Do you feel scattered every morning before leaving the house?
I feel the same most mornings.
As a working mom let’s just say that mornings are a struggle for me. But here’s the funny thing:
In no way are the mornings treacherous because of Madeleine. It’s all me. I am unorganized, disorganized and at best trying to be organized. But, somehow organization never happens.
I ask myself from time to time….what happened to me? I use to be so organized…and then a voice in my mind says: “well, a baby happened, that’s what”.
But, I will not accept defeat. I am not a victim of birthing a child. I am a mom and I will conquer this!
I’m not trying to change the world. I’m just trying to make our mornings a little happier, a lot less chaotic and a lot more zen.
So, who is with me? Let’s change how we tackle our mornings!
Here are eight steps you can take to get out the door a little faster in the morning while still wearing a smile on your face.
Your boss will love you for it!
To make it extra easy on you, I created a checklist with all these items so you can make your mornings as painless as possible. Get it for free now by clicking here
8 Ways to Simplify Your Morning Routine as a Working Mom
Prep Lunches the Night Before
The ultimate organization and time hack:
Doing things ahead of time.
Prepping your kids lunches the night before seems like a lot of work, but you will thank yourself in the morning when you have extra time to sip your coffee.
Since you are already making a mess in your kitchen for dinner, use this time to start lunch prep for the next day. This combines the two messes you have to make to streamline it into one simple cleanup.
You can even prep at the beginning of the week if you like.
I usually prep snacks for the week on Sunday night. I get all the baggies lined up, label them with Madeleine’s name stickers and then just do a mass drop into each bag. I seal them up and leave them in the cupboard. Then each night when I am prepping for the next day I just drop them in the lunch bag.
It’s that simple.
Sometimes I cut up fruit for the next few days. I also prep protein snacks of edamame/beans/tomatoes and cucumbers. I make that on Sunday night as well and then divide it into 5 containers for lunches. That way, the only lunch prep for the night prior is a sandwich or the main dish from dinner.
This prep work saves me a ton of time and frees up my morning to do other things, like watch morning T.V. Hey, it’s the news…..so it’s okay, right?
Set Clothes Out the Night Before
This seems a little self-explanatory, but it’s widely ignored as a key to an easy morning.
If you select what the kids are going to wear the night before, it frees up your time immensely.
I choose her clothes the night before and then place them on the hook next to her changing table. My hubby dresses Madeleine in the morning, so it’s easy for him to just grab the clothes and dress her. It leaves time for me in the morning so I don’t have to run upstairs and select and outfit, because it’s already been done.
It gives me one less thing to worry about in the morning, which is freeing.
I’ll Take Some of That – Peace and Quiet
I love to drink my coffee. I also love to check my emails and my social media accounts in the morning, but if I want to be on time, I need to get up earlier to do this.
Instead of waking up at my normal time and trying to cram everything in, which means that I don’t give anything my full attention, I get up almost 45 minutes earlier than anyone else in my house to do the things that I enjoy.
This is my time to enjoy the peace of a quiet house, sip my cup of joe, and catch up on the latest politics on Morning Joe.
When it’s time to get Madeleine up, I’m fully awake and not trying to multi-task her needs and my needs. Madeleine has my undivided attention.
Just Say No to Lollygagging
This goes hand in hand with waking up earlier.
In my past days of running around like a chicken with its head cut off, I would make myself late by lollygagging. I forgot that I had a baby to get going in the morning and I would sip my coffee like I had nowhere to be or anything to do.
That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
But as we all know, a baby is extra work and very time-consuming. So, that’s why I implemented the step above so I don’t lollygag.
When Madeleine is done eating her breakfast, I’m ready to go for the day. That’s when I hop in the shower and start getting ready. I don’t stop for anything….if I do, I’ll never get out the door and it would be noon before I got to work. Bosses don’t really like that. #nolollygagging.
Auto Pilot for Coffee Pots
I’m sure you’ve been there…
You wake up to your alarm, pry yourself out of bed, and shuffle to the kitchen. The minutes pass by as the coffee brews and time seems to stand still. Those un-caffeinated moments are agonizing.
I hate those mornings when I get up and the coffee hasn’t been made. It’s such a letdown.
To avoid the disappointment of no coffee, I prep the coffee when I am making dinner and lunches. I proudly set the timer and voila! When I wake up the next morning, I have the smell of java brewing; such a simple task for such a big reward.
Make Breakfast the Night Before
There have been many mornings that I am starving and have to finally eat something once I get to work. Well, I have come to find out that this is very bad for my waistline.
My trainer has advised me to eat within an hour of waking up.
Yup. Just one more thing to do in the morning. It never ends does it?
But I want to avoid my waistline expanding, so now I make my smoothie the night before during the workweek.
Disclaimer – do not try this when your little one is sleeping. You will hate me if you do. One night while Madeleine was sleeping I decided to make my smoothie the night before.
Big mistake. Big. Huge. (Anyone know what movie this is from?)
Well, even though she was all snuggled in her crib with the door closed…..the worst thing happened. Madeleine woke up to the blaring sound of the Bullet making my breakfast smoothie. Madeleine started crying and would not go back to sleep. As all mothers know, this is the worst thing that can happen. I broke the golden rule: never wake a sleeping baby. I did and I could just kick myself for it.
So, now I only make them during dinner prep and if I forget to make it then it’s oatmeal at work. There is nothing worth waking a sleeping baby. Nothing.
Step Away From the Snooze Button
How many times each morning do you reach for the snooze button?
Next time you feel your hand travelling over to your alarm clock, resist the temptation!
I know this one is hard and I will tell you that I am queen of the snooze button. My husband will vouch that I can press snooze for an hour and not even blink an eye. Yes, this is true.
But I knew that in order to love my mornings I had to stop caving in to my habit of pressing the “button”. Yes, that button.
I’ve gone cold turkey and stopped pressing that button. Now, when the alarm goes off I immediately turn it off and get up. It was hard at first, but just power thru. You will start to get use to it.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
If you are going to attempt to do any of this, you will need to go to bed early. If you’re running on too little sleep, you will not succeed. You will be dragging every day and continue be a victim of your morning routine.
Change the habit and get to bed early. The added Zzzz’s will get you in step to handle the mornings. But, it will also give your body the ability to move like you have a purpose.
I believe in the power of change and if a routine is not working or too convoluted, change it. We are all a work in progress. The key is to find what works and what doesn’t and for me……my mornings were definitely not working for me or my family.
I now move with purpose and have cut out all lollygagging.
Don’t you just love that word?
Tonight, get to bed early. You will thank yourself in the morning.