Our morning term time routine is hectic, verging on stressful, loud and not for the faint hearted! We have the younger ones who need more assistance with dressing, nappies and teeth brushing and then the older ones who need constant nagging and reminders for self care, making their beds and packing their bags etc. We of course have that mad dash that I’m sure every parent experiences when the end of the morning routine is in sight… the getting shoes, coats, hats or suncream on and then getting out the door without a drama of who’s shoe is missing, what item they no longer like wearing, or the bright idea of wanting to do the school run by skateboard. It doesn’t matter how many children you have, they all see the time pressures us parents have and they seem to revel in having days where they like to mess us parents around for the sheer fun of it (can you hear my sarcasm?) Whether it’s moving like a sloth, sitting on the loo for 20 minutes, or trying to reinact Mister Maker whilst you’re in the shower. They just know how to throw obstacles at us, every morning routine.
For me something had to change, I was losing control on the state of the house in the mornings with breakfast spillages, pjs being thrown around and myself running up and down the stairs umpteen times whilst shouting at everyone. I was then rushing us all on the school run looking harassed and not taking a breath until they had been deposited with a quick kiss and an apology again that ‘Mummy wouldn’t shout if they did as they were told’. I would then return home and have to run around and tidy up from the morning aftermath, before I could start my day properly. Having a keen interest in reading other blogs and scouring pinterest weekly, I often came across posts on parental advice, tips and goals. I would read about the parents who magically found the energy to get up before their children. For all different various reasons, be it to get some work done, do some exercise, maybe even meditation and all before the rest of the house starts their day.
Naturally being a bit of a night owl rather than a morning person I just thought this wouldn’t work for me, that I would just press snooze and ignore. So I pushed the idea to the back of my mind. It was then the start of this year over the lazy Christmas holiday days that I just thought enough is enough. I didn’t want 2019 to be another year of crazy mornings. Dougie wasn’t convinced on it, he didn’t quite believe that I would get up before the kids as he knew how much I love my bed in the morning. Well then the challenge was on, as I have always liked to prove people wrong. So with that, day one came with an alarm of 6.15 and a revelation to my day.
Just one simple change of setting the alarm before the kids awake, even if it’s 15 minutes earlier than the children rise means you have an advantage on your day. I’m able to have breakfast in relative peace, the kitchen is more organised, everyone is more supervised and the one big change we have noticed is I’m shouting less. I manage to do my first washing load of the day and get it out on the airer, have a cleaner kitchen and most of all have a bit of ‘me’ time or ‘us’ the when Dougie is there, we have breakfast, coffee, chat, check to do lists and of course a quick scroll on our phones!
I quickly saw the benefits to this new routine and it has just becomes the ‘norm’. I feel more motivated and energised by being an early riser, have a handle on the household and give myself some important mindfulness time to focus on each day ahead. I really think the kids have seen the benefits of our early rising, they have more interesting breakfasts, they’re not rushed through everything they do and they experience a calmer Mummy.
I will add a few disclaimers to this routine to enable it more efficiently we do now go to bed earlier, so we’re still getting a reasonable amount of sleep. And we still have that slight mad dash at the end of the morning routine. I just find myself dealing with it a bit more patience. So we can still have the odd day where the last 10 minutes it can all go a bit haywire and we can be spotted running towards school. But on the whole we’re making such good progress in becoming a changed household in the mornings.
If you feel that you’re becoming so overwhelmed by the morning routine then just try it for a week set that alarm earlier than your kids natural alarm clock and see what difference it can make to you. It’s most importantly made such a mental change to my wellbeing and sets up my day far better than before. If you do try this out, I would love to hear your own experiences.