So far you've heard from myself (married, no kids) and Nadine over at A Secondary Heartbeat (single, no kids) about morning routines, but don't worry Momma's; Kate from The Tiny Now is hear to share a very real picture of her mornings as a momma of two. I hope you'll enjoy her witty and honest perspective as much as I have!
I used to be a morning person - a long, long time ago when I got myself (and just myself) ready and headed to work after a stop at the coffee shop drive-thru. After new motherhood mornings where I could wear pajamas until
noon; it was bedtime again or a lazy summer where our days involve making it to the pool by noon, the school schedule can seem a little crazy. Getting myself ready, the kids ready, and all of us out the door in one piece is pretty doable. Doing it without a meltdown (theirs or mine) is quite a feat - and my daily goal.
Do a search on smooth morning routines and over a million entries pop up. Everyone and their brother has a theory or suggestion or helpful tip. I've found things that work (prep breakfast ahead of time) and things that don't (putting out clothes the night before) and things that started out "workable" but didn't stay that way (getting my exercise in right away) but my experience isn't necessarily going to be yours and I'm no expert. So my advice? Try things, keep what works, toss what doesn't. And most importantly accept that the biggest part of having a smooth morning isn't organization, it's giving yourself grace when you DON'T have a smooth morning. That said, Bryn did ask me to share what my morning routine looks like, so let me start by giving you a little background.
Our daughter, V, is a first grader and our son, A, is in preschool three mornings a week. They both are early risers and we haven't used alarm clocks in over six years because they wake us up with plenty of time to spare most mornings. I'm a stay at home mom and am extremely grateful for the cushion it allows. If I don't have time to get ready one morning, I can do the carpool in pajamas. I don't like to, but it's not the same as having to head into an office and I appreciate that.
Typically when we first wake up, my husband (who is amazing for so many reasons, but definitely this one) takes the kids downstairs and gives me about ten minutes of "cushion" because I am not a person who wakes up well. I typically use those minutes to think about my day and say a prayer of thanks - for making it through the night, for my children, for the safety He will provide throughout the day, for my husband who gives me ten minutes to say thank you so I have a better attitude. Then I'm up and he's out of the house (he likes to leave before 7 to get an early jump) and the day truly begins.
I know some people don't allow screens in the morning. I don't either - for myself anyway. If I check my email or facebook, I'll fall down the rabbit hole and then I'm either late or really crabby so no screens for me. My kids, on the other hand, do just fine with a little television as they are getting dressed and it gives me the necessary time to get my own self ready and quickly review the day's schedule.
The last five minutes before we leave is always hectic - making sure kids have their snack and backpacks and any other odd and end they need for the day is not my strong suit. I've just learned that no amount of planning on my part is going to have the shoes V wants to wear ready and waiting when it's time to go. Grace and a deep big breath are all the get me through that last rush.
It sounds like a pretty simple and easy routine when I write it down - and it pretty much is. We have days where V forgets her boots or A throws a tantrum or my keys have somehow ended up in Jesse's car and we need to be out the door right. this. second. but for the most part, I try to remember that in five years no one is going to remember the day I dropped the 24 rainbow cupcakes as I was walking out the door (okay, I'll probably remember it even though regular store bought ones did just fine in a pinch) but my kids will definitely remember if mom was a crazy spazoid every morning before they left for school (so I try not to be a crazy spazoid).
So that's how we do things. It's messy and real and crazy and I'm always taking deep breaths and sending out prayers and trying to remember just how blessed I am in this season. What's a way you keep your morning routine smooth?
~ Kate, at The Tiny Now You can read more about Kate and her life as a momma and wife over at the The Tiny Now!