Mornings before school can be crazy. Absolute madness. I hate rushing my kids out the door and off to 6 hours of school away from me after a hectic morning with yelling, fighting, and stress. Those mornings are inevitable, but I started doing a few things toward the end of the school year last year that really helped me. I have implemented them this year and it’s made for smoother happier mornings. We haven’t been late or had any yelling in the mornings yet (granted…it’s only been 2 weeks), but I’ve found when I follow these simple steps, our mornings are always better.
Spoiler alert: if you are going to have a successful morning, it starts the day before.
6 THINGS THAT HELP MAKE FOR STRESS FREE SCHOOL MORNINGS
1. PACK LUNCHES/WATER BOTTLES THE DAY BEFORE:
As much as I hate making school lunches, I hate them even more if I have to make them the morning of. It will make us late every single time. The best method for me is to prep their lunch in the afternoon the day before while I am making Eli’s lunch. I already have lunch food out. So it isn’t quite as much of a pain to make. I’ve also tried packing lunch for 2 days at a time. Turkey and cheese rollups keep just fine for 2 days in the fridge and they are pretty fast once you get a little assembly line going.
2. LAY OUT THE KIDS CLOTHES THE NIGHT BEFORE:
This is another pre day prep that saves me in the mornings! We’ve found a lot of great boys basic back to school clothes this year at Nordstrom. Having a handful of cute tees that go with a handful of neutral shorts or pants makes it so easy for me to let the boys pick and lay out their clothing each night. Nordstrom has so many great boy basics that are good quality and durable. We already agree on the clothing. So it’s nice to have a lot of good mix and match options.
3. GIVE THEM SMALL SET JOBS THEY ARE IN CHARGE OF EACH MORNING:
Toward the end of last year I got into a bad habit of going to bed too late, which led to sleeping in too late. The boys got in a bad habit of waking up too early and watching TV downstairs instead of getting dressed. It just wasn’t a good combination. This year I am forcing myself to get up earlier because I need to be in more control of my kids routine. However, we also tell them that they are in charge of getting dressed, making their beds, washing their face, brushing their teeth, and doing their hair before them can come downstairs (yes, they brush their teeth before breakfast. It’s just more efficient that way!) This gives me time for a quick shower after a run before heading down to help with breakfast and helping them get their bags packed.
4. KEEP BREAKFAST SIMPLE:
I’ve tried making a big batch of banana protein muffins on Sunday since they are easy to eat and the boys can grab one on their own. They are also helpful if they need to eat in the car on the way (I don’t like having my kids eat breakfast in the car on the way to school, but its a good option if it comes down to that!). Usually my kids can get their own cereal, but I always give them half a banana, toast with peanut butter, or a muffin in addition to the cereal to give them some good protein. I’ve found that trying to scramble eggs or make pancakes just takes to long for us. So having a few simple options to choose from keeps the breakfast drill efficient.
5. SET THE TIME THAT YOU NEED TO START LOADING IN THE CAR:
Not the time that you need to leave. Because If you need to leave the house by 8:15, you won’t pull out of the driveway if you start loading the car at 8:15. I’ve made a hard mental note that we need to be done with breakfast by 8 and start loading the car by 8:10. I’m always running back into the house for shoes, homework, jackets, or snacks and this gives me a buffer of time to do so.
6. MAKE THE DRIVE TO SCHOOL CALM AND POSITIVE:
This can be harrrrd if you are running late. But I’ve learned to shift my mindset. The drive to school is where you can make up for any of the stress of fights trying to get out the door. Everyone is bucked and not moving, so I try and take this time to do positive affirmations with my kids. Many times this is when we have our morning family prayer. Or if I’m just at my wits end, I’ll turn on kid music so I don’t have to talk! Whatever you do, those minutes are a precious cool down/prep time for school. Build up your child’s confidence, tell them they will have a wonderful day, give them happy positive words they can take with them throughout that day of school.
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