Wednesday, 19 September 2007

A race against the clock? Not anymore!

Mornings in my house used to be a complete mess, with all of us running around like chickens with their heads cut off. And then I discovered Fly Lady! I know, it sounds weird that a person you have never met can have such an impact on your life but she has. She gave me the tools and I learned how to use them,one baby step at a time.

My morning routines nowadays actually start the night before. I spend a few minutes every evening preparing things for a calm morning. I lay out the clothes the kids and I are going to wear, after consulting our schedules and appointments for the next day, and I put whatever extras they may need by their backpacks. I put towels by my kids clothes if they are going to have a shower in the morning. I also lay the table for breakfast, so I won't lose precious time on that.

I get up at 5.30 AM and then wake the kids up at 6. That gives me about half an hour to myself every morning and that's wonderful! I get up, get washed and dressed, prepare myself a cup of tea. Sometimes I do a short yoga routine or just meditate for a few minutes. That half an hour of ME-time really recharges my batteries and helps me feel good about myself in the morning. I'm really a night owl so getting up in the morning has always been a struggle for me. But thanks to my precious minutes in the morning I'm able to start the day in a great mood.

When I wake the kids up I try to do that in a calm way, giving them lots of kisses and talking to them, giving them time to be fully awake before they even attempt to get out of bed. B always wakes up right away while G often needs about 15 minutes of talking and hugging before he manages to open his eyes. He's just like me!

While the kids go to the bathroom I serve breakfast. Usually I'm having just my second cup of tea and a little something, because I usually have my breakfast after I leave the kids. I have divided my morning routines in "with the kids at home" and "with the kids in school". While the kids have their breakfast, brush their teeth and get dressed I do the beds, prepare their snack for school and wash the dishes. I check the calendar to see if I've missed something. The kids watch TV when they are ready. I want us all to be dressed and ready by 7, thus leaving a margin of 15 minutes in case something unexpected occurs. At 7.10 I tell them to turn off the TV, go and get their backpacks and jackets and put on their shoes. By 7.15 we're ready and lock the door. Then we have 15 minutes to get to my friend's house, which actually takes less than 10 minutes. See, I like to have extra time in the morning, I hate to rush! If we are ready too early we just go for a walk or talk until it's time to go to school.

This works for us. My kids know the routines and they know at what time things have to be done. Usually they obey the rules because they too appreciate our calm mornings and don't want to go back to the chaos. It took me some month to make the mornings work but now I can see it was worth it!

More about Morning Routines at Morning Routines with your Kids Tips & Tricks


Linda said...

Sounds great! You soud very organised and I liked the 30 min me time. :)

And congrats on the kitchen! i know you must be sooo happy now :)

Windyridge said...

Yep that's the key. Be prepared the night before and I hammer it home to my kids now that they are old enough

Super MOM said...

Thanks for your post!