Listen, with a thousand kids in my home, running all different directions, I know what a nightmare the mornings can be! I always had visions of sending my family off to take on their days in a spirit of confidence and joy, but I found this to be impossible without a strong morning routine. The structure of a solid routine provides a predictable framework for your day. Here are some great tips for a stress-free morning!
Get enough sleep
Not everyone has the same sleep requirements, but it is imperative that you find out how many hours of sleep you need each night, and demand it of yourself. Sleep deprivation not only impacts your ability to be the gentle and loving mama you want to be, it also impacts your long-term health. Indicators of sleep deprivation include fatigue, irritability, brain fog, sluggishness and yawning. You should not feel tired during the day. When you begin to feel tired in the evening, force yourself to Go.To.Bed.
Wake first & charge yourself
It’s so important to take time for yourself. Physics will tell you that you cannot pour out all day without replenishing at some point. If you do not refuel, you will have nothing to give your family. Trust me, you will benefit more from an extra 15 minutes to take time to study, pray or meditate, or even get a touch of exercise — take a walk (even if it’s circles in your back yard), run up and down your own stairs a couple of times, or do push-ups in your closet, than from hitting snooze two or three times!
Put on some music that makes everyone happy (No TV)
Music is a universal mood lifter. Nothing gets everyone moving in the morning like some upbeat, fun tunes! Choose something you enjoy, that you can sing and dance to. Because, you know, you set the tone for everyone else!
Wake the angels
Be sweet, fun, insistent & consistent! Think about how you want to be awakened. Why do we dislike alarm clocks? Because they do not waken us in a pleasant manner! Oh, to have a mom who will sit next to us, stroke our hair, tickle us or sing to us, and help us step happily and confidently into our days! Adults, we are stuck with alarm clocks. But our kids can have so much more!
Short but sweet instructions
If music is the key to getting everyone moving, a short-but-sweet list Morning Routine is the key to keeping everyone moving. Four to six steps is best. There are many great ideas on how to keep the routine top-of-mind: make it a song, laminate it and hang in by the bed, on the door, or on the bathroom mirror, or set alarms every five minutes to indicate a transition to the next step. Here are a couple of Morning Routine suggestions:
- Bed, Teeth, Bible, Clothes, Hair, Breakfast
- Bag, Bottle, Bites, Blast!
Trick Yourself with a Buffer Zone
This step is so crucial. You absolutely, positively must include a buffer! With little ones, you need some wiggle room in your schedule. This is such a healthy way to train your kids to approach their own deadlines. This way, even if you are running behind, you aren’t “late”; you are “late for being early”. 🙂
Blast-Off Countdown & Launching Pad!
Choose a launching pad, a place where the children are to go as soon as they are ready. This could be the couch, the stairs, the porch, or whatever fits best into your routine. (Note: Do not make the car your launching pad! They should not go to the car unless you are with them!) Having a Blast-Off Countdown will help generate excitement about getting out the door and get everyone on board with getting to the launching pad on time.
Try these tips this week, and let me know how it goes!