By Fredrica Syren:
I think most of us have had mornings when we’re running around like crazy, trying to get ready for work. Now add three kids to that equation and every morning is like a marathon, working hard to get to the finish line: all kids dressed, fed, and ready to head to school on time. After many mornings of total chaos – kids crying, spilled food, and two very sweaty and frustrated parents – I realized that something had to change. With a few changes, we have developed a much better way to start our morning. This is how we do it.
Prepare in the evening – I have found that if I take 30 minutes during the evening to get the kids’ clothes ready, the oatmeal soaking in a pot on the stove, bowls and spoons on the counter, and kitchen cleaned up, things are much less chaotic in the morning. And I can even sit down to eat with them.
Wake up before kids do – I have learned that once kids are up, my life becomes about feeding, dressing, cleaning and listening to an aaaaaamazing dream someone had. So, now I try to wake up just a little before they do to have some tea and practice a little bit of yoga or meditation. It will make me much calmer, and it gives me a chance to be completely alert and ready for the kids.
Find time for cuddles and hugs with kids – I think we live in a society where kids constantly have to hear “Hurry up. We’re going to be late,” etc. I really try to find time to let my kids snuggle in bed or sit on the sofa together for a little hug session, not rush them. It will start our days off much better.
If I can, I really try to get out for a walk each morning- Even if it’s just around the block. I will bundle my little one up in his stroller so we both get some fresh air and, wow, that works magic on a sluggish mama.
Breathe – All those tactics listed above are really what I try to do, but for the days when it fails, I will work with what I have, and always remember to breathe and know this is just a bump in the road.