Create a New Morning Routine

We could probably all benefit from a better morning routine, right?

Paula's Christmas tree.

Last week we wrote about different ways we can meet other moms and make some much-needed mom friends. You can find that blog post here.

Earlier in the year, we wrote about creating a more peaceful bedtime for your family. You can find that post here. This week I (Paula) thought I’d write a bit about creating a morning routine. Now that school’s up and running again, we’re back to early mornings and a lot of stress and running around! Plus my youngest has started nursery (preschool) and my husband takes the car to work, so there’s even more to pull together than last year as I do all the school runs on foot.

Thankfully, over the past few years I’ve pulled together some strategies to help us pull ourselves together and get out the door on time. Here’s a few of my favourite things that help us get moving:

Timing

Know what time you want to leave and what time you have to leave. Your want to leave time should give you at least a 5 minute buffer, whereas your have to leave time means no stopping, no running back to grab a water bottle, etc. And be sure to factor in little legs. My toddler walks with us 3 days a week, which adds 5-10 minutes to our walk time. So 3 days a week our leaving time is significantly earlier.

It’s amazing how just a 5 minute buffer can make all the difference in my stress levels in the morning. And my stress levels have a huge impact on my kids, too!

Responsibilities

As part of our morning routine, everyone has their own responsibilities in the morning. I make a poster every year with pictures of the things my big kids need to do to get ready for school and hang it one the wall above where they eat breakfast. I started this when my second child started kindergarten. We had a new baby and I just couldn’t be responsible for getting all three kids ready for the day on time. Especially when I was completely sleep deprived. 

My oldest two know they need to get dressed, make their breakfasts and lunches, do their bathroom chores, and pack their backpacks. I keep the lunch supplies on lower shelves so they can reach them and buy pre-sliced cheese so they don’t need to use knives. I try to vary the snacks and surprises each week to keep it interesting. My toddler’s jobs are to go to the bathroom and be willing to get dressed.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Clearly this is easier said than done. It will also vary from night to night. But when kids get enough sleep they are in such better shape in the morning to listen, focus, and help out. I know I am! We try to give ourselves about an hour and half to get ready in the morning, which means the kids need to be up around 7am. 

My oldest two still need at least 10 hours of sleep a night to be their energetic selves the next day, so they’re in bed by 8 and generally asleep by 9. They can read to help with feeling sleepy. My toddler somehow needs less sleep, but we still get him up around 7 too in the hopes that he’ll sleep better the next night. 

Your morning routine can get your whole day off to a great start. I hope these have given you a few ideas to tweak yours, or encouraged you to give your kids a few more jobs to do in the morning. Then they can feel a sense of ownership in creating a more peaceful, organised morning, and can also help carry some of your mental load. Best of luck!