If you have kids, you know that mornings can be hectic. I’m sharing my top tips for creating stress-free mornings with kids. Well, as stress-free as possible!
Before kids, mornings were usually pretty calm. I’d roll out of bed whenever I felt like it, get dressed, walk the dog and finally get home for breakfast and then get started on work. Mornings were easy and stress-free, but with kids, that’s not always the case.
Depending on the moods they wake up in, the littlest things can set a toddler off on a whole crazy path. As a parent, I’ve learned that there are a few simple things I can do to make the morning hustle less chaotic, and also mentally prepare myself for whatever they might literally or figuratively throw at me in the morning.
We’re often rushing to get breakfasts and lunches made—and you never know if you’ll cut the waffles the way they like—getting dressed, finding shoes, and getting out the door in time for school. If you’re not naturally a morning person (hi, it’s me!), then this can start your day on the wrong note.
Over the years, I’ve found some great hacks for making the mornings run a lot smoother for everyone. They’re simple, easy and can work for anyone.
I can’t guarantee your mornings will be perfect, but with a little planning and focusing on some time for yourself, mornings can be calm and simple!
8 Simple Ways to Make Mornings Less Stressful with Kids
1. Pack Bags & Lunches the Night Before
Getting the kids’ backpacks ready and sitting by the back door the night before is so simple, but so handy when the next morning comes. After dinner, go ahead and pack your kids’ lunch, and yours too if you take one to work. Pop them in the fridge and relax knowing that one task is off your plate in the morning.
When you’re ready to head out the door, grab them, pop them in your bag and head out!
2. The 10-15 Minute Nightly Clean Up
I borrowed this one from The Happiness Project, but it’s genius! I typically do this as soon as the kids’ go down for bed. I do try to prompt them to clean up their toys before they go to bed, but it doesn’t always happen. Plus, the house always just looks a little disheveled after dinner time.
I set a timer at night for 10 minutes and just go around the house tidying things up, fluffing pillows, straightening furniture (yes, this is a nightly chore with 2 little boys!), putting away dishes, picking up clothes up and more.
It’s crazy how much I can get done in just 10-15 minutes when it’s all I’m focusing on! And, waking up a tidy home always makes for a stress-free morning!
3. Shower the Night Before
I’ve always been one to shower at night. My hair takes forever to blow dry, so doing it at night and sleeping on it saves me time and allows any frizz to calm down over night.
All I have to do it style it or throw it in a ponytail when I’m getting ready and that definitely makes my mornings simpler!
4. Make Your To-Do List The Night Before
I actually love doing this at the end of the previous work day. I take about 15 minutes to go through all of my tasks and prioritize them for the next few days.
Having a game plan for my day before I’m even awake allows me to plan more efficiently and make the most of my morning and the rest of my day. It also helps me fall asleep faster and sleep better the night before because I’m not wondering what’s on my agenda.
Of course, things always pop up, but having a general idea of what needs to get done that day is hugely helpful in keeping me sane!
5. Wake Up Before Your Kids
I admit, before kids, I was never a morning person, but what I’ve realized is that waking up before them, really shifts the tone for the day. If I get a few quiet minutes to myself before my oldest comes in singing, then I can fully wake up and do it calmly.
Personally, I love getting up about 30-40 minutes before my kids and coming downstairs to meditate and journal. Alone time is few and far between with kids, so these minutes are precious to me! It puts me in the right positive mindset to be a calm and patient mom all day.
6. Make Breakfast Easy
I can’t skip breakfast in the morning. If I do, I turn into a grumpy and un-productive person.
To keep things simple in the morning we make a quick and very healthy green smoothie. My favorite one is packed with fiber too so it keeps you full for a long-time. I’ve even gotten our kids hooked on it! You can grab the recipe for it here if you need a simple morning breakfast!
7. Plan Outfits the Night Before for Stress-Free Mornings
Okay, so I know a lot of us work from home now, but one thing I’ve learned about myself is that if I get dressed in something other than sweatpants or yoga pants, I’m infinitely more productive.
I keep my closet stocked with lots of basics—my favorite jeans, sweaters for fall and dresses for summer. I usually think about what I want to wear while I’m taking a shower the night before. That makes the next morning super easy!
We’ve even started encouraging our oldest to pick out his clothes the night before to make the mornings that much easier. It’s also so cute to see him getting older and more independent!
8. Make Coffee at Home
If you stop at a coffee shop to get your morning cup, consider making coffee at home to save some time. Many years ago, I invested in a Nespresso maker that makes amazing cappuccinos, espressos and lattes and saves me time and a whole lot of money every day.
It was a bit of an investment up front, but it’s been totally worth it and in the long run it’s probably saved me hundreds… maybe thousands since my favorite decaf oat milk latte rings in at about $6 these days.
Do you have any tips for making morning run more smoothly with kiddos in the mix?