Welcome to a week of blog posts about many people’s nemesis: MORNINGS! Here in Victoria, the school term starts this week, and there will be collective sighs as mums attempt to get themselves and their kids out the door on time. But this isn’t just for school mums, or even just for mums.
This is not going to be a series about to to wrangle your kids in the morning. There is plenty of great advice about that (check out The Organised Housewife or Planning with Kids for lots of resources). This is going to give some ideas about managing yourself in the morning.
The safety instructions on an airplane always clearly state to apply your own oxygen mask before attempting to help your children with theirs. Look after yourself so that you are better equipped to help your children. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
The mornings that go the smoothest in this house, are those where I have been organised and relaxed. If I’m feeling in control, even if the kids are being
little sh*ts challenging, I can get out the door without losing my mind. I’m no expert on this. This is my first year as a school mum. But challenging mornings are not the exclusive domain of the school mum. Even as a working, childless woman, I could have benefited from some of these ideas. I hope you get something out of these posts. Please leave your tips and ideas in the comments, or come and chat over at the Facebook page, because I sure don’t know everything and I’m always looking for ways to make my life better!
Let’s start, as Maria says, at the very beginning.
Wake up before your kids not for your kids.
‘Mummy, I HUNGWYYYYY’
It’s fair to say that nine times out of ten, I don’t respond very positively to being woken up by one of my angels demanding breakfast. This kind of wake up call is usually met with a mumbled response from underneath the doona, and I generally get up about ten minutes later or as long as I can manage to stay in bed while the demands become louder and more annoying.
Those mornings, however, where I have set my alarm a good half an hour before the kids generally get up, and had a quiet breakfast (and coffee!), read my bible, got dressed and my make up on, I can greet them with a smile and a cuddle, and get them breakfast without feeling that I’m already running behind.
I know that it’s hard to get up earlier than what you already do. I know that kids often get up at six. But honestly, even if you can get up fifteen minutes before they do, you’ll feel so much better about your morning.
It’s important to use that time to do something that recharges your batteries and prepares you for the day. For me, that’s a quiet breakfast and a coffee, and time to read my bible and pray. You might like to get out for a brisk walk, read the newspaper or a book, meditate, do yoga or journal.
As tempting as it is to use this time to catch up on blog reading, Facebook or emails, try to avoid it! The inherent stress that comes with the need to ‘catch up’ on our social media will creep into your day right from the beginning. It can wait. Even if you do it while the kids are having breakfast, at least give yourself the first half hour of your day free from the distraction of technology.
My goal for this year is to consistently get up at least half an hour before my big boys (the baby is a bit more unpredictable with his wake up times). Ideally, twice a week I’d love to get up an hour early and go for a run, but that’s a bit of a challenge for me!
Is this something you already do? Is it something you want to do this year? What can you do with your first half an hour that will recharge you in preparation for the day?