We can’t believe the school year is here already. If you’re a working mom, your morning routine can either help you start off on the right foot or it can be a struggle each and every day. We’re sharing these morning routine tips in hopes of helping other working moms get ready for back-to-school and get the most out of their morning routine on schools days. These tips and tricks will hopefully get your morning routine smoother.
Getting Back on your Sleep Schedule
If you’ve been off your sleep schedule this summer, which is often the case, now is the time to start adjusting sleep schedules. Get kids to sleep 15-20 minutes earlier each week or every few days, depending on how off your school bedtime you are. It’s really hard to adjust the weekend before school, so start making small changes over time to make it a smoother transition.
Take Time to Hit Your Stride
For the first few weeks of school, make small adjustments and get into the rhythm long-term. A big adjustment for a lot of moms is that once the kids eat breakfast, they’ve had time to play before heading out for summer activities. You won’t have that play time anymore to make it to school on time. A good usual requirement for morning play, school year or holiday time, is that they must be dressed, teeth brushed, and ready to do whatever we’re doing for the day. It definitely makes a difference.
Prepare the Night Before
One of the things that helps is to use the night before.
- Lay out clothes night before.
- Put stuff out and together, ready for the next step. For example, the lunch boxes go on the counter with containers ready. It cuts down on the rush in the morning, lets you know you have lids washed, clean containers, etc. And, if you need extra help from your significant other if something comes up, you don’t have to explain where things are or what to use. It’s all ready, waiting for the next step.
- Can you prep anything for lunch the night before? Even washing and drying fruit the night before will shave off time in the morning.
- Get backpacks or baby bags ready. This includes diapers and any snacks that are in a package (e.g., granola bars).
- Make sure everything is already labeled. This includes containers for food, change of clothes, snacks items, etc. Some things, like snack bars in wrappers are easy to use a marker on, but you can also get some fun sticker labels. Do this labeling process now instead of the night before or the day before school starts. It’s a little step, but it can help save you time.
- Put things by the front door or in their place. Put items that need to go with you by the door or always in the same place. This goes for water bottles, backpacks, folders, car keys, etc. Have a consistent home for these items. That way you’re not looking for them in the morning and wasting precious time. Who has an extra 10 minutes to look for car keys of your mobile phone? This is for your stuff, that of your significant other, and your kids.
Getting Out the Door
- Use a timer. Find yourself rushing with your kids to get out the door every day? I use a timer or alarm when I’m trying to limit time on something. That works in this case too. Set two timers or alarms, one that goes off BEFORE you have to leave (e.g., 10 minutes before) and then another timer/alarm for actual walk out the door time. Make sure your kids understand what the alarms mean. (e.g., 1st alarm means it’s time to gather all things, get shoes on, and have teeth brushed).
- Have your kids count number of items. We need to remember 4 things: backpack, lunch box, snack, and water. It’s productive and confidence-building–win-win! Make sure to have everything before heading out of the door and the kids will start learning accountability and responsibility.
- Bonus tip. Have breakfast-on-the-go options for the days when you’re running behind. Maybe your child didn’t get to bed until late and will need extra sleep in the morning. Maybe you overslept, which throws off everything in the morning. Maybe you need to grab something from the store for school.
Ideas for Working Moms in the Morning
If you’re a working mom, the start to your day really matters. Need some ideas on a better start to your day? These ideas might help.
- Morning check-in. See how you’re feeling and make any adjustments to your day, based on that (e.g., you’re tired, so you may need to give yourself more time or maybe you’re stressed, so breathe more). It’s a small moment of self-care that you can do daily before even getting out of bed.
- Meditate. If you’re feeling stressed or maybe need extra time for yourself, consider meditating. We’re talking minutes here, not hours. Or you can extend it for however long you like, without throwing off your schedule. Start with some deep breaths, which even helps to lower stress.
- Exercise. If you have the time, get in a workout.
Hopefully, these tips will help decrease stress and start the day off with more smiles for all! What does your morning routine look like? Do you have tips or steps that might help other working moms get their morning routine on track for back-to-school?