Tips for Smooth Mornings for Moms
By Aurora M.
For some people, the morning is bright and full of potential. For the rest of us, it’s the dreaded gauntlet that we have to run in order to get on with our lives. All too often, the people feeling bright and chipper in the morning are your children, who love to wake you up hours before you’re ready to start the day, (even though they also kept you up all night!) Whether you’re trying to get your children to church, school, daycare, or simply get them dressed and out the door… here are some tips to help the morning go smoother for the whole family.
The most important meal of the day
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you have kids running around your feet, it can be easy to put off eating a for a few hours, just until they’ve settled down. You might tell yourself that you’re just waiting until the baby is ready for a nap. But in reality, you know you probably won’t actually get around to eating. Breakfast really is so important, because you need the energy to get through the day and chase your little ones around. If you don’t eat in the mornings, it’s likely that you’ll be cranky and short with your kids, meaning that no one will really have a good day.
For breakfast, make sure that you’re getting a balanced meal that includes protein. A bowl of cereal probably isn’t going to cut it and give you enough energy to last you until lunch. For an added boost of energy, try adding a cup of matcha to your daily routine. As this article argues, it will keep you energized longer than your regular cup of coffee, plus it burns more calories and has way more antioxidants per cup. Your energy is important, and you don’t want to let yourself get burned out in the first few hours of the day!
Implement healthy routines
This is true for both you AND your children. Your children will learn from example, and it’s important that they pick up healthy habits from you at an early age. You can make it fun! Brush your teeth at the same time as all your kids (even before they have teeth!) and make a game to see who can brush their teeth longest, or who can gurgle their rinse water longer. Making sure that you eat WITH them is another important habit. They need to see that it’s important to eat three full meals every day. Bonus points if your meals are full of fruits and vegetables, so they won’t be afraid to try eating an array of different healthy foods.
Don’t give up on nap time
While your little ones are growing so much, especially in the first few years, it’s important that they get lots of rest. They’re tiring themselves out so much during the day, running around and playing. Besides that, growing actually takes a lot of energy, which is why napping is so important for your littles. Utilize their nap time, and use this time to take a much needed break. Catch up on your favorite tv shows, read a book, or take a nap yourself if you need one.
Even as your children get older and begin resisting nap time, it’s still important for you to get that short break in the late mornings before lunch. So even if they aren’t going to take a nap, have them take an hour or two (however long nap time usually is) for “quiet time”. They should use this time to read books or quietly play by themselves, if they don’t want to nap. Sometimes, because they’re being peaceful and relatively still, they’ll end up taking a nap anyway, which is a double win for you!
Setting yourself up for success
Mornings can be hard, period. But this gets even harder if you’re carrying over anxiety and stress from the day before. If you do this day in and day out, you’ve caught yourself in a vicious cycle that may be incredibly difficult to get yourself out of. Some of the things that are the most helpful here are to eat a balanced breakfast, as mentioned earlier, and then a good night’s rest. Sometimes that’s just not possible, and that’s okay. It’s not always possible. If you have a free moment in the mornings, try to sit and collect your thoughts before you start the day. This article has some great ideas for confronting stress and anxiety in the mornings. Think about the ways you’ll succeed that day. Meditate. Project your positive thoughts. The more positive and successful you think you’ll be that day, the more positive and successful you’ll actually be.
"Time spent with cats is never wasted." ~ Sigmund Freud