WORK-LIFE BALANCE / FEB. 08, 2015
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Top 5 Tips for an Easier Morning Routine for Working Parents

Although your career can get quite hectic at times, most parents would agree that home can be ten times more frantic. Mornings are generally the most stressful, as everyone is getting ready for their day. As you try to organize your own morning, you have lunches to pack, kids to wake up, buses to catch, and anything else that’s in your morning routine.

Top Five Tips to Make Your Mornings Less Frantic

If you are feeling frazzled before your day begins, then you will benefit by making slight changes to your morning routine. As a working parent, you have numerous roles; finding that balance is key. The following tips will allow you to approach your morning madness without high levels of stress.

Tip One: Plan Ahead

By the end of the day, you may feel exhausted. However, you can help de-stress your morning by doing more the night before. Other than feeding your kids breakfast, brushing their teeth, getting them dressed, and getting them to school, everything else can be done the night before.

Choose your children’s outfits and lay them out so that they’re ready to go when they wake up. The same is true for lunches. Make their sandwiches the night before, so that you can enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, instead of realizing that there’s no peanut butter left.

Backpacks can be packed and be ready at the door, so that there’s one less thing to do in the morning. The same is true for your work documents. Have them in your briefcase the night before. All these little things are much easier at night, instead of at 7AM.

Tip Two: Enforce Routine

Although weekends are more laid back, get into a fairly strict morning routine. Depending on your children’s ages, you can even create a chart for them so that they can follow their routine. Once they awake: they get dressed, come down for breakfast, brush their teeth, grab their backpack, then they’re out the door. When there’s a routine enforced, everyone is less stressed.

If it is summer holidays, begin preparing your children a week in advance. That way, once school is back in session, it will be less of a stressful transition. It is all about consistency, so that your children get into the habit of a regular routine.

Tip Three: Save Hot Breakfasts for the Weekend

There are many healthy options that are quick and easy for breakfast. Save the eggs and bacon for a weekend treat. When you have easy-to-prepare options ready, children can easily make their breakfast while you get dressed for work.

Have whole grain cereals, milk, yogurt, and fruit ready to go. Once again, this will depend on your children’s age. Whether they can grab their cereal themselves or you set up their breakfast for them, cold breakfast items are the fastest, easiest options.

Tip Four: Stay Calm

Sometimes, panic sets in when things become overwhelming. Your kids may move slightly slower some days in comparison to others. They key is to stay calm. If you are getting stressed or you start shouting, this will only hinder everyone’s progress. Also, you’ll be left feeling upset and stressed before you get to work.

Instead of running around and screaming, connect with your children. If they’re moving slowly, take a second to crouch down and speak to them eye-to-eye. If you are calm and ask them to continue with their scheduled routine, they’re more likely to respond in a positive manner. When you’re frantic and shouting at your children, they’ll be less likely to respond.

Tip Five: Prioritize and Set Boundaries

If you expect your children to get ready without multiple distractions, then you should do the same. As you are getting your children ready for school, that is your morning priority. If you are responding to emails (which can wait until you get to work), then you are not focused on helping your children get moving.

Don’t start juggling your workplace duties with your morning routine. If you must fulfill some work duties in the morning, awake before your children. Get whatever you need to get done before you wake them up. That way, when your children awake, you can focus on making sure they’re prepared for their day.

The truth is mornings do not need to be filled with stress and anxiety. Both you and your children will want to start you day off in a calm, productive manner. Do not let a hectic morning routine begin each day. When you plan ahead, stay calm, and prioritize, mornings can be much more pleasurable.

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