Another summer break has flown by at record speed. Days packed full of camping trips, building sand castles at the beach, and riding bikes up and down the sidewalks will soon be replaced with early morning wake up calls, endless homework and a new countdown to the next summer break.
When you’re a couple of boys shy of having your own basketball team, mornings can be pretty rough! I’d venture to say that I’m not the only mama who’s mornings can get pretty hectic.
If you’d like to nip the back to school morning chaos in the bud before it begins, follow along with these
7 Busy Mom Hacks for a Stress-Free Morning
1. Have Everyone’s Clothes Ready the Night Before
OK, if I am being honest here, my kids sleep in their school clothes. It started when my oldest was going into Kindergarten. He was so excited for his first day of school that he wanted to sleep in his school clothes the night before. And of course his little brother wanted to do the same. Fast forward 2 years, and I cannot get these kids to sleep in pajamas!
Its become their routine to put on their clean clothes for the next day, before they go to bed, and its actually been really awesome! Not having to pick out their clothes and get them dressed in the morning before school allows me to let them sleep an extra 10 minutes or more in the morning.
If having your kids sleep in their school clothes isn’t your jam, at least have their clothes ready the night before. Having their outfit (and yours) laid out or hanging up ready to go will save you time and stress in the morning. If you’re feeling really ambitious, have everyone’s outfits picked out Sunday night for the whole week!
2. Have Your Kid’s Backpack Packed the Night Before
Even as a first grader last year, my son’s backpack seemed to turn into a black hole. Things would come home from school, and never make it to me, or the other way around. I’d find myself stressing in the morning to make sure his homework folder was checked off and ready to go, and all his library books were tucked inside. That is, until I made it a priority to tackle backpack duty the night before.
Rather than walking away from everything when homework is complete, take a couple of minutes to make sure everything is ready to go for the next day. Check for communication flyers from teachers or PTA that need to be signed and returned, and take care of it right away. Pack up anything that needs to go back to school and have it done the night before. You won’t believe what a relief it is to not have to worry about your child’s backpack in the morning before school!
3. Prep Your Lunches the Night Before
Once, twice, three times you’ve seen “the night before”. That’s because the more you do the night before, the less you have to stress about during your morning hustle. Preparing your child’s lunch the night before, (and yours too, if you work outside of the home) is a great way to shave off valuable time in the morning.
Pack up leftovers from dinner as you are clearing the table, and put them straight into their lunch pail in the fridge. Have snacks portioned out in reusable bags ready to go. Fill up their YUMBOX with sliced fruit, deli meat and cheese, tuna, or whatever it is going to be for the next day, and stick it in the fridge so it is ready to pull out and pack up the next morning.
When you take the time to pack you and your kids’ lunches the night before, not only does it reduce stress and rushing in the morning, it also allows you more time to make mindful food choices, leading to a higher chance that the lunch will be full of healthier options.
4. Save Social Media for Later in the Day
Before I came to grips with my social media addiction and gave it the boot altogether a couple of years ago, one of the first things I would do when I woke up was check my phone for the latest updates. It would start by just checking my notifications, but soon I’d find myself lost in the time-suck that is social media, and running late to get out the door.
If checking your social media newsfeeds is part of you morning routine, try holding off until later in the day. To curb the habit, set your morning alarm on a traditional alarm clock rather than your phone so that it isn’t the first thing you grab when you wake up. If you’re anything like I was, you could end up saving yourself 15-20 minutes in the morning!
5. Have Your Coffee Waiting for You
There’s no way around this mama needing her coffee in the morning! Having to skip my coffee because I’m running late equals a not so good day ahead. The best way to make sure I always get my coffee, without having to worry about it in the morning, is to have it waiting for me.
If you use a french press, like I do, portion out your beans and have them in the grinder ready to press “grind” in the morning. Have your water measured out and waiting in the teapot on the stove, so all you have to do is turn the burner on. You can even have your sugar scooped and waiting in your thermos, waiting to mingle with your coffee once poured.
Even faster, but not quite the same fresh goodness that I have come to love, if you use an automatic coffee machine, have the grounds, filter and water in place the night before, and set that alarm! You’ll have your cup of Joe ready and waiting for you to walk into the kitchen and tackle the day. With your coffee waiting for you, and not the other way around, you’ll have one less thing to worry about in the morning!
6. Start Your Day off with Some Tunes
One of the best ways to start your day off on the right foot (besides coffee!) is to start your morning with your favorite music. Listening to up beat music while getting ready will put some pep in your step to help you move along quicker without feeling rushed. Listening to music will also help to put you in a better mood, reducing morning stress!
Music works great for the kids too. If your kids wake up grumpy, play some up beat music that’ll make you all want to sing and dance. Last year my go-to for a while was Spice Girls “Wannabe”. It was awesome because my kids were way too young to know what the song was, and got a good laugh watching me look like a dork, getting down to my childhood jam at 6:30 AM. “Slam yo body down and zigga zig ah!”
7. Have a Central Hub for Things You Need to Walk out the Door
I am the worst about misplacing things! My husband and kids must get so tired of me saying, where are my keys, where are my sunglasses, where is my purse…? To try to avoid the last minute search party before you head out the door, always put things you need to head out with in the same spot, near the door.
Having to hunt for things before you can get on the road not only slows you down but is stressful too! Take my advice (I’m drilling it into my own head right now too!) and always put your keys, sunglasses, purse, etc in the same spot, that is easy to grab on your way out the door.
Mornings are crazy as it is. Why not try to implement some of these busy mom hacks for a stress-free morning?! What helps your morning go more smoothly?