Parent Win: Conquering the Morning

I hate New Year’s resolution because I think everyday is a perfect day for a new beginning. However, Christmas break gave me time to reflect on what areas in our family needed changing. For the next 7 days, I’m sharing simple changes that have significantly benefited our family life.

Day 1: The Morning Routine:

I am a free-spirit, so routine and rituals kind of feel restrictive to me. However, I was perpetually tired of the 100 different combinations that our mornings held before the school run.

So I made one simple change:

The kids have to be dressed before they go downstairs.

Breakfast is downstairs. My kids are totally motivated by food, so the two eldest are dressed within seconds of waking up. This has literally added 30 minutes to our morning, and I’m not doing the stair master racing up and down because my 4 year old is sitting on the sofa in his pyjamas.

He can never find anything.

“Where’s my shirt?”

It’s on the table, buddy.

“What table mom?”

The only table in your room, son. 

“Where’s my trousers?”

By the shirt on the table.

“What shirt?”

With this extra time, I’ve been intentional to sit down with the kids to eat breakfast. I love that we are now eating together instead of me standing over the sink with a crumpet.

On the subject of crumpets, every American always asks about “tea and crumpets.” I didn’t actually see or eat a crumpet for an entire year after I moved here. Now I have at least one every Monday with my group of amazing girls (aka The Luminous Ladies) and nearly all of the other days that end in a -y.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

I pull out some craft bits and art books for them to do while I finish a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher. I haven’t officially told them, but we now operate a no media policy in the morning, and they haven’t really seemed to notice. Win!

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“Pretend that . . .”

I hear my two favourite childhood words so often in the mornings now. It is such a beautiful, beautiful thing when children create their own worlds in their imagination. Nothing makes me feel more satisfied as a parent than when my children are content and exhilarated with nothing but each other and their shared ideas.

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Playing school. Can you spot Scarlett?

Even better, the kids have started playing in the back garden before school. It’s -2 c outside and the kids like experimenting with freezing their toys inside of ice blocks. They also enjoy scraping the ice off of the car. This is such a different atmosphere from the kids that I had last year who I had to battle with over getting dressed and turning off the TV.

I love these kids.

Simple, simple changes with big, big results.

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 Update:

Last Friday, I slept poorly so we gave the kids media in the morning. Sometimes you need a reminder of why you are firm about your rules. It was awful.

Fool me once kids . . .

Never again.

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