If you had asked me a few months ago what my mornings were like, I would have told you I dreaded them and that they were the worst part of my day. They included me most likely raising my voice at some point, tears from one if not both of the kids, us being late and almost always me feeling guilty on the drive in because of how the morning went.
One morning in particular my youngest looked at me and said "You don't like me anymore"? It was that morning as I was driving in and crying that I decided that things needed to change. I started searching the internet, Pinterest and blogs trying to find a solution. I found so many great ideas and it was so hard choosing which ones I wanted to try and implement.
I am "That Parent" my kids both have TV's in their rooms. They fell asleep to the television. It was so much easier when I was tired and wanted some down time. My kids never really had a set bedtime!
I sat down and jotted down what I would like our evening to look like and came up with a time that would get me some down time at night and would not find them laying awake for an hour. I needed this to work so having them lay for a long period of time would result in them getting out of bed numerous times which in turn would frustrate me and then who knows.
8:00pm was the time I chose. They would get 30 minutes of book time. The book time allows their little bodies time to relax, setting us up for an easy lights out. Okay, maybe not easy but easier than if I just threw them into bed and shut the light off. I also do a lot and I mean A LOT of counting down so they know what is coming.
We have transitioned to no TV bedtimes nicely.
2. Preparing The Night Before
Much of our previous mornings consisted of my children wanting to pick out their clothes. My youngest wanting to get everything himself and my oldest wanting to choose her clothes herself. This usually meant that we would go through 10 outfits which none matched or there were for the wrong season (shorts in 30 degree weather). Currently we just pick out the night before but for those of you that are ambitious and want to prepare for the week, here is an idea from The Boy's Store Blog.
In addition to choosing clothes the night before, we also pack backpacks and making sure that we have everything needed the next day.
3. Take Time For Yourself
I don't know about you but when I get mommy time, I am in a much better mood. I decided to get up 15 to 30 minutes early. Personally, I make a cup of coffee and take some time to go through my devotion app. The one that I like is called Daily Devotional for Women. I love this app, it has daily prayers, quotes, bible verses and more!
No matter what you choose to do in those few short minutes whether it be, a devotion, watching the news with a cup of coffee or working out - do it for yourself.
4. Make Waking Up Pleasant
I don't know about you but I don't like waking up to buzzing alarms, a bright light popping on or someone yelling at me to wake up. I would love to be able to jump into bed and snuggle them awake but with loft beds it really isn't an option. I have been putting on music in the morning. My youngest still needs a 5 minute snuggle in the morning on the couch when he wakes up. I have built that into my morning. I just remind myself that someday he won't want mommy snuggles.
5. Let Them Know What Is Expected
I have made a "Getting Ready" board. I got inspiration from The Crafting Chicks and created a board that worked for us with the things I needed completed in the mornings to get out the door. The love being able to move their magnets and get "done" first. Plus, I am able to get myself ready during this time as well instead of barking out orders.
6. Count Down
I am big on counting down. I give them a heads up when we have 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 3 minutes when we need to start getting our stuff on. Most of the time these days they are in the car waiting for me by the time I walk out to the garage.
7. Reward Them
It doesn't need to be anything big but I give them an extra 15 minutes of screen time. It's not really extra because I have built it into the amount of screen time I actually want them to have.