last year before school started, i did my best to figure out how to make our school mornings run more smoothly. since the kids only go to school 2 days a week, i already have it easy, but we still managed to have mornings filled with yelling and tears, rushing to gather supplies and shove food down throats.
after a lot of thought about identifying the obstacles that we couldn’t get around every morning, i came up with a new plan. after a full school year of trying out my new plan, i can absolutely say it works!
i shared this list last august, but i thought it is a good reminder again, especially for those of us still trying to find our back-to-school groove.
when we did prep the night before school, it was so much more calm, and magically faster, and our mornings were a time when we could actually have conversations and enjoy each other. what a concept!
so here’s the breakdown:
1. make lunches the night before. generally this is a task that the kids do, but i’ll help sometimes just to make sure they get all the right things in. in the morning they just have to grab their lunch from the fridge and toss in an ice pack.
2. pick out outfits the night before. the kids all know how to check the weather on my phone for the next day so they can dress weather-appropriately. they have everything layed out, from undies to shoes, so in the morning all they have to do is put on the clothes they already decided on. also, i don’t pick out my kids’ clothes. it is not worth the battle.
2 1/2. shower the night before. this one didn’t make the list last year, but it really helps us. we have always been morning bathers, but having the kids shower at night saves us from yelling “hurry up!!!” in the morning. so much less stress! now it just eats into bedtime…
3. pack backpacks the night before. everything but the lunch boxes should be ready to go! any forms needing to be turned in, show & tell items, projects due… everything!
4. set alarm early. last year i tried to get up 30 minutes before the kids to hop on emails and clear some mind space but his year i have just been setting my alarm five minutes before theirs. i don’t even bother checking my email and just go straight into job #1 – mom.
5. detach & engage. i need to be off of my computer and engaging with my kids. that helps everything go more smoothly. as soon as my kids sense even the tiniest bit of me getting distracted, they take full advantage of the situation and will have all the legos out building a medieval castle or something crazy that we definitely don’t have time for in our mornings. my attention needs to be on them.
so there are my tried and true tips for having peaceful school mornings! i hope that these can help some of you!
oh, why did i call this the “happy mama list” and not the “happy family list”? because when mama’s happy, everybody’s happy ;
feel free to print off your own here.