I remember a time not long ago when it seemed that I could never get my kids off to school in the mornings without a whole lot of grief. It seemed that we were always running late, my house looked like a wreck, and we were all in such bad moods because Mom spent the whole time yelling, "Hurry up!" at everyone.
Then, I learned about how to fix my mornings so that I didn't experience the terrible chaos that marked each weekday morning (and Sundays too ... we could never get everyone out the door to church without a bunch of yelling either). What resulted was a whole lot of peace and more cheery hearts for both me and the kids.
If this situation sounds suspiciously like your own, take a look at these reasons why your mornings might be killing you.
1. You're tired
Every mom that I know is always tired. It's such a cliche, but it's a true one. It takes a lot of work to take care of children and a home everyday. Many moms work outside the home as well, making for long, tiresome days. But unfortunately, most of us, myself included, aren't getting enough sleep. Even though I am not perfect at this by any stretch of the imagination, I have learned to start going to bed earlier in order to get more sleep.
Now I usually get into bed as soon as my children are tucked in. I don't go to sleep right away, but I take that time to read a book, watch one or two shows with my husband, and then go to sleep by 10 p.m. Shutting off my brain after dinner helps me to fall asleep more easily than if I stayed up writing posts or working on scrapbooking.
2. You have too much to do
How long is your to-do list? I know I routinely try to fit a whole lot of stuff onto my daily to-do list, thinking that I can squeeze things into those little pockets of down time. What ends up happening is that unexpected things come up, or tasks take me longer than I had anticipated, and then I end up behind. I tend to also volunteer for things - whether it be at church, with friends, or at my kids' school - that take up much more time than I had budgeted for, making for sometimes crazy days.
3. You can't fit what needs to be done into your mornings
When we first have babies, we try to get every minute of extra sleep that we can to make up for what we lose during those nighttime feedings. But if your kids have been sleeping through the night for some time, you might be missing out on a prime method for fitting more time into your day - getting up before the kids.
When I started getting up an hour before my kids, I was amazed at how much more I could get done! Having those few minutes of quiet in the morning also helped me to feel more cheerful when they did wake up because I wasn't going from a deep sleep to non-stop chattering from two littles ones needing my attention. Instead, I had time to get my bearings and get my coffee for the day. It helps to take care of yourself before you take care of the kids.
4. You have no motivation
If you absolutely hate mornings, why bother getting up early? Well, if there is no incentive to get up, then you probably won't do it. So it's good to try to find the motivation to get up in the mornings. Do you want some time alone before the kids get up? Do you want to read that good book without anyone bothering you? Do you just want to get out of the house in the morning without all the craziness? Try to find something that will motivate you to get your mornings in order.
Having a routine in the mornings helps everyone know what to expect. For example, in our home, the first thing we do when the kids wake up is have a few minutes of cuddle time on the couch, sometimes with a book if they get up early enough, and then we eat breakfast. After breakfast, the kids go upstairs to make their beds, get dressed and brush their teeth while I clean up the kitchen and pack their lunches. Lately, I've been packing the lunches during my morning time, so all I have to do is put them into backpacks. After everyone is ready, we put on our shoes and head for the bus stop.
Before we had a good routine in place, the kids would start playing with toys or try to turn on the television instead of getting ready. I ended up prodding everyone with a stern "hurry up!" about every 30 seconds all morning long. Now, they know what they need to do and it gets done with little or no reminding from Mom.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on My Mommy World. It has been modified and republished here with permission.