Now that everyone is back in school, this is the time of year in which I evaluate, study, and tweak our morning routine. I learned a long time ago that how our mornings begin sets the tone for the rest of the day, so these are some ways which help our mornings get off to a good start ...
~1~ Do laundry over the weekend. This is a win-win situation because not only does ALL the laundry get done, but everyone is home to help fold and put it away. This way, there is no last minute scrambling during the week to find navy pants, matching socks, or a school sweatshirt.
~2~ Pack lunches the night before. Even though I am often tempted to wait and do it later, planning ahead gives me that much more time in the morning to deal with other things.
~3~ Start the day off with some alone time (a must for me). Of course, this means getting up before anyone else, but a 15-20 buffer is all I need to mentally and physically prepare. In the past, I tried to use this time for morning prayers, but I discovered that I pray better (and yawn much less) if I do my prayers mid-morning. This year my early alone time includes a 20 minute yoga session, and I love it. It's both invigorating and energizing. (I should point out that my yoga session is not part of my daily workout.)
~4~ Because I drive every morning, I make my morning cappuccino to go. I used to wait until I returned home, but dealing with morning traffic and a 45 minute commute made me grumpy. So, morning drive + cappuccino = happy carpooling mom.
~5~ One of the biggest problems I had to try and solve was The Messy Morning Kitchen. We are breakfast eaters; that is, we do not grab a Pop Tart and head out the door; instead, our breakfasts include any of the following: cereal, waffles, toast, yogurt, fruit, and orange juice. So, you can imagine the bowls, spoons, cups, and plates that we go through. The problem was that once I returned home from carpooling, I wanted to get on with my day and not stop to clean the kitchen. As a result, there were many evenings in which I was cleaning the breakfast dishes after dinner. My solution? Breakfast is the only meal in which we use paper products ... cups, plates, bowls, spoons. Now, clean-up is a breeze, and when we leave in the morning the kitchen is already in order.
~6~ A good night's rest discourages the appearance of Mr. Grumpy Pants at breakfast. A set bedtime is easy with our little one ... he is in bed by 8 p.m. (and even earlier if he needs it). Our high school sons have more freedom in this area, but the general rule of thumb is lights out by 11 p.m., period.
~7~ Be aware of who is a morning person . . . and who isn't. It's perfectly okay to separate them, if necessary.
And for a little inspiration . . .
Now, go visit Jen over at Conversion Diary ... you might see a teddy bear with a scorpion on the chin.