It doesn’t matter if you work from home, homeschool, work outside of the home, take your kids to school or daycare. Being a mom in the morning is freakin’ hard. Anything we can to do make chaotic mornings suck less is a win.
This time of year cracks me up – this is when all of the moms with school-aged kids get super excited that it is back to school season and their kiddos will be out of the house all day and at school.
It’s not the same for homeschooling moms LOL!
In our home, since we both work out of the house and homeschool the kids, it’s a real challenge to remember that weekends and school breaks are a time to celebrate and slow things down.
We try hard to keep a Monday through Friday schedule but, work does trickle over into the weekend days.
There isn’t much of a difference between our summer schedule and our school year schedule, except that I let the kids sleep later during the summer.
Now that school is back in session though, it’s time to start being a bit more firm about the schedule and making sure that everyone is up at a certain time.
Scheduling work time and school time
Our days during the school year are pretty full with various activities and, since we work from home, we need to know there are certain blocks of time where we can talk on the phone with clients, and get work done.
That means keeping our morning routine somewhat the same so that we get work done in time for the afternoon family time.
It’s much easier to do this during the summer when the kids sleep later. During the school year, we have to be more proactive about scheduling the morning hours.
Some people think we’re crazy. They’re like, “If I worked from home and my kids were homeschooled – I wouldn’t get out of bed until noon!”
I guess that is the stereotype that will never end about work at home/homeschooling moms. In any case, though, it’s very important for our days to be on schedule and that includes the morning routine.
Morning routines suck … but, they’re necessary
Whether you work outside of the home and have to get yourself and your kiddos out the door or, you homeschool your kiddos and don’t have to leave the house first thing – the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Having a good morning that goes nice and smooth is pretty important to the way that everyone’s day goes.
If you do a little bit of math … you’ll learn that you only have about 25,000 mornings in your lifetime.
The average life expectancy for an American female is about 86. If we subtract the 18 years that you live before having any major life responsibility – you’ve got about 68 mornings to live as an adult.
So, 68 years of life multiplied by 365 days per year … and you’ve got nearly 25,000 mornings to live.
Why not make them count!?
These are my favorite ways to make our chaotic mornings suck less:
Wake up at least 30-minutes before anyone else does.
Rolling out of bed and immediately having little people ask you for things is a terrible way to set the tone for the day.
If you can get up 30-minutes before everyone – you can have a cup of coffee, set out cereal bowls for everyone, have a little bit of peace to get your mind right.
It’s like if you have a big presentation at work – you don’t want to walk into the meeting at the same time as everyone else right? No.
You want to get there a few minutes early to make sure that all of the tech stuff is in place, set out the presentation packets for everyone, make sure that the caterer has come and left the snacks and coffee, etc.
You’re leading the charge at home, so it’s better to take a few minutes to prepare before the troops rise and whine hahaha!
Do as much as you can the night before.
I know it seems really lame but, the first day that I set my coffee pot up the night before and had hot and fresh coffee waiting for me when I woke up that next morning – it felt like I had won the lottery!
I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been doing this all along. It was a very easy task to do … but, it made such a huge impact on my morning the next day.
Do things like; set out clothes, get your coffee pot set up, take out your freezer meal and put it in the fridge, make sure everyone has shoes and socks ready for the next day (this is a huge problem in my house because I hate matching socks), pack the lunches with all of the accessory food and make the sandwich the morning of.
There’s a ton of things that you can do the night before to make sure that your morning goes well
Write a schedule.
This works really well for my 11-year old and 4-year old. (the 2-year old doesn’t really care). They love to be able to see what we are doing next and at what time.
They know that when I have blocks of time that say “mom work”, they get to have a little bit of TV time. And, they enjoy doing lessons on StudyIsland, ABCya, or ABCMouse on their tablets while I get some focused work time in.
The schedule is a big whiteboard on the wall that is a calendar for the day with time slots. I have a calendar on the wall next to it with the monthly tasks.
I use post-its for the tasks that I’m trying to get lined up but, haven’t confirmed yet and I color-code the tasks for each kid. Sometimes it’s their chores and other times it’s their schoolwork.
It might seem crazy that I fill out the daily whiteboard each night for the next day but, it’s pretty crazy how simple the day can be when you just drill it down to what you need to get done each hour.
Setting the day off on a good note – whether you are leaving the house right away or not – is an important part of keeping things less stressful.
How do you feel about your morning routine these days? What is the hardest part of your morning routine?