Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making the Mornings Easier

Dylan loves bringing cold lunch to school!
I don't work outside of the home, so generally speaking my mornings aren't usually a rush to get to the office. But my mornings are still mornings. Dylan still has to get to school. I am still tired because the baby isn't sleeping. Any MOPS mornings are early and out the door mornings. Sometimes Shane has to work super early and I like to see him out the door (only during peak Christmas season from now on). See I have plenty of reasons why I need my mornings to run smoothly.
I have finally, finally given in to the idea that if I want to keep my sanity, I am going to have to get up early. I don't like the idea but I can't really sleep in easily these days anyway. Plus in order to achieve my resolutions this year I need to be prepared, I need to plan to be more playful, and I need to be in the right frame of mind.
Here are the things I can plan out ahead of time to make sure I am out the door on time, or not feeling behind all day:

  • Pack your lunch the night before. If Dylan is bringing a cold lunch to school, I can make it the night before and keep in fridge. Things like pb&j can even be made in bulk and frozen so I can just take one out and pop in lunch when I am feeling behind. I am the slowest sandwich maker of all time so this is helpful to me.
  • Get the coffee revving. I can have the coffee pot on a timer and set to go off 5-10 minutes before my alarm goes off. I love me some coffee, and so does Shane. It takes a while to whip up that goodness so setting it early makes the house smell good and I have some instant gratification as soon as my feet his the floor. 
  • Think about breakfast. About half the time we do cold cereal around here because it is easy and my boys really like it. Other times I like them to have something warm and filling. Since I am also the world slowest pancake maker I don't usually do those on weekday mornings either. But pancakes freeze well (as long as they don't get stuck in one giant clump, this is where flash freezing comes in handy) and can be popped in the toaster for an easy breakfast. I loved these pumpkin pancakes and they are getting a veggie with breakfast. I've also made oatmeal in the crock pot (so far with lackluster results) or tried putting all the ingredients in a pot except the milk so I just have to pour and heat in the morning. Easy, nourishing, and you get out the door on time.
  • Pick out your clothes the night before. Yes, just like your mom taught you in the years growing up, planning your clothes out while your brain is firing on all cylinders not only makes quicker and better decisions but it does save time in the morning. Make all of your kids who can dress them selves pick out their clothes the night before. The baby still sleeps in our room and I've found it is much more useful to have an idea of what I will wear and grab it the night before than fumbling around in the dark trying to find things and not wake him up. You can always change your mind in the morning but this helps save some time. 
  • Know where you quiet time stuff is. I keep my devotional with my recipe books because they are right next to the kitchen table and I don't have to shuffle through the mess on the desk to find them when everyone else is still sleeping. 
  • Have all of your stuff ready. If I'm leaving the house, there is usually more than one thing on the agenda for the day so I need to make sure everything is together and ready to go before I head out the door. The diaper bag needs to be stocked and organized. The grocery list needs to be written out with coupons attached. The reusable shopping bags, the MOPS binder, the snacks or lunches, the stuff to drop off at goodwill. Whatever it is I am doing that day I like to have it by the door so I don't forget it. Because I will. 
  • Get the car ready before the kids. Nothing I dislike more than getting everyone bundled and out to the car and finding an inch of ice covering all the windows. It takes forever to get cleaned off and everyone is standing around getting cold and into trouble, or buckled in their car seats getting cold and grumpy. So I plan a little early, start the van and get whatever element has piled on, off then get all the boots on the kids and by the time everyone is in and loaded we can be on our way. If you have a garage, lucky you. 

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