Any working mom knows that it can be a real struggle to get out the door in the morning. Just thinking about it is enough sometimes to make us cringe. It is nothing like the days before children where you grab your lunch, purse, coffee and keys. Suddenly there’s bags, formula, diapers, etc. that all need to go with you, wherever you go. Oh yes, and don’t forget the kids!
But here’s the problem. As I stepped on the treadmill that is many times motherhood, trying to keep all things together for everyone, I soon found myself becoming a bit of a morning monster. Don’t get me wrong, I love mornings, I am a morning person. The problem was that I felt so overloaded, so overwhelmed, that I was becoming irritable, crass, and just unloving.
What did I do to make my mornings less hectic? Here are my top 5 tips for overcoming morning mayhem:
- Plan the night before.
I know it. It’s painful to hear but it’s so necessary. The reason why the mornings many times become crazier is because I didn’t properly plan earlier. The way things may have worked before kids they may now not work. For instance, I used to take showers in the morning. Now, I really don’t have time to add one more thing in the morning, so I take them at night. I pack my lunch, the night before, I load up anything in the car, the night before. And this is hard for me. Because sometimes I don’t get home until around 7 at night — I’d rather watch Castle re-runs or read a book. However, it’s so critical that you use the night before, to get all things ready that can be ready.
- Wake up earlier.
It really is true that the early bird catches the worm. I know it’s hard when you’re a new mom to start your day even earlier. You’re trying to get some much needed rest now that you have little ones. But this one is critical. Because getting up early can give you some much needed quiet, coffee and devotional time, that you would not normally get when you’re rushed. Get to bed a little earlier so you can get up earlier, and enjoy some calm in your morning.
- Ask for help.
You can’t do everything yourself and it does take a village to raise a child. Recruit some help! Maybe your spouse can cook dinner while you get the kids to bed at night so you can do some next morning prep. Or perhaps you can have your babysitter meet you in the morning to help you unload the car before work. Whatever it is, find a way to share the morning burden with others who are willing.
- Limit my expectations.
I have to face it. I may not finish all my laundry folding in the morning, it might have to sit. I may not get the dishwasher loaded perfectly or get a crock pot meal prepared. Sometimes, we just need to limit our expectations of “perfect motherhood” because it’s not realistic. Life has changed and now we need to adapt, as does our expectations.
- Cut back on social obligations.
Time is precious and it’s limited. So if there are some social gatherings, extra family functions that can be cut, do it. You need time for you and your family needs you. But they don’t want you to turn into “angry mom” or become a Frankenstein. So it’s super important to keep a checks and balances of your time. Do you need to go to your second aunt’s birthday party that’s five hours away? Check your priorities and make sure you are one of them.