Getting out of the house can sometimes feel impossible. These simple tips around preparation can help make the morning craziness less hectic.
India Longo is a millennial mom from the Chicago suburbs. She stays busy with her three little ones -- ages 6, 2, and 3 months old. She’s an Esthetician and Makeup Artist with a passion for clean beauty. All natural and vegan products are a must for her family and household. She loves sharing the importance of living a natural and simple life. Some of her favorite things include sipping on coffee, grocery shopping by herself, and practicing yoga. She is currently working on transforming her life to be more minimalist, and you can follow her journey on her blog "Lipstick and Laundry" at www.indialongo.Wordpress.
I've found that the key to making mornings easier is preparation. Thinking ahead and prepping as much as much as I can the over the weekends or the night before helps me to cut down any early morning last-minute decision making. Morning can be my most stressful part of the day. (Anyone else?!) I am trying to get three kids fed, dressed, and ready before school time. I've found that a few little hacks of preparation have made mornings go more smoothly, and ultimately, makes me feel more relaxed to take on the day.
I am definitely no super mom, but these tips are so helpful to me and hopefully they can be for you as well. Now none of these are particularly rocket science, but often times, a small mindful shift in your routine can make a huge difference.
- Make lunches and snacks for you and your family ahead of time. After I go grocery shopping, I automatically organize all of the snacks to make it easy to grab and be filled in lunches. An example of this would be to pre-portion chips or pretzels into bags or containers. I also pre wash fruit and veggies and cut them if necessary. Make specific a lunch / snack section in your fridge and pantry where it can all be seen for fast packing.
- Lay out all of your outfits, including shoes, before bed. Be sure to check the weather the night before so you’re dressed appropriately. This may seem silly to do for yourself, but it truly is a time saver. There have been many times that I have had my kids ready to go on time yet I’m stuck trying to figure my own outfit and then end up running behind. Even if it’s your typical yoga pants, tee shirt, and gym shoes. Having them all together is best. I will sometimes be searching through my pile of black yoga pants for the specific pair I want to wear... which could easily tack on 5 minutes I don't have! Let’s be honest, getting up in the morning is rough especially when you’re still up at night with your baby. Being able to think less -- and just do -- will put you in a better mood for the day. I also like to lay out clothes for my children ahead of time because this way my oldest can get herself dressed before coming down for breakfast and I don’t have to worry about her choosing something that does not work with the weather.
- Make sure the kids have all of their homework/ library books/ notebooks/ etc. in their backpacks. When my kids go to bed, I double check we have put everything back where it belongs and I like to put their bags right at the door for easy pick up on our way out. If you still have a diaper bag for one of your kids like I do, go through the bag and make sure there are enough diapers, wipes and spare outfits so you wont have to think about it later.
- Pre-make breakfast. Having food on hand, such as boiled eggs, breakfast burritos, and overnight oats can make such a difference. At the same time, you don’t have to be afraid of cereals and frozen foods from the grocery store, we can only do so much in a day! And there are great healthy options out there. Just make sure to shop smart - cereal that doesn't contain a high amount of sugar, like Swiss Muesli, and products that are as natural as possible. Other great examples of "fast foods" are whole grain waffles topped with peanut butter and fruit, or sprouted grain toast with avocado.
- Wake up before your kids and get ready. This is NOT something I am currently doing because I have a 3 month old and I am still getting up multiple times a night! So I've chosen to let this one go, for now. Before I had the baby, I would do this often -- and I will again eventually, because it can make all the difference. Doing my hair and makeup has always been fun for me and I enjoy having that time to myself. Let’s face it, there’s barely any alone time as a parent! If you want to add in a morning meditation or yoga practice, you can't let your children be your alarm clock - or the time will inevitably be taken over by their needs.
Getting out of the house can sometimes feel impossible, so I hope these tips help you feel less stress during that time. How you start your morning can set the tone for the rest of the day. I'd love to hear from you, try out these preparation tips and let me know how it goes @lipstick.and.laundry !