If your family is anything like mine, you know that mornings can be a little bit hectic. Trying to get everyone up, dressed, and out the door on time can certainly be challenging, and on they days you manage to make it happen it can feel like a real accomplishment. While mornings with little ones might always feel a little bit rushed, there are a few things you can do the night before that will help everyone feel a little calmer and more relaxed in the morning. After a long day, it can feel tempting to crash on the couch after your little ones are in bed, but by investing just a few minutes in the evening you can save yourself a lot of time in the morning.
This one is almost a no-brainer. Everyone knows that packing lunches with kids underfoot is tough, and it's often the toughest to motivate yourself to do. The thought of slicing grapes and making sandwiches after a long, hard day can feel like just to0 much but, if you work quickly, you can probably get lunches packed in less than five minutes. Some time-saving tips include packing pasta salad instead of making sandwiches, choosing fruit and veggies that don't need to be sliced, and pre-slicing the things that do need to be chopped at the beginning for the week.
Lay out clothes
While many parents lay out their little one's next-day outfits the night before, making sure you choose your own clothes in advance can also be a time saver. Making sure you have your clothes, accessories, and any beauty products you might need within easy reach will help you move through your routine quickly so you can move on to helping your little ones get through their routines.
While you probably shouldn't cook your scrambled eggs the night before, you can go ahead and get many breakfast elements ready. Set the table, pour milk into sippy cups, get out the cereal your kids like, and slice any fruit you might have so you're not rushing in the morning when hungry tummies can lead to fussing and crying. Be sure you're also thinking about things you can make ahead for breakfast, like muffins or cereal bars.
If you know your kids tend to argue over who gets a particular cup or waste time playing with a certain toy, go ahead and remove those potential challenges from your morning routine. Make sure you check the weather ahead of time so that you can plan for things like a need for rain boots or umbrellas.
Though kids certainly have a mind of their own, usually they want to be helpful and kind. Talk with them in the evenings about what to expect in the morning (especially if the routine will be a little different) and let them know how they can help. Setting morning expectations the night before helps your kids know what to anticipate and makes it much easier to redirect them the next day if things are getting out of hand.
Whatever you do to make your mornings smoother, I wish you the best of luck with getting everyone out the door with smiles on their faces!
Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More
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