Having three children all school age can sometimes make for a hectic morning. Some days just don’t go as slow as I’d like and we end up rushing around to find the field trip form I need to sign, or a shoe that somehow went missing since last night. For the most part though, over time, I’ve changed our family’s morning routine to run at a much slower, smoother pace. My children and myself are able to wake to a more peaceful atmosphere and enjoy the daily rhythm of getting up and ready for the day. Here are some of the things we do that have made a difference-
I go to bed early, so I can get up earlier than the kids. Most of the time I get up 45 minutes to an hour earlier than they do so I can fit in some quiet reading time and wake up all the way before it is time for them to wake up. It seems to make all the difference versus if I have to wake up and jump out of bed immediately to get them up and ready.
We prepare for the morning the day before. When the kids get home from school, I know that I will spend the next hour or so with them preparing for the next day. Making the next day’s lunches, getting school clothes ready, checking backpacks for teacher’s notes and doing homework are all completed mid to late afternoon. I don’t like to wait until late evening to do these things, as it makes for a more rushed and less relaxing bedtime routine.
Plan simple breakfasts in advance. Instead of waking up and wondering what we are going to be eating that morning, which almost always ends up being cold cereal if I haven’t planned beforehand, I make sure that I already know what is on the menu. I also plan very simple and filling breakfasts as well, which are quick to make. Hot cereals, bagels and applesauce, leftover whole-wheat pancakes and plain Greek yogurt with toppings are a few of the morning meals we have that usually take under 10 minutes to put together.
Light a candle. Ambience contributes significantly to the feeling in the morning. For that reason, I love lighting candles with wooden wicks that crackle like you are outdoors, and smell soft and inviting like pumpkins, vanilla or apples. My children are much calmer as they sit at the breakfast table eating, waking up and watching the beautiful flames. Other things like soft music, a special breakfast tradition or just cuddling for a bit on the couch can do the trick as well.
While these aren’t all the things I have done, and do on a regular basis to create a slower morning for our family, they are definitely actions that have greatly enhanced our mornings and started our days off peaceful and smooth.
I’d love for you to share your morning routine with me in the comments!