If you’ve hung around my little corner of the interwebs for a while… you know that prior to my graduation my life kept up a momentously tiring pace. To be completely honest (and truly not just tooting my own horn) I don’t know how I did it myself. When Jace started VPK last year it added a whole-nother level of complicated to my morning routines. Previously, I had to get only myself ready while I played something musical/colorful on tv for the kids. Now, I had to get Jace fed and ready as well.
Also, my husband works nights. This means that he is as good as not home at all for our morning operations. Even if I did need him, he sleeps like the dead. No seriously, you CANNOT wake him.
Now that Jace is in kindergarten, we’ve got to get ready FIVE days a week. I know, I know, VPK was five days a week too, but for some reason kindergarten feels a bit more serious. VPK was for 2.5 hours. Kindergarten is an all day affair. There are lunches to be made, outfits to be matched, socks to be found (because kindergarten is a no sandals allowed zone,) and basically just a TON more organization to be mastered on my part.
This is one dimension where the working moms have out mastered those of those of us that don’t. For them, this is an old song and dance. (Okay, I have always worked. But definitely not full time.) For me though (and many mommas) this is an entirely NEW dance. The routine has actually sort of spilled over into other aspects of my life as well, it’s kind of a major game changer for me. 😉 Here is what I’ve found to make things WAY easier.
DO THE LAUNDRY
I know, I know. I cringe too. But seriously, it’s become so much easier with the school routine. I do each child’s laundry on the weekend, and then there is like astronomically LESS laundry to wash and fold compared to when I would just let them wear basically every item of clothing that they owned before being forced to wash their overflowing laundry baskets. (Who would have thought, right?) haha! This step also makes it extremely easy to prepare Jace’s school outfits for the week, because I can make sure that all of his “school clothes” is clean and put away. This eliminates another potentially painful morning struggle.
PREPARE THE GROCERY LIST
I have never been a “list maker.” I find that rigid schedules and todo lists freak me out…because then when plans go awry (as they always do with kids and work,) things just end up feeling even more crazy. It’s probably one of the reasons organization isn’t my strong suit. 😉 But I have found that it totally helps in regards to grocery shopping for lunch items. Jace is extremely picky, so I knew I’d be making his lunch daily, but I also like for his meals to be nutritional. Having a list (at least a mental one) of items that are A.) on sale, B.) healthy, and C.) Picky Jace approved to keep stocked at home has made making his lunches infinitely easier. Also, maybe I will find other applicable life situations for these “lists” my “type-A” friends keep going on about. 😉
DO IT THE NIGHT BEFORE
I totally understand if this one makes you cringe as well. Some nights, I work until 11pm. But I have accepted the fact that I will never be a morning person, and that things will always run smoother for me if I don’t have to do it in the morning. So I always prep Jace’s lunch, backpack, outfit, and anything else… before I go to bed. That way, I literally only have to make him breakfast when we wake up. Then, since his clothes are already laid out; he can brush his teeth and dress himself. This leaves me all the free time to get myself dressed.
Admittedly, the one thing I really need to get better at doing the night before is washing and setting up my coffee machine. I have a fancy coffee machine that is glorious and grinds the beans for me, making ultra fresh coffee every morning…but there are a lot of pieces to wash as a result. #annoying And honestly, I skip this nightly step sometimes; but then I pay for it each morning.
These might seem like obvious tips (tips have a strange way of being obvious, don’t they?) But I have found that actually applying them has made getting Jace ready for school and myself ready for the day or work simultaneously SO much easier. By giving him a set routine he is able to get most of his tasks done on his own, since I have already set most of it up for him. And when he is pleasant and relaxed in the morning… so is Mom.
Do you have a morning routine?! What works best for you?