The Best Family Morning Routine for a Happy 2019
Do you dread getting your family out the door in the morning? Are there regular meltdowns? Lost socks? Yelling and screaming? There are no judgements here. I’ve been there and it’s awful. But, you know what worked for us…a family morning routine. Read on and I will tell you our exact steps we use each morning and I even have a free family routine checklist pdf for you.
This 7 step process is surprisingly simple and will make those hectic mornings a thing of the past. It’s worked for us and I know it can work for you.
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Family Morning Routine: 7 simple steps for your best mornings ever!
Prepare the Night Before
This is really the most important step in your family morning routine when it comes to starting the day in a calm and peaceful way. It’s not sexy and it’s not new, but it works. Think about your home, what you need to have prepared in the morning, and get anything you can ready the night before.
Pick out Clothes:
Not only should you set out clothes for your kids, but you should have your outfit ready the night before too. How many mornings have you stared at your closet thinking you have nothing to wear? By picking out your clothes the night before, you can even experiment to see which pants you like that new top with best instead of being rushed or not liking what you’re wearing for the day.
Prep Your Food:
Can you prep lunch for the day ahead of time? What about breakfast? We have set the table for breakfast before we go to bed and prepped lunches on Sundays. I’ll be honest and say we do not always do these things (especially now that I am working from home), but it helps when we can.
Set the Alarm Right:
Remind yourself of what is at stake before you go to bed at night and set your alarm for the appropriate time. This means NO SNOOZE. Hitting the snooze button sounds so inviting when you are in bed, but it robs you of energy and starts your day off on the wrong foot.
Get Enough Sleep:
So a bit of a big one to through into the prepping category, but it is so true. Getting enough sleep puts everyone in a better mood, makes it easier for your children to listen, learn, and understand at school, helps everyone stay healthier, and generally just makes the day better. Arianna Huffington talks about her battle with burnout and why she makes sleep a priority in her book, The Sleep Revolution. I figure if she can get a full night’s sleep every night, so can I. Plus, getting enough sleep makes it so much easier to stick to your family morning routine. You definitely deserve it, mama!
Have a Central Command Center
This doesn’t have to be all Pinterest fancy to work. Although, there are some really cute inspirational walls out there, all you really need for your family morning routine to work well is one designated space to keep all of your important – get out the door quick – items. This includes backpacks, shoes, umbrellas, purses, computer bag, keys, wallet, permission slips, library books, water bottles, shoes, etc.
Some moms recommend keeping socks here. My daughter insists on putting on her socks with her pants, “because they tickle” so we’re not in that boat, but if your kids put on socks with shoes, than yes, this would be a great place to keep socks so that they never get lost again.
The goal here is to have ONE place to go for all the things you need last minute in the morning so you’re not running around the house frantically searching for your keys. *cough* Not that I would know anything about that! *cough*
This actually starts when you come home the previous day. By having this one place to put everything you will not haphazardly place your keys or the kids backpack somewhere else where it will get “lost”.
Let the Kids in on the Plan
This one has been a lifesaver in my house and keeps us all on the same page with our family morning routine. We prep our daughter the night before by telling her the plans for the next day, what time she will need to get up, what time we need to leave the house, and why. When we’re done, we get her to agree to the plan. This last part is the most important!
I used to take for granted that she would know that we had school the next morning and so we needed to get out of the house on time. But, over time I have realized that she is too young to connect those dots. By letting her in on the plan, there are no surprises and she can ask questions or voice concerns when we are calmly chatting at night and not rushed in the morning.
It’s also a great way to remind your kids in the morning if they are off track the next day. You can simply talk about the discussion you had the night before and remind them they agreed to the family morning routine.
Get Yourself Ready First
Okay, okay. I fully intend to get some push back on this one. I know it’s easy to roll out of bed and slip into some yoga pants, but hear me out. You set the tone for the day and by getting yourself ready first, you are more prepared to get everyone else ready.
It’s like riding on an airplane and the flight attendant tells you to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others. Getting yourself ready first works the same way.
You will be in a better frame of mind – less tired, more confident – and you will show that you mean business. How can you really tell your kids to follow the family morning routine and get dressed if you’re not willing to do it yourself?
This also means that you will need to wake up before the kids. I get up at least two hours before my daughter. That gives me time to work on this blog, complete my morning routine, which includes time for planning, self reflection, meditation, and coffee, and shower/dress for the day before she wakes up. This “me time” has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
Plan for a Quick Breakfast
My family loves to sit around the table and eat together. But, that does not mean it has to be a big gourmet meal. Cereal, oatmeal, plan ahead meals can be great and fit in perfectly with a streamlined family morning routine.
And if you are lucky and have breakfast served at your school/daycare, perhaps the kids would be fine with a piece of toast or fruit to start the day.
Set a Timer
How many times have you set a time limit only to get derailed and lose track of how many minutes have gone by. Having a visual timer should almost be a requirement for raising children. Either use the timer function on your smart phone, an old school kitchen timer, or something like this adorable clock to help your kids see when they need to be ready or have a task complete. It sure beats nagging!
If your child is having a hard time following the family morning routine, set the timer for each task and have them race the clock. My daughter loves this game and I use it a lot.
Use a Routine Chart
One of the tools that finally helped my daughter get on board with getting out the door was a family morning routine chart. This can be a really simple chart or checklist or something made with pictures so even the toddlers can join in.
Having a routine chart made it so my child could see what tasks she had completed and what still needed to be done. She loves knowing what’s coming so this was the perfect solution for her.
I have included a free downloadable PDF of our family morning routine chart here for you. It works best to have in printed and laminated. That way you can use a dry erase marker to check off each task. That is my daughter’s favorite part. You could also use little stickers, but I fear that would take too much time to put on and take off each day.
If you try any of these tips, I’d love to hear how it works for you!
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