Home Organization

Beat Manic Mornings

Some have already gone back to school or will be in the next week or so.  While the kids on the Jersey shore know the new school year is just around the corner.  Today’s post was inspired by thepeacefulmom.com. It has been a long time since I had anyone going back to school but I do remember some of the tricks which helped this crazy busy single mom stay sane (okay, maybe only a little).

Transitioning from summer days to the schedule of the school year can be rough.  Belinda always had a schedule even in the summer because of sports (gymnastics, field hockey and cheering) but she was definitely NOT a morning person.  So the first step was adjusting from the late nights and late mornings to early to bed, early to rise.  When she was younger, we started about 2 weeks before school started with moving bedtime up about a 1/2 hour every few days until the time school started, she was going to be at her required bedtime.  No it wasn’t easy and many days it was a fight BUT when the school year started it was a little bit easier.

Here are some tips to to help you send your kids back to school and make mornings a little less crazy at your house.  You can take a few pro-active steps to reduce the stress and chaos.

Prepare the Night Before

Generally anything you can do the night before will help to relieve stress in the morning. Kids should pack backpacks, make lunch, choose clothing and pick up after themselves. Mom can make sure all permission slips and forms are signed and all homework makes it back into the backpack, then set the table for breakfast (or at least think about what the kids will eat the next morning).  I know this sounds like a lot of work after a long day especially for the single mommas BUT it does help.  I know breakfast is the most important part of the day but it was not Belinda’s favorite meal and she hated eating in the morning.  The key was to have some grab and go things she could eat while getting ready or on the way to the bus stop.

Gather Your Gear

Having one central spot for everything is key.  It makes heading out the door a snap. Place backpacks, shoes, library books, lunch money, permission slips, etc. on and around an entry way table or in bins or baskets inside your entryway closet. No more searching for lost keys or forms you need to sign.  Ours was the counter in between the kitchen and the living room.  This way we could see everything on the way out either the front or the back door.

Create a Morning Routine for the Kids

Routines are the key to making your mornings run smoothly. It started with a routine for me.  Up early to get ready for work then get Belinda up.  Probably making a list of everything your kids need to do, creating a checklist they can mark as they accomplish each task would work for some but we weren’t list makers.  If you have kids who are too young to ready, use pictures.  If we had multiple kids, this would have been a definite to do.  A chart inside a plastic page protector so your child can use a dry erase marker then erase the marks each day. A great way to teach kids responsibility while ensuring you are not running around like a crazy women trying to get everything done in the morning.

Use Rewards

Use whatever your kid loves (watching TV, playing on the computer, playing video games) as a reward for when he gets ready ahead of schedule. In other words, no playtime until he’s done what he needs to.  

Get Ready First

This was always huge for me.  The fact I was a morning person made the difference.  It was easy for me to be up at 5AM to get what I wanted done before I woke up Belinda.  If you aren’t a morning person, you need at least a few minutes before the kids wake up to gather your thoughts and start your day well. Creating a routine for yourself is imperative for sane mornings.  Believe me the 10 minutes or so of quiet time to drink your coffee will make a big difference in the way your day goes.

What is your best tips for a sane morning when school starts?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Unclutter Your Life

Let’s Conquer Mornings

unnamed-3

WOOHOO! It is Wednesday.  Is today your HUMP day?  How is your week going – are you trying to do everything perfectly or have you adopted the themed611bf721ab94878a442585c3833400dAre you a morning person? Or does the thought have you running in fear?  I am sure I heard a few of you say ‘Ugh!’

I used to be a morning person.  One of those cheerful people who hopped out of bed at o’dark hundred ready to conquer the day.  Yes, I was much younger and drank massive amounts of coffee.  Then I got a little older, okay, a lot older, developed a few health issues and now, mornings are a struggle.

Despite sleeping in till about 6AM, I strive for a peaceful, purposeful morning.  I am no longer the one who flips on the TV to catch the news or has the radio blaring while I dance around the kitchen.  I am more into the peaceful, no noise, get up before anyone else kind of person.

These things have helped me on those mornings when I feel sleep deprived and the morning is just a necessary evil in my life:

3b1a9527609740c8bfbc9a671f1a513b

#1 – Have a purpose.  First, on days you know, you will have trouble getting out of bed, go to bed on time so you get enough sleep.  I know it is tough with a thousand things you need to do but believe me you will find mornings a little bit more tolerable.  Then find something to look forward to every morning which will get you out from under the covers earlier.

Maybe it is drinking a cup of coffee while reading, journaling while listening to music, or listening to a podcast while taking a walk. For me, it is quiet time with my coffee and my devotions to set a positive tone for the day.

If you wake up just 20 to 30 minutes earlier then everyone else, you can squeeze in a few minutes of your favorite activity before the craziness of the day.  Help your kids start off the day on a positive note too with a fun morning ritual like reading part of a funny book or doing a few simple exercises together while listening to crazy music.  Maybe it will make mornings a little easier for them too.

#2 Plan Ahead

Remember your mom saying “make sure you lay out your clothes for the next day”? Wasn’t it a less stressful way to start your day?  When you prepare as much as possible the night before, mornings are little less crazy.  Lay out the kids’ (and your) clothes; write your top 3 to-do’s for the next day; make lunches; gather your purse, keys and everyone’s backpacks in a central location, etc. Think about what causes you stress or takes up a lot of time and take care of those tasks before going to bed.  Believe it or not, a few minutes spent each evening can completely save your sanity in the morning.

#3 Leave the Electronics Off

I hear the groans!  I know, this one is tough for me.  Give yourself time to wake up and focus on YOUR priorities before you allow the drama and problems of the world to invade your brain. Leave your computer and/or your phone OFF!  Don’t let your messages and emails control your day or your mood.  Start your day on a positive note and then you are ready to conquer anything that comes your way.

MY MORNING HABITS: 

  • Wake up at least 2 hours before hubby (takes a little longer for brain fog to clear)
  • Drink lemon water
  • Have my coffee
  • Do my devotions
  • Check my plan for the day
  • Write my blog
  • Eat a protein-packed breakfast

I will admit, it isn’t always easy BUT I know when I stick to my morning habits, my day is so much better.  Thank you to The Peaceful Mom for these tips.

What are your best tips for conquering the morning?  Share them with us,  your best tip could help someone else.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!