It doesn’t matter what type of mom you are…a stay at home mom, a working from home mom, a working from not home mom…doesn’t matter…all of us are always looking to be more efficient and tips for easier mornings to get out of the door faster, especially in the morning. I mean the struggle is so real and every minute matters.
I’m a working mom who leaves home almost everyday into a pretty formal environment where I have to be appropriately dressed and ready to go the minute I set foot into the office. My hours are varied and I’m constantly rushing to get to work and once there, I like to be on point. Game face on. Ready to go with the day’s agenda and ready to deal with any unforeseen fires. My husband also works and our kids go to daycare and preschool. Thank goodness, they’re at the same school. Looking back, the mornings were so peaceful (dare I say a bit boring, hahaHA.) pre-kids. And even with just one kid, it was so, so different. Add in another to the already hectic mornings, and it’s definitely been a game changer. Over the past two years though since having our second son, my husband and I picked up several time-saving tricks to help us and the kids get out the door faster. And I’m constantly thinking of other simple ways to improve the chaos that can happen on any given morning, if you’re not prepared. So what do I do currently to make things smoother? Check out this list. These are for all mommas but especially for us working moms who physically go into the office. I know these will help make your mornings waaaay better.
5 tips for easier mornings especially for working moms
1. Wake up earlier – For us, lately it’s been my husband who starts breakfast for the boys and gets things going downstairs until one or both boys wake up. I actually prefer to wake up early (my husband may disagree, haha) and look forward to when I take that time to do something productive for myself while everyone is still asleep. It’s great to start the day, make grocery lists, errands, get all organized for yourself or your family. Write it all out on the family calendar ( I think this is something that all families should have, a consolidated family calendar, especially when the kids are in lots of different activities…phones are great, but I still love that good old-fashioned whiteboard for keeping everyone’s schedules in one place). As far as the kids are concerned, we all agree they need solid sleep. So if the mornings are getting too hectic and the kids (or you!) are way too cranky when they’re still trying to get in a few more z’s…you totally need to readjust bed time. Start the bedtime routine sooner and get them to sleep earlier. It will make all the difference in the morning.
2. Make a to do list at the end of the day – This is one that I just started. I used to make a ‘beginning of the day’ to do list. But this is even better, because for work…it allows you to pick up where you left off. In the morning, I was always thinking of all that I need to get done for work that day and sometimes, I was making those lists during the morning rush. I found that making a next day to do list before leaving work each afternoon, allowed my mind to not worry about work until I actually got to work. And once at work, I can focus on the critical tasks first. I also try not to respond to emails until I have accomplished at least a couple of the tasks on my list…unless of course there something really critical has come up.
3. Pick your outfit (and kids) the night before – Ok this one seems obvious. But I’ve been guilty of just letting it go til the morning and those are the mornings that I needed the extra time because someone woke up on the wrong side of bed or someone suddenly doesn’t like blueberries in their blueberry muffin anymore or someone will not brush their teeth because the toothpaste is too bubbly and the list goes on and on. And on those mornings, the first outfit is never the WINNING OUTFIT. Something is always off. OMGGGG. So pick your clothes the night before! It’s that simple and entirely critical. Get the whole outfit together from head to toe… the shirt, the cardigan, the pants or the dress, the hose, the right underwear/bra plus shoes (polish them up too the night before) and pull out any accessories you need. Another tip, I’ve always been simple with jewelry and shoes but now my wardrobe has become that way. I dress almost entirely in black and dark blue with pops of color in cardigans and sometimes shoes. Doing this has also helped me to buy more investment pieces. It can be all too easy to spend a small fortune on clothes but things do not have to be this way! A bonus tip that I would like to share with you involves buying more replica pieces. Designer clothing and accessories can be so expensive nowadays, and although there is no shame in treating yourself every once in a while, there is a more affordable solution out there. For instance, a friend of mine has a few replica handbags that are a fraction of the price of the real designer pieces and I honestly cannot tell the difference. Consequently, if you are considering buying any replica pieces, you might find Maria Dipalo’s Replica Reviews helpful. Anyway, all of this has honestly made getting out the door so much easier because I can get dressed so fast. I also have an entire section just for my office attire, organized by color and type of garment. Do the same for the kiddos too. I lay out everything…from diapers to socks. Simplify plus plan and this part of the morning becomes a breeze.
4. Pack and label anything and everything – So this means if daycare needs extra diapers or if your kid is the snack friend tomorrow, then all of this needs to be organized and handled the night before. Label everything and have it ready to go. Some things I do nightly are the following. I drink instant coffee…so I have my coffee mug with coffee plus sugar already in it. Some moms I know swear by the automatic timer on their coffee makers…use that function if you have it!! In the morning, I just fill with some water plus milk and heat it up. I pre-load the van with anything that I can. For example, on Monday morning they go with freshly washed sheets and blankets for nap time. I put those items in the van on Sunday night so I never forget them in the rush of the morning. It’s also one less thing to do. On the kitchen counter, I keep their lunchboxes open and ready to be filled in the morning. Some items like fruit, I can pre-fill too. Even my lunch is ready the night before. Everything is in its please, so we can just grab and go.
5. Give time checks – All of us like to know what’s coming next and how long we have. In the mornings, the extra communication is key since each of us has place to be and a time to be at that place. So these time checks or warnings have been working majorly in our house. What this means, is giving our preschooler a five-minute warning before it’s time to come back downstairs after getting dressed. He always asks to play for a few minutes and we give him that and the warning helps create less fuss when it’s time to go. My husband also gives me a time warning when’s about to go and pack the van and car with lunchboxes, school gear and my work bags. I know when he does this, I have another ten minutes or so of his help before he leaves. We have a number of time checks throughout the morning and it works.