Creating a Good Morning Routine
Creating a good morning routine is essential. It is hard to believe that we are already gearing up for the back-to-school season. There are so many things that need to get done and at the same time, we are packing in the last activities for summer. Sometimes back to school season can feel stressful. There are a lot of things that need to get done, and ready for the year. School supply shopping, finding the perfect backpack, getting a new size for your ever-growing child’s wardrobe. Getting back in the swing of planning and shopping for lunches and snacks. It can be a lot. Not to mention getting back into the routine!
I remember the days when our oldest two children were in Elementary and Middle school, getting them up to get ready and eat and out the door before 7 am was so much work. I felt stuck in a never-ending cycle of cranky kids and being the “mean” mom that started their days off bad. I needed to figure out a way to not only give them the best possible wake up time, but also to make sure that they felt loved and happy before going off for their days.
So, I created our Good Morning Routine- over the years, and adding children to our family, I have added and adjusted to perfect our morning routines.
Key parts to a Good Morning:
+ Bedtime Routine
+ Morning for You
+ Have Expectations
+ Warm Morning Hugs
+ Prep Everything
Tips to get into a Good Morning Routine
1. Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep.
This will vary for every child and will be different for the different ages of your kids. For us, we like to make sure the kids are winding down for bed by 7:30 pm and are in bed by 8 pm. My kids wake up at different times, but this at least allows enough sleep for my early risers- around 6am and gives plenty of sleep to my late wake-ers at 7:30 am.
2. Have a solid bedtime routine.
Every weeknight we have a winding down time. If anyone needs to shower or bath, they get in at 7 pm but if not, starting at 7:30 pm we do a quick family clean-up, make their lunches so they are ready for the next day, and get their backpacks packed and by the door. We then pick out their outfits for the next day, lay them out, put our jammies on, brush our teeth, and brush our hair- this makes it a little easier in the morning! They hop into bed at 8 pm and we will read a few short stories or a chapter of the book we have going. Doing this all together can sometimes feel like a burden, but it always goes more smoothly, and everything gets done.
3. Start your morning for YOU.
As a mama, I need to be able to wake up before my kids. This allows time for me and my needs before I am focusing on everyone else. I like to wake up by 5 am and work out, do my devotional, read, sit and enjoy a hot breakfast and hot coffee before the kiddos wake up. If you are a dad/grandparent/any kind of caregiver this is equally important! Time to focus your mind and wake up slowly fills your cup so that you overflow onto your family instead of pouring out of yourself for them.
4. Have expectations and make your kids aware of them.
In our home, we have a section on the cupboard where I have little cards hanging. One row on top for the morning, and one row below for the night. On the cards are pictures and words of their daily tasks. For the morning tasks, they have a picture of a toothbrush and the description “Brush Teeth”, they have a hair brushing one, a make bed one, a get dressed one, a feed the animals one, a eat breakfast one, and a get out the door one. This helps them not only stay on task and move in a routine, but also gives them a visual of what is expected of them, so I do not have to ask multiple times.
The evening one is similar but with our nighttime routine on them.
5. Start their morning with a warm greeting and hug.
This might sound obvious, but sometimes in the heat of the fast mornings; the best part of a good morning routine can be skipped or forgotten, especially as your kids get older and “too cool” for hugs. I like to make sure our kids get the best morning greeting from me, and sometimes this does take work on my end. When I first see them, I make sure to give them a bright and cheery smile with a warm “Good morning!” with my arms outstretched and open to give them a good long hug, gently rubbing their back and giving them a kiss on the head, while asking “how did you sleep? Did you have any fun dreams?” This always makes everyone feel good and starts the conversation for the morning while I get them breakfast. Sometimes they have no dreams, and we have a quiet morning, and sometimes they have wild dreams that get everyone chattering and laughing in the morning, which is always fun!
6. Prep everything in advance.
As I have mentioned above, it’s so important to plan and prep. This can feel so tedious, but it always feels good. My kids always tease me for saying “My future self will thank me for this.” Sounds silly but it is always true!
So, I wanted to share a few ways I plan and prep for the days to come. On Fridays, I make our meal plan and grocery list for the next week, this way I can shop Friday night or Saturday. I never like to shop on Sundays because they are busy, and I need time to prep! Sundays, after Church, are for prepping! I like to make sure I have the base for all the lunches ready to grab from the fridge and the snacks all lined up for the week. Having a bin for each kid and putting their snacks in the bin is a nice and easy way to just grab and go for the week. While I am prepping lunches and dinners for the week, I throw in a load or two of laundry that needs to be washed for the week to come. I then go and help the kids put together 5 outfit ideas for the week and make them accessible, this way they have a quick outfit to grab or a base to customize during the week.
Overall, this is how our weekly routine goes, and on the weeks that we follow it to a T our mornings and evenings are so peaceful, easy, and smooth, and I can tell when we are not following it or need to make an adjustment. Feel free to take this routine and adjust to best serve your family. Below are a few resources that I love and use! We hope you enjoy this guide on creating a wakeup routine.
Routine Cards to Print and Hang: https://etsy.me/3QOOeGP
For younger kids, Wake up & Bedtime clock: https://amzn.to/3wnusdx
Snack Bin Organizer (it has 4 slots, but I put two in the back and then move them): https://amzn.to/3QOOXrx
Stephanie Lapinksi is a mother of five from a small town in Wisconsin. She is a homeschooler with a background is in early childhood education and wellness.