Does your family seem never to quite 'do' mornings? Does your morning routine consist of mum dragging reluctant toddlers out of bed, frantic lunch-packing and forgotten PE kits? We'll admit we're not 'morning' people ourselves, (we’d rather stay in our matching pyjamas all day!) but here are the four top tips we've lived and learnt by for conquering the family morning routine and seeing that school run smooth-sailing!
Are you getting enough rest?
It's hard to get a little one up and at 'em if they've not got their beauty sleep - and a late starter throws the whole morning routine out of sync. Make sure on school nights you're getting the kids into their pyjamas & into bed on time and they're getting all the rest they need to ensure they're waking up bright and early for school with (just enough) spring in their step. It's also important that you are getting your eight hours, so make sure you're in bed on time too! It’s hard we know, turn Facebook off…
The key to the morning routine? Start it the night before.
Get everything you can prepped the night before – even go as far as packing everything up into the car if you're often forgetting things in the morning chaos! Pack up school bags, and depending on your child's age, get them involved and integrate this into the bedtime routine. PJs on, teeth cleaned, school bag packed: check, check, check. Make packed lunches, give the weather forecast a once over and get uniforms ironed and hung on wardrobe doors. You'll thank yourself the morning after. And you’ll feel really smug when you go to bed, knowing how organized you are!
Factor in 15
Initially you're not going to like this one, getting up even earlier is the last thing you want suggesting, but hear us out – start setting your alarm earlier and factoring in the first fifteen minutes of the morning routine just for you. Consider it your morning dose of 'me' time and start the day on your terms with something you enjoy - be that the small indulgence of having the time to apply your make-up in full and perfecting that cat-eye, going all out on the coffee machine and making yourself a fancy cappuccino, listening to a podcast you'd otherwise not have the time for, or fifteen minutes of mindfulness to emotionally centre you for the day ahead. Be selfish with these 15 minutes and begin your day in a calm, collected, positive headspace. Just make sure you tiptoe past the kids room, or it will be 15 minutes of extra chaos!
The morning routine is a delicate architecture. Hit snooze, skip a step, take a shortcut, the whole thing comes tumbling down. Keep your routine consistent and non-negotiable, and let your kids know that nobody deviates, not even mum or dad. The morning routine certainly isn't a military operation so there's no need to be unrealistic with the timings themselves –be sure to factor in a little 'dawdling' time!- but the stricter you are with this, the slicker you'll pull the whole thing off. Routine will soon become second nature.
And that’s it, soon you will make it to the weekend, all routines can go out of the window & you can enjoy a little extra snuggly pyjama time.