ve found it incredibly helpful to plug in my phone (which I use as my alarm) outside my bedroom or at least out of reach from my cozy bed so when my alarm rings I am less likely to snooze it. Making the effort to get up before my kids has a major impact on my day–and I think it will on yours, too! I love this simple and effective 3-step process to setting a positive tone to your day.
Waking up even 10 minutes before your kids wake gives you time to shake off your own grogginess and greet your children with intention. Starting the day with a simple “I’m happy to see you!” sets them on the right path for a positive day. It’s mutually beneficial, and once you start the habit you’ll notice the undeniable difference in attitude as you go through the morning routine.
5. Leave a Bag of Basics in the Car
No matter how much we plan, there are always those mornings where you find yourself running late, and inevitably your kids “forgot” to do something no matter how many times you reminded them. It is a total lifesaver to have a simple stash of items in the car for just those occasions. As we kick off a new school year, do yourself a favor and throw together a small bag or tub with a hairbrush, hair ties, lotion, mouthwash or disposable toothbrushes, a few cereal bars, and baby wipes to keep in your car. It’ll come in handy, I promise!
If you try these tips–or have others to share–please leave us a comment on Facebook so we can all master our mornings together as we transition into the new school year. And remember, you got this!