7 Ways to Start the Day off Right as a Parent
Tell me if this sounds familiar: The bus leaves in 10 minutes. One kid is still wearing his pajamas. The other is taking her sweet time finding her left shoe. You throw whatever you can find from the pantry into their lunch boxes. You pray that Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, and a green apple is enough food. The eggs you left on the stove are now burnt. So you quickly toss each kid a granola bar as you all rush out the door.
If this wild scene sounds like your daily norm, you may be starting each day feeling frazzled and behind. If you’re a parent who wants to start the day off right and arrive at work ready to seize the day, keep reading for seven easy ways to take control of your busy mornings with the kids.
1. You Get Ready First
To avoid any unnecessary multitasking, wake up and get ready before the kids wake up. Now you can spend the next hour focused on getting them ready instead of juggling their needs AND yours.
2. Pick Your Outfit the Night Before
This applies to both you and your children. Establish a habit of helping your family pick and set out their outfits each night. Mornings will be less hectic when everyone wakes up already knowing what they’re going to wear.
3. Prep Your Meals
Having food ready to eat makes mornings run WAY smoother. With prepped meals there’s no debating about what to eat, no cooking, and no pots and pans to pile in the sink.
A great way to start the day is with simple, easy meals for breakfast. Meals that you can prep the night before include hard boiled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, smoothie packs, or waffles and muffins (I always use Kodiak Cakes because they have more protein in them than normal pancake and muffin mixes).
Pack your kids’ lunches (and your own) the night before, too. This gives you less to do in the morning and ensures your kids head to school with a balanced, nutritious meal.
4. Pack Your Bags Before Bed
This is another thing to check off your list before going to bed. Have your work bag and your kids’ backpacks all packed and ready for the next day. This way no one is running around looking for a wallet or their math homework (or that dang face mask!) when it’s time to leave.
5. Go To Bed Early
The best way to have a good morning is to wake up feeling refreshed. Again, this applies to both you and your kiddos. So get to bed early. You’re less likely to hit snooze and sleep in if you got a full night of rest. By waking up on time, you’ll be able to stick to your morning routine without missing a beat.
6. Discuss Your Plans the Night Before
Take some time each night to talk about the next day’s schedule with your family. This will allow everyone to start the day off on the same page. Questions about carpooling or after-school activities can be addressed before the hustle and bustle of the next morning.
7. Leave the House Earlier
The earlier you can leave the house, the less rushed you’re going to be in the mornings. Aim to leave your home 10–15 minutes earlier than you normally do. Having more time to get to your destinations creates a calm, stress-free environment for you and your kids. This extra cushion of time for your commute will help you make safer, less risky driving decisions. Leaving earlier is also helpful in case there’s more traffic than usual.
The main goal of this routine is to eliminate the number of tasks you have to do in the mornings. If you get ready for school and work the night before, you can leave your home on time and start your day feeling in control.
Most of the guidelines I mentioned above apply to both you and your kiddos. As you and your children work together to establish this new routine, you can avoid being rushed and stressed in the mornings. You’ll get to work and your kids will get to school feeling ready to take on the day.
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