How To Have A Stress Free Morning Routine As A Mom
Hey, mama. Is your morning routine a little stressful? A lot stressful?
If your mornings are like those of many other moms, you’re flying by the seat of your pants from the time your feet hit the floor until you walk out the door (probably at least a few minutes late, right?)
Mornings don’t have to be so hard. When I worked outside of the home for a few years, I simplified my own morning routine so that I could get ready for the day in a stress free way. As a result I was less frustrated during my commute and less frazzled when I arrived at work. (Oh, and my kids were happier and more cooperative. Probably should have led with that, right?)
There is no need to rush through your morning routine haphazardly when a little time management is all it takes to start your day in a smooth and productive way. Yes, even when you have kids!
A Good Morning Starts the Night Before
The best way to simplify your morning routine is to get your evening routine in gear. A few minutes spent planning ahead in the evenings can save you from being behind all day the next day.
Here are a list of things to do the night before in order to simplify your morning routine:
Pick out what you’ll wear the next day from undies to shoes.
Do the same with your children. Every person you’re responsible for in the morning should know what he or she is wearing the next day before going to bed at night.
While doing this on a nightly basis is a great start toward an easier morning routine, work up to picking out clothing for the week on Sunday evening. I began doing this when I returned to full time work and it’s a sanity saver, for sure!
Make lunches the night before.
Let preschool aged and older children help you make their lunches. Never spend your precious morning time making lunches. Once you get used to making lunches every night, start planning lunches for the week on Sunday night so that you know exactly what’s going in the lunch bag every day.
Plan your breakfast the night before.
Know what you’re having the next morning so you can adjust your wake up time based on how long it takes to make breakfast.
Again, planning a weekly breakfast menu is a great idea for streamlining your morning routine. The ultimate way to lessen breakfast-making minutes is to cook large batches of your family’s favorite breakfast foods and freeze them.
Gamify your morning routine.
I like to attempt to beat my best time at getting ready in the morning. To play this game, just write down your morning routine to the minute. Each day try to beat your best time. You’ll quickly see the areas where you can cut corners. You’ll begin to focus in on priorities, as well.
If you have a competitive spirit, this makes morning fun and more productive. Anytime you save is time you can have for stress-reducing activities such as a longer shower, drinking your coffee while it’s still hot, or having a morning quiet time.
Make the next day’s to-do list before bed.
This simple step will allow you to rest better, because you won’t spend the night going over the next day in your head. Before going to sleep, dump the next day’s tasks from your brain onto paper or into your favorite to-do list app and be done with tomorrow until tomorrow.
The Morning Routine
Before you can streamline your morning routine, you need to know what’s taking too much time and what’s not getting enough attention in the morning. For a day or two, record how long certain morning tasks are taking to accomplish. Decide which tasks are a priority. Remove the rest from your morning routine.
Here are my tips for a stress-free morning routine:
1. No electronics until you’ve showered, gotten dressed, made breakfast, etc. Once everything is done, you can sit down with your breakfast and check emails or watch the news.
2. No phone calls at all, unless there is an emergency. Do not talk on your phone while you’re getting ready in the morning. Also — and this could be a tough one — No.Social.Media unless you get ready quickly and have time to spare!
3. Get up earlier. Just do it. Start with 15 minutes earlier, move up to 30 minutes. Eventually you will have time to incorporate meditation, scripture reading or your favorite spiritual practice into your morning routine. This will benefit you all day.
4. Put your keys, work bag, children’s backpacks, etc in the same convenient place every day. You should be able to grab and go within seconds and know that everything you need it already in your bag and that the children have what they need in their backpacks.
5. Don’t wash and dry your hair every day. If you have a hairstyle that requires a lot of time in the morning, you have two choices – change your hairstyle or get up earlier. Stop letting your hair make you late.
6. Set a goal time for leaving the house. It is very important that you write down your morning routine to the minute. At first, estimate how long it takes you to shower, make breakfast, get dressed, etc. Write out a schedule. You can adjust the schedule if you find that something takes more or less time than you thought. Write the schedule based on your desired time to walk out the door. (Help your children to make a morning schedule, as well.) See below for my morning schedule.