They say morning sets the tone for the entire day. We know from experience that this is true. We also know that a morning routine is key to achieving a calm start. If there’s no routine, there’s nothing to fall back on or to direct our focus.
But there a lots of pulls on our time and lots of things to keep track of as a parent. The morning may well be something that we just try and survive through.
Hand up if you feel that:
You have too many competing priorities
You’re not an organised person – it’s just not you
You struggle to get from the bed to the shower in the morning without being called off somewhere else
You just want to get through the morning to a calmer period in the afternoon (when everyone’s having quiet time!)
If any of the above describes you, then taking the time to create a morning routine that works for your family will be an absolute game-changer.
I really believe that a morning routine is one of the most important things we can implement in our home.
Even before you meal plan or create a job roster or an evening routine…
Even if you’re not organised by nature…
Even if you don’t have time…
get your morning routine right.
Even if you don’t have time pressures of needing to be somewhere at a certain time, having a solid morning routine in place will greatly assist a peaceful start to your day.
So here are my four top tips for getting your morning sorted (even if you’re not an otherwise organised person!):
1. Speed clean the night before.
Do you ever enter your kitchen in the morning and just think “ugh”? Even though we didn’t feel like tidying it last night before bed, we sure as heck don’t feel like it now.
One of the quickest ways to destroy the peace of the morning is to find yourself dealing with yesterday’s mess.
So put your favourite music on, set the timer for 5 minutes and get the whole family involved in a full house pick-up before the kids go to bed.
You can achieve a phenomenal amount in 5 minutes when you’re feeling energetic and you’ll be surprised at how quickly this becomes a fun family ritual. You could let a different kid choose the music each day. Music is a serious mood-changer, so don’t leave that out.
Some things you really don’t want to have to deal with from yesterday if you can help it:
- clean laundry (put it away)
- dirty dishes (wash them)
- toys and games (pack them up)
- paperwork (file it)
- garbage (empty the bin)
2. Start a little earlier.
If your kids have a regular rising time, try and get up 10-15 minutes before them so that you have a few minutes for yourself before the day officially starts. Taking just a few minutes for some self care in the morning can have a huge impact on your mindset over the next few busy hours of the day.
If your kids are early risers or don’t have a regular waking time, try setting them up with some books or quiet games that they can do in their room until you come to get them up.
If your kids are crazy early risers (like mine), create a mini roster for them to follow so that they don’t need to come to you straight away. See Tip Number 4 for more detail on this.
3. Get your to-dos sorted.
Either the night before or early in the morning, take a few moments to set your most important tasks for the day. Alternatively, if you know what you want your week to look like, you can do this on a Sunday afternoon for the entire week ahead. If you have your to-dos sorted, you won’t have to waste time trying to figure out where your attention should be or what you need to prioritise.
4. Get the kids involved.
Take the time to create a morning routine with your children. Even if they can’t read, you can use pictures to create a little roster that they see when they wake up.
If you have children of different ages, you might need a different roster for each of them, and if you have a baby that requires your attention first thing in the morning, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour to have the older kids organised with their own routine.
For kids 3 years and over, a morning routine might include such things as making their bed, getting dressed and brushing their hair. Older kids can assist the younger ones and can also make their own breakfast, tidy up after they’ve used the kitchen and start their next activity of the day.
Get them excited about the process by asking them to draw a morning routine poster and stick it to their wardrobe door. Make it fun.
One of the things we used to do was to have a chart to draw smiley faces on. Each morning that they fulfilled their routine tasks cheerfully, they drew a smiley face on their chart. At the end of a week of smiley faces, we enjoyed a special treat like a walk to the park or a storybook marathon on a picnic rug in the backyard.
So now, over to you! Tell me about your morning routine! Or if you don’t have one yet, tell me which tip you’re going to implement first!