10 Tips for Creating and Keeping A Morning Routine

back to school

The Hubs and I realized, through trial and error, that with four little ones it’s imperative that we create and stick to a morning routine.  It’s a necessary part of raising responsible children and keeping a calm household.  I thought I’d share with you what we do when it comes to the weekday morning rush.

First, it’s important to note that we do as much preparation as possible before the week starts.  You’ll notice several of these tips can be done on the weekend and a couple can be done the night before.

1.  Clothes.  I don’t know about you, but I praise God for uniforms.  Jayde isn’t in uniforms yet but it’s super helpful to know that Jaxon and Julia only have a couple of options when it comes to getting dressed for school.  On Sunday I pull outfits for each day of the week, make sure anything that needs ironing is ironed {thanks Hubs} and also make sure socks and undies are pulled.

2.  Groceries.  Weekends are usually the time we try and get our grocery shopping out of the way.  We make sure that we buy all of the lunch items we’ll need for at least the following week.  It makes things less hectic when you know you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store during the week, which in my house is inevitable.  I’m not yet on a weekly dinner meal plan schedule but that next on the list to talk to hubs about.  I’m sure he’ll love that. {insert sarcastic font}  We also only use paper ware during the week.  It seems to make meal clean up so much easier.

3.  Headstart.  Last year we headed out the door based on the time we knew we had to be at school, 8:30 a.m. which meant we were leaving around 8 a.m. and arriving to school just in the nick of time.  This year we got smart and reset mindset.  We did away with the 8:30 school deadline and created our own deadline of 7:40 a.m.  So now, we find that we’re not necessarily racing against the school clock anymore, which feels much better and less stressful.

4.  Homework.  Homework is one of the first things we do after arriving home from school.  To decrease the chance of a morning scramble to find homework, the kids know that homework is not complete until it’s made it’s way inside the folder, the folder has made it’s way inside the backpack and the backpack has made its way to the door.

5.  Backpacks.  When homework begins I check the kids folders for letters and information from the school.  I immediately read everything and if there are important dates for us to remember I put them on our master calendar.  Other items are tacked to our command center board so that they won’t get missed.

6.  Meals.  We have found it helpful to allow the kids to pick what they want in their breakfast and lunches.  Slow down now, we don’t let them get carried away with it.  They get to choose one item for breakfast the following morning and one item to add to their lunch.  We pick the rest to make sure they have a well balanced meal.

7.  Hair.  Every night, I make sure to freshly comb and style the girls hair.  Even if it’s just restyling it into the same style, I take time to do it so and put a scarf on it so that in the morning all I have to do is whip off the scarf, add some hair dress and barrettes and we’re good to go.  Since I realized how much sense it made to do hair at night, I’ve saved myself a ton of  morning frustration.

8.  Baths.  We used to do baths right before bedtime, but since the school year started we made a change.  When the kids get home, I have snack prepared and on the table for them.  They come in, wash their hands and take off their shoes and then sit at the table.  While they’re eating their snack we talk about the day’s peaks and pits.  After snack is homework and immediately after homework it’s up to bathtime.  Getting into this habit has been a little challenging because I find myself constantly repeating the plan of action while they’re having snack and during homework and letting them know that after baths they can have free time to do whatever they want, short of burning down the house.  So far so good with this part of the routine though because the bath tends to calm them down.

9.  Bedtime.  Last year, bedtime was 9 p.m., but the problem with that was we didn’t begin going upstairs until that time, which meant the kids didn’t actually fall asleep until closer to 10:30.  This year 9 p.m. bedtime means they are asleep at 9 p.m., which means we are upstairs brushing teeth, washing faces and reading books at 8:15 p.m.  I’ve seen a huge difference in their behavior in the morning.  They’re more energized and have a better attitude.  It’s also good for Hubs because we get more quality time with each other.

10.  Attitude.  Having a good attitude is very important to me.  It’s the determining factor on a good day versus a bad day.  With kids, it’s rare when things actually go exactly as planned, so it’s important to cut yourself and your family some slack when there’s a fumble.  Going about my morning this way helps me to be less effected if someone spills milk, has a meltdown, or is being uncooperative.

When it comes to parenting, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  What works in the Young home may not work for you, but when it comes to kids, I’m of the belief that you do what you have to do by any means necessary, even if that means creating a routine that feels uncomfortable at first.  If you tweak and tweak some more you’re bound to come up with a routine that works for your beautiful family as well.

Do you already have a routine? What do you do?

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5 thoughts on “10 Tips for Creating and Keeping A Morning Routine

  1. Oh Ms. Leslie, Thank you sooo much for these beautiful guidelines, although I have no young school age children but I find it overall very helpful as a reminder for grocery shopping and getting Jasmine to school on time instead of just in the nick of time because as it stands now, one extra traffic light can cause her to be late, lol

    I will definitely pass this good info on to my daughters and others.

    I am always praying for you, your husband and your beautiful, outstanding family which God is using as an example to so many other families, God has set you and your husband as leaders and whether you know it or not, leaders in so many other areas as well. Yes, I’m sure you know people are watching but I thank God He gave them something beautiful to pattern after. You may not understand all of this now but in time you will, so that’s why prayers are with you to rise to the top for the glory of God and you’re doing a great job!

    Love to you and Baby Johnny L., take all the recovery time you like, having a baby is something!

    Sis. Carolyn Bowers

    1

  2. These are really great tips! I have started a night routine for my daughter but we really don’t have a morning routine, since she doesn’t go to school yet. I do think she needs more of a daily routine to keep everything in line for the day 🙂 Great post!

  3. I had similar routines and schedules when my daughters we’re younger–and it worked, well, about 90 % of the time–which is not bad.Now, my girls are grown and I need a routine for myself. I’m, semi-retired and my schedule has changed. This is a good reminder that everyone needs a (productive) routine, no matter what life stage they are in.

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