Somedays, I daydream of the time when I got up and left the house. I just got up, got my stuff, and peaced out. No kid, no animals, no nothing. Then I’d grab coffee and a bagel at Starbucks and drive along my merry way. It was so normal to me then. Now, I look back at that time like I look back at nap time in preschool. I so took it for granted!
Getting out of the house in the morning with kids is a feat among itself. You have to make sure every living creature in your house has eaten and is ready for the day ahead. And it’s so much easier said than done. I think I’ve figured out a formula that works, or at least one that helps you retain some semblance of sanity.
Earlier this week, I talked about the joys of waking up early and how much it benefits you. Do that! Commit to waking up before the kids and animals, even if for a few minutes. Gather yourself and you’re already a step ahead of the day and the chaos. Next up, do your day prep, packing lunches and bags, before breakfast. After that, put on some tunes and make breakfast for your brood. Eat together. Get everyone to use the bathroom, brush their teeth, and get their clothes on for the day. Get your shoes and coats on, grab your bags, and you’re out the door! A schedule is half the battle.
Tips to make this process easier and win the battle? Meal prep! Take a half hour every weekend to make your grocery list. Use another half hour to go shopping and a half hour to meal prep. Take the final half hour to write up your meal plans for each meal and post them on your fridge. Taking just those two hours will reduce stress and remove wasted time from your schedule. And everyone knows what they’re getting for the week!
More tips? Set out everyone’s clothes and shoes the night before. No confusion in the morning! Put the clothes on top of the dresser and the shoes by the door. Grab a coat rack, set of hooks, or create a mudroom by the door to have a designated place for bags and shoes. Fill up bags during morning prep time and put them back by the door. After everyone’s had breakfast and bathroom time, everything is set out and set up to get you out the door as quickly, efficiently, and as uncomplicated as possible.
For the car? Stash cereal bars, individual packs of goldfish, mini waters, and juice boxes along with changes of clothes and shoes, plus blankets and a first aid kit. Some days are just tough and your car is an assistant; it helps you get from point A to point B but it also is your first line of defense when anything happens when you’re out there in the world. No car? Create a similar survival kit for your bag or backpack.
Implement a few of theses tips, if not all of them, next week. I guarantee you will feel less stressed and more energized. Live in the moment, not in the mess!