It’s Monday morning – unfortunately! You’ve already hit the snooze button more times than you can remember. You begrudgingly drag your exhausted self out of bed while catching a blurred glimpse of the clock. 7:23! Oh no! The kids can’t be late for school AGAIN, you gasp frantically! So you whizz around the house in a flurry, desperately grabbing mouthfuls of caffeine between tasks of packing school bags, dressing kids, preparing breakfast, and hopefully leaving the house in semi-presentable attire.
Sound familiar? Gosh, that’s setting a very frantic tone for the day ahead! Relax. Breathe. And keep reading for some helpful tips that will make your school mornings organised and stress-free.
1. Wake up before the kids
If your kids are early risers, this may mean that you’re setting your alarm for some ridiculous hour before the sun has even woken up, but it really helps to just have 10 minutes of ‘me time’ before the day begins. Enjoy a cup of coffee, tea or freshly blended juice in your favourite chair. It sets the tone for the day and really assists in helping you to begin your day feeling calm and ready to tackle challenges.
2. Prep meals the night before
Plan your week’s menu on Saturday and go shopping for all the necessary ingredients. Then make sure that you prep and pack lunchboxes each evening so that they’re ready to just be taken out of the fridge in the morning. This will significantly reduce the amount of ‘getting ready’ time in the morning, and also ensure that your kids are getting nutritious, well-balanced meals for lunch. See our article Lunch Ideas For Your Kids for great meal ideas.
3. Eat breakfast together
It has long been said that “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Teaching your kids this from a young age instills good eating practices that they will carry into their adult life. You need to also be mindful of role modelling this behaviour. Forcing your kids to eat breakfast while you whizz around the house gulping coffee is not very convincing or motivating at all. Eating breakfast together is a way to strengthen your family bond and create a loving, positive mindset before each person embarks on their day. Utilise this time to remind your children of any specific values that they may be struggling with. For example: “So remember, today we’re going to only use our gentle hands with our friends”.
Ensure that each child has 5 complete sets of school clothes where possible. You can then group each day’s clothes together – yes, we mean everything right down to socks and briefs – for each day of the school week. This alleviates the mad panic of running around the house searching for clean shorts or matching socks. It will also help you to plan ahead and be aware of whether a mid-week laundry wash is required for specific items.
5. Teach your kids to help
From as young as 4 years old, children are fully capable of dressing themselves, brushing their own teeth (with some supervision) and making their own beds. So don’t make your morning even more pressured by trying to do everything for every family member. This teaches your children responsibility and how to look after their own personal hygiene.
6. Have a set routine
Maintaining a time schedule helps each family member to know what happens next. For example, if you wake your children at 06:30, they need to know that they are required to get dressed and make their beds (yes, you too) before they are to be seated at the breakfast table by 07:00. Allow enough time for breakfast so that it is an enjoyable experience rather than feeling rushed and stressed. At 07:30, everyone needs to brush their teeth, and be ready to leave the house at 07:45. While this may seem very regimented, its intended purpose is to equip everybody to feel more prepared and less scattered. Also ensure that your departing time allows for sufficient travel time and unforeseen traffic congestions.
7. Avoid the apps
Refrain from indulging in the latest Facebook gossip the minute you open your eyes. It is the fastest way for the precious morning minutes to vanish without recollection. Any social media can wait until your lunch break at work… really, it can. This is also another good role modelling tool; if your kids see you engrossed in your cell phone every morning, while simultaneously yelling at them to hurry up, it really doesn’t teach good family behaviour.
We’d love to hear your feedback on whether these tips have helped to streamline your mornings. Check out our Facebook page (during your lunch break of course) for more information.