If I home schooled my children, school probably would not start til noon! We love summer evenings and having no hurry to get everyone up and out the door. It always takes us a couple of weeks to find the new routine set up once school begins, but once we do, things run pretty smoothly.
Guide for Mornings calm
It’s taken me a couple of years to determine what our family needed to do to create our mornings calm, and just enjoy all of life – it is the little things which make the biggest difference.
Get up Earlier
Every moment of sleep counts. Maybe I should name this one, go to bed before J! It’s amazing what a difference 15 minutes can make. I promise it is worth it! Your entire day will be CALMER if you allow yourself enough time to get prepared with ease in the morning.
Start off by Just Being
Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety. If you hit the snooze three times and then jump up and crazily jump in the day – the stage is set one way! On the other hand, if you wake up, have a moment to breathe and get attached – the stage is set another way! I heard someone say once,”If people were supposed to pop out of bed, we’d all sleep in toasters!” I take 10 to 15 minutes to myself in the morning often to sit and revel in my tea or coffee. Sometimes I meditate, sometimes I journal, sometimes I do yoga, but mostly I just be. Allow yourself a few minutes to feel the puzzle of the day beforehand. Settle’ in the morning, get grounded, get connected and everything else in the Universe will rally to your help!
Prepare the Night Before
Going through backpacks and cleaning out lunch boxes is an excellent thing to do the night before. Then there are no surprises in the morning – papers to sign, college pictures the following day or forgotten worksheets! Another time saver for the evening before is to create picking out clothes for the next day component of the bedtime ritual. Having clothing chosen is such a tiny thing, but it is just one less decision a sleepy-head has to create in the morning – especially if they are cranky! I’ve had a lack of socks turn an whole morning upside down! I need to admit I usually don’t pack lunches at night. I’d prefer to allow an additional five minutes to do it in the morning. That’s just me. You determine what works best for you, so either pack lunches the night before, or ensure that you’ve got a time allocated to it in the morning. Anything you can do the night before to make the morning more CALM is guaranteed to payoff with BIG benefits!
I used to let my children watch TV in the morning. It’s not that I’ve anything against Sponge Bob, I have something against the enormous black box which produces noise in the morning. Initially, my children had a match. It was so routine to get up and plop in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal. However, the house felt CRAZY, rather than CALM. They really did not fight very hard when they knew I was serious about no TV in the AM – and it has been one of the single biggest factors in bringing us to CALM!
Make everyone accountable for their own breakfast
My six year old gets his very own breakfast. We moved the cereal into the bottom shelf in the pantry and have a unique ‘milk carton’ we keep on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. He enjoys getting up and making his own breakfast. With a few alterations, your children can be self explanatory for breakfast! While they are eating, you can finish getting ready, fixing lunches or getting things to the vehicle. This is also a wonderful way to enable them to look after themselves!
The largest factor in your family’s morning routine will be your attitude. We’ve all heard the old expression,’If Momma ai not happy, ai not no one happy! It goes the same with CALM, – IF MOMMA AIN’T CALM, AIN’T NO ONE GONNA BE CALM! If you are short, snappy and brusque, CALM will go right out the window. So place your intention upon increasing. Hold a vision of a fun, simple calm exit from the home. Keep your voice quiet and your directions kind and loving. Believe your loved ones can do weekends and it can be a peaceful time in your own household.
To Sum Up
Nothing earth shattering here. No scientific study, no surveys, no emotional analysis. Just plain ole common sense and holding yourself and your children accountable to a few straightforward ideas that really will take your mornings from mad to calm and permit you to begin your day in a spirit of peace!