As our summer is coming to a close, I'm realizing that we are woefully unprepared for the back to school morning madness. The summer was awesome but I'm excited to get back into our weekly rhythm, that is with the exception of one thing:
The morning chaos.
I don't know what it's like at your house, but by the end of May our mornings had dissolved into me basically begging (and then sometimes yelling, whoops) for my kids to get their act together and run to the car so we wouldn't be late. It took all the joy out of our time together before the school day and was honestly a terrible way to start my day. Total adrenaline rush, agitation on all sides, chaos and chiding and something I don't want to repeat again this year.
So this year, I'm going to start the year different. Hopefully by implementing this list chaos busters, we may finally be able to enjoy more stress free mornings together.
1) Start the night before.
I get it, by the time dinner is made and cleaned, laundry done and put away, kids chased down for jammie and toothbrush and bedtime, I'm just ready to sit on the couch. But without fail, I kick myself the next morning as I scramble through things I could have done the night before. Things like:
- Lay out clothes
- pack lunches
- prepare backpacks
- charge laptops
2) Wake up before your kids.
Half the time when I'm running behind in the morning it's because I still need to get myself ready while also getting the kids ready. I'm planning to make sure I'm up and in my own personal routine at least half an hour before I need to start tackling parent duty. For me, that will look like some quiet time reading my bible, listening to music while I fix my hair and makeup, and eating a healthy breakfast (so I don't end up grabbing a cereal bar or not eating til 10am 🤪).
Making sure I'm awake before my kids will keep me from getting frustrated when they take longer with morning tasks, which then delays me from my own things I need to do, and then in turns makes us all late.
Oh boy, do we need this step. Typically I am so focused on our morning task list that I forget this is an opportunity for us to enjoy each other. Planning in just 5 minutes of intentional time can help your kids feel connected to you and more likely to listen when it's time to hop to. Here are a few ways you can connect in the morning:
- Have a morning dance party
- Conversation cards like these
- Pray together or read/discuss a story from the Children's Storybook Bible
- The compliment game: each person takes a turn saying something they love about everyone else in the family
- Joke or Riddle of the Day
- Reading a book on the couch
4) Post the routine.
Speaking of keeping the kids on task, sometimes it helps to have a visual of what the task list actually IS. My oldest has ADHD and having a written list really helps him to recenter when he gets distracted!
Check out these 15 free Chore Chart Printables to help you get started.
5) Put your phone down.
It's so easy for me to get lost in my morning work emails or the latest news update or let's be honestly, sometimes just the instagram scroll. It seems so simple, but losing valuable morning time to your phone is a simple way to make sure you don't get distracted and off schedule.
6) Create a buffer time.
I know that we have to leave our house by 7:45 in order for us to get to school a non-rushed, non-speeding kind of way. But somehow, I feel like most of the time when we shoot to leave at 7:45, we actually end up leaving at 7:55 and then busting it not to be late.
This year I'm going to shoot for us to be leaving by 7:35 to give us that extra buffer time for when we can't find the take-home folder, or my toddler has a dirty diaper, or my daughter desperately wants her hair braided in JUST THE RIGHT WAY. And any extra time we have will be rewarded with more connect/fun time!
What are your ideas for controlling the morning chaos? Share what you do to calm your home and make mornings more enjoyable!