Five Things to Help Your Morning Go Smoother (Previously Entitled: Yes, You Have to Wear Underwear!)

Its morning, again. Everyday like clock work the day begins and dear Lord one hour in and I’m a crazy maniac who wonders why a person makes a conscience decision to have children! Ok, I love my kids, I do. But still. I. Hate. Mornings.

Part of my problem is that I am not a morning person. Mornings should start no earlier than 10:00 a.m. I would love to set my internal clock to stay up until 2:00 and get up at 10:00 but alas the aforementioned children and a “real” job make that an impossible pipe dream. So while I sip my morning cup of magical bean juice… coffee, I’m drinking coffee…I will share with you the top five things we do that make me less of a crazy maniac in the morning.

  • Go to bed on time!
I’m very strict about bedtime at my house. Anyone who is in 6th grade or under goes to bed at 8:00. Children in junior high go to bed at 9:00 and since my 9th grader hasn’t asked for a later bedtime yet he’s still at 9:00 too. Shhhh… dont tell him I’d let him stay up until 10:00. On weekends everyone can stay up until 9:00 unless we have to get up early for something. The older kids get a curfew/bedtime for each outing with friends depending on what is going on. And sleepovers…well, I usually lose my cool around 1:00 or so.
 
I believe that a strict bedtime is the number one factor in making mornings go well. Sleep is essential and being tired and grouchy benefits no one. And yes parents this means you too. Go to sleep!
 
  • Retire the electronics
I gather all of the cellphones and tablets each evening. None of the kids are allowed to touch them again before 6:30 a.m. on any given day. I also try to put mine away and read an actual book for 30 minutes before bed. There have been numerous studies done on the effects of blue light and I err on the side of caution in this case. Plus, we spend too much time on them any way!
 
  • Find your shoes!
Why? Why must someone lose a shoe or two every day? Our house is tiny! There are two spots to store shoes! Why does this happen to me? Are we the only family that struggles with this?
 
If you find the shoes, coats, backpacks, notes to go back to school, homework, library books, PE or sport clothes, band instruments and whatever else you need the night before your morning will go so much smoother! Have a designated spot for this stuff, a landing pad or some hooks. Shoot, my oldest kids hang their backpacks on a dining chair because they weigh 8 tons. Have a spot! Lay out clothes. Do whatever prep work you can to free up your morning. Hello, programmable coffee pot!
 
  • Have a routine.
We get up, the kids have breakfast. My oldest girl makes sure the little ones have clothes while I straighten my hair. My oldest boy starts the car while I comb hair and make sure everyone has underwear on…yes, that’s my life. We all have specific tasks in the morning and it helps us stay on task and ensures that we leave the house wearing all of the necessary undergarments, usually.
 
  • Keep expectations low.
No, you are not the Clevers. If you are to young to “get” that comparison use Google and stop making me feel old! You don’t have to do it all and sometimes letting your kids fail will instill some good qualities in them. They forgot their backpack? Sorry… you’ll probably remember next time and it will make you more responsible. You don’t have to have it all together you just have to show up and give it your best shot. And if your kid forgets to wear underwear…well, rub some vaseline on the chafe marks and hope he now understands why it’s an important addition to his wardrobe.

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