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Morning stress got you down? Here are 6 Tips for Stress-Free Mornings!
Some mornings I feel like I am spinning plates trying to take care of the needs of three kids while juggling a business and a home.
There is something about kids and mornings that just brings about chaos. I thought it was just me, but when I talk to other Mom's, this seems to be a universal problem.
I don’t care if you are trying to get everyone out the door so you can make it to work and school on time, or if you are a homeschooling mom getting ready for the day ahead.
Getting it all done without losing your mind is never easy.
For years, I woke to what felt like Groundhog Day.
Me, trying not to be THAT MOM that yelled.
Me, failing miserably when my oldest son was not dressed and playing video games, my youngest son was still under the covers, and Skye was covered in paint “decorating” the bathroom floor. (Despite having just had a bath.)
Family time in the morning was something reserved for weekends and holidays.
I envisioned how our mornings should be….if only my kids would cooperate.
Then I realized that I was the problem.
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” ~Albert Einstein
Yep, I was guilty. I expected mornings to suddenly become as smooth as they used to be in my pre-kid days.
I needed to take control…and fast!
I set out a plan, and while there is no such thing as perfection in parenting, I can say that our mornings are smoother than they have ever been.
Here are 6 Tips for Stress-Free Mornings
1. Prep in The Evenings
It doesn’t matter if I am trying to get everyone out the door, or just trying to keep our homeschooling day on track: prepping in the evening is critical.
First up, let’s talk food. If I don’t plan ahead, this is always a disaster.
Fortunately, breakfast is easy. The kids all love their Cheerios. I pick them up from Publix. (Because that is my happy place grocery store. Seriously, I almost died without my Publix when we lived out west.)It is a super easy who grain solution. I love that there is no high fructose corn syrup to worry about, the kids love the taste. I always make sure that everything is out and on the breakfast bar the night before.
(Because that is my happy place grocery store. I almost died without my Publix when we lived out west.)
It is a super easy who grain solution. I love that there is no high fructose corn syrup to worry about, the kids love the taste. I always make sure that everything is out and on the breakfast bar the night before.
I get the boys involved in lunch prep late in the afternoon. This makes sure that regardless of our plans, everyone is as happy with their lunch as they are with their breakfast. Once we are done, we have a special shelf in the fridge where everything goes.
I’ve always preferred to shower in the morning, but I find that things go smoother for our family if everyone showers in the evening. (This is especially true if you have a kid like one of my sons. He could spend an hour in the shower.)
If we are headed out in the morning, I make sure everyone has their clothes out, and any gear that we are going to need is by the back door. This saves so much time with scrambling to remember where they last left their sports gear or science book.
If we are at home for the day, I get everything out and organized on the table.
2. Fake Your Calm
I read somewhere that when you were overwhelmed with your children, to pretend that you were a concierge at a fancy hotel.
Strangely, this works for me.
When Skye has decided that she needs to change clothes for the fourth time in 15 minutes and the boys are fighting, I transform myself into a calm professional who is there to unemotionally solve problems while keeping everyone happy and moving in the right direction.
Yes, my calm is fake.
But they don’t know it. Somehow pretending that this isn't my circus and these aren't my monkey's if only for a moment, gets me through those tough times.
3. Make it a Game
Sometimes parenting involves a little creativity.
If I tell my kids to be downstairs for breakfast in 15 minutes, there will be a tremendous amount of fussing, and chances are it will be more than 25 minutes before everyone is seated.
On the other hand, if I throw out the challenge to see who can be the first dressed and ready to eat, chances are at least two of my kids will be there in ten.
4. Go Screen Free
I don’t know about you, but getting a response from my kids when their noises are buried in their phones is next to impossible.
We have a morning rule at our house. Not only are there no phones at the breakfast table, but all devices are off limits until later in the day.
This goes for Mom too.
5. Make Sure You Connect
Along those lines, one of the most important ways to help keep morning stress at bay is to plan for enough time to connect as a family before things get crazy.
I used to try to cook a big breakfast for everyone, but then I realized that that time was better spent WITH my kids. Now we keep breakfast simple – like Multi-Grain Cheerios, and instead focus on having a few minutes together before the day starts. It is a smarter and more wholesome option that paves the way for family time around the breakfast table.
It is amazing how just a few minutes of listening to my children can help to reset an otherwise chaotic morning.
6. Place Clocks Across the Room
This last one is for all of you parents of teens and tweens out there.
When the boys were younger, there was never an issue getting them up in the morning. I used to wonder if there would ever come I time where I could sleep past 5 am.
These days, I have to drag them out of bed.
This is especially true for Christian, who used to be an expert at hitting the snooze button.
Then I moved his alarm clock across the room and made sure it was the most annoying sound I could find, so he didn’t just tune it out.
Any port in the storm, right?