As a mom with 3 children, two of whom need to get to school (on time, mind you) 5 days during the week, it is important that the morning run smoothly. Nothing sets my day on the wrong path like a chaotic and disorganized morning. If I don't sleep well or miss the alarm... If something interrupts my morning routine or something as simple as not having an ingredient for breakfast that I was counting on (how could I NOT have planned for that!) ... If someone wakes up grumpy and we butt heads or if time gets away from me and all of a sudden we are running late...
Maybe ONE of these on it's own I can handle, but any combination of these day-crushing phenomena can severely impact how I approach the day, my mood and overall effectiveness as a mom, wife, health coach or any other hat I need to wear that day. Before I know it, I am being short with everyone and caught in a frantic desperation to get everyone out of the door on time. I might even be muttering under my breath while I herd kids to the car like a sheep dog.
Somewhere in the ensuing craziness my "Good Morning, Buttercup," became "MOVE YOUR BEHIND OUT THE DOOR!" and even if I do manage to get everyone off to school on time, I am left not feeling all that great about how it went down.
I know I am not alone in having experienced a morning or a dozen like this.
But this article isn't about me or focused all that much on moms for that matter. (Hey, I did that already! See How a Busy Mom Starts a Healthy Day!)
This is actually about the other people who are negatively effected by a chaotic morning: the kids. Sometimes I sort of feel like maybe they are just happy I got them to their destination without having to sign in for a late pass, but I am probably kidding myself.
On a chaotic morning, I can actually feel the tension in my body. If that is true for me, it is true for my kids as well.
I don't think as clearly and make snap decisions with a little more anger behind them than I would prefer if we have had a crazy morning. If that is true for me, it is true for my kids as well.
A rough morning has the potential to blow my whole day. If that is true for me, that can very well be true to my kids as well.
Even when the morning has passed, I am still left feeling some regret and sadness that things didn't go better. If that is true for me, it is true for my kids as well.
For all the reasons I want a morning to be calm and organized for my own benefit, that is doubly true knowing that it has major benefits for my mini mob as well.
So what is true for kids if they have a calm and organized morning?
- Knowing what to expect.
- Feelings of safety
- Feeling in control.
- Better mood.
- More focus
- Stress free
- Better time management
- Improved outlook on the day
The better the morning goes, the more of a win-win it is for everyone.
So how can we make sure our kids have that calm & organized morning?
Here are three SIMPLE things that will help your kids have a calm and organized morning:
1. Lay out tomorrow's clothes.
As a grown woman, there is no greater time-suck than not being able to decide on what to wear. This is true for kids, too. Even more than that, when the kids pick out their clothes the night before (or you pick them out) you can get any, "You are NOT wearing that to school," arguments out of the way and resolved before the morning. Everything is decided on and this little portion of the morning can go off without a hitch.
Something to do before this healthy habit could be checking the weather together to help decide what kind of outfit would be best. A kid-friendly weather app on a shared iPad would work or something you are already using. Whatever it takes, deciding on an outfit for the next day is a great way to help the morning run smoothly. Laying out tomorrow's clothes is a task that is handled and done before the day even begins. You can check this off as getting ahead!
2. Turn off the tech devices at a set time and....
There are so many studies that tell us that too much time on our phones, tablets, laptops and time spent in front of the TV interferes with our sleep. We can not expect our kids to "rise and shine" if they aren't getting quality sleep. So a good thing to do is put a reasonable limit on the use of tech devices. An hour before bedtime is a great time to put all devices in a another room to charge. This allows the children to unwind and start to relax before bed.
What to do with that hour before bed? This is the perfect time for nighttime yoga, to stretch, read, journal or anything else that helps promote a calm, relaxed state of being before tucking everyone in for the night.
The better the kids sleep, the better morning they will have. Simple as that.
3. Get up first.
As the parent who controls and directs the flow of the morning, we can't expect things to get started right unless we are up first and ready for the day. We need a little time to get our "game face" on. Getting up even just a few minutes before the kids allows us to get breakfast started, pour the water into everyone's glass or just simply be awake enough to create a calm and organized setting. Some of the things I like to have done before the kids wake up are:
- turn on my essential oil diffuser
- set intentions for the day
- heat the water for tea
- begin cooking breakfast
- pack up lunches
Most important I am fully awake, not groggy and grumpily coming out of my sleep. I am awake and aware and ready to greet my kids with a smile and a good morning kiss. I never realized how important this step is to having a calm, organized and happy morning until a morning I oversleep and the children get up first on a school day. That never results in a pretty morning.
These are three very easy habits that you can add to your healthy lifestyle to make sure your little humans can wake up bright-eyed and bush-tailed, walking into a calm, organized and positive morning.
Remember, as a super busy mom myself, I know that sometimes kickstarting a healthier lifestyle can be overwhelming.
But if I can do it, you can do it!
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Thanks for reading!
Eat well, be well,