Mornings are the bane of my existence.
My husband leaves early for work 3 days a week, so those days, it’s me by myself getting 3 kids out the door for preschool drop off at 8:25.
There’s silliness. Children not listening. Mommy yelling. Mommy apologizing. Kids running away and refusing to put their shoes on. Mommy a frazzled mess with half pajamas on and hair that’s a total mess.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I haaaaaaate yelling at my kids. I mean, sure, we all lose our cool. But the morning yelling is an awful way to start the day.
So I was very intentional about coming up with (AND STICKING TO!) a routine that works for us. When I follow this routine? There’s no yelling.
There’s calmness. There’s happy. My kids even listen better… I think they can sense it when I’m stressed!
Here are my tips for establishing a solid morning routine that’s stress-free.
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1) Have a Set Wake Up Time for Yourself
Wake up at (around) the same time every day, even on the weekends! It doesn’t have to be exact, BUT if you get up at 5:00 AM during the week and sleep until 9:00 on the weekends, it’s going to confuse your circadian rhythm
It’s hard to get up at 5:00 after sleeping in until 9:00 on the weekends!
I get up at 5:45 (ish!). On the weekends, I’ll sleep in until 6:30 or so, but no later.
2) Have a Set Wake Up Time for the Kids
I’m being completely serious. I have friends tell me that their kids come into their rooms demanding breakfast at 6:00 am.
That DOES NOT happen here.
My kids have a set bedtime, and they also have a set wake up time.
If they wake up early, they are allowed to read quietly in their beds, but they are not allowed out of their rooms until 7:30.
My kids are far from perfect, but when I am consistent with rules, they follow them. They stay in their rooms until their clocks turn green!
3) Wake Up at Least One Hour Prior to Your Kids
My kids get up at 7:30. I *strive* to get up at 5:45, but the absolute latest I will sleep is 6:30. Even on the weekends.
I desperately need time to myself each morning.
I need to have a hot cup of coffee, read a devotional, and plug away at my computer for a bit before my children demand my attention.
If I get time to myself in the morning, I have the energy to give them all of the attention they need, and I enjoy the chaos!
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4) Guzzle some H2O
Obviously, I’m drinking my coffee. I don’t start my day without coffee.
But you know what else I don’t start my day without?
I drink an entire glass of water before I have my coffee, and another full glass of water with my coffee.
It wakes me up and also makes me feel like a beacon of health. Woot woot.
5) Get Completely Ready Before the Kids Get Up
This is where I sometimes go wrong. There are many mornings that I get so caught up in work that all of a sudden it’s 7:15 and I have to get the kids up and start getting them ready to take Theo to school.
I throw clothes on, barely run a brush through my hair, and feel completely frazzled for the rest of the day.
I need to stop working with plenty of time to get myself ready.
This is easier than you think. I don’t shower in the morning, and only wash my hair twice a week.
It only takes me 30-minutes to get dressed, touch up my hair, and do a little bit of makeup.
6) Allow More Time Than You Think You Need
There is nothing that stresses me out MORE than running late.
Even the potential of running late is enough to make me take deep breaths to avoid yelling at my kids.
It takes about 30 minutes for me to get the kids all dressed and fed. I allow 40 minutes.
Our plan is to walk out the door at 8:10 to get Theo to school. School starts at 8:25, and it literally takes 7 minutes to walk or 5 minutes to buckle the kids in the van and drive. I really don’t need to walk out the door until 8:18.
I allow plenty. of. time. so that I never stress about being late!
Unless, you know, I get caught up doing work and don’t get them up on time, haha! But then the only person I have to blame is myself!
7) Get the Kids Completely Ready Before Breakfast
I like the idea of my kids having breakfast in their pajamas. This way, if they spill something, it gets on their pajamas, not on their clothes for the day.
But you know what I don’t like??
My kids whining and refusing to cooperate about getting dressed. Every day after breakfast, they’d run around acting silly and not getting their clothes on.
I finally had enough.
New rule: they use the potty and get dressed before they come downstairs. There is no playing or breakfast allowed until they are ready for the day!
And you know what? It has made our mornings so much smoother! Theo has even noticed that some mornings he has time to play after breakfast because he’s already dressed and ready for the day!
It’s been an absolutely genius change.
And if they spill something? A wet wipe takes care of that!
My Current Morning Routine
- 5:45: Wake up, drink water, do a morning devotional
- 6:00 My husband gets up at 6:00 and makes me coffee/empties half of the dishwasher (Theo gets the stuff he can reach)
- 6:00-7:00: Morning work session. I usually get together an Instagram post if I’m posting that day, and create Pins for blog posts.
- 6:30: Hubby leaves for the day
- 7:00: Get myself ready for the day!
- 7:30: Wake kids up, get them dressed. Theo is ready first and empties the rest of the dishwasher while I’m helping the girls get dressed
- 7:45: Feed kids breakfast and pack Theo’s snack
- 8:05: Have kids get shoes on
- 8:10: Head out the door to drop Theo off at preschool!
I don’t eat breakfast myself until we get home from dropping Theo off, or I make a shake and bring it with me if we’re going somewhere after. I just can’t eat first thing!
On Monday and Friday my husband works from home and likes to walk Theo to school. Sometimes, my morning routine gets off because I don’t have to get ready.
I’ve made it a priority to keep my routine going strong even on days when I have extra help from my husband! This makes it so so so much easier to stick to my routine during the rest of the week!
I hope these tips help you. Since I’ve started sticking to them hardcore, my mornings have improved drastically.
If I fall off the wagon and don’t follow all of these steps? My morning is always a disaster!
Let’s take back our mornings and start the day out right!