My 5 Must Do Tips for Mornings, with Kids
If your’e a mom, you can understand the true chaos on a weekday morning. My house can be symbolic of a rebellious troop of escaped zoo monkey’s somedays. That is no understatement. This is mom life at its finest, and why on earth did nobody share these historical life moments with me at the multiple baby or wedding showers I was gracefully hosted to. I honestly think that those sweet old granny’s and auntie’s sitting in the corner all quiet and so angelic looking, are actually part of a secret society relishing in the life version of tag your it “MoM-Hunt” show.
I laugh when I write this because I love my three babies more than life itself, the joys that motherhood bring me are many of the best moments of my life and I’m so very lucky to have the worlds best. So before anyone messages me with concern, know that they are all loved so well and I am truly grateful for the life I have been given. I thought that it would be good to share some of the tips that have helped my family look like we are somewhat of a functioning family unit (more or less) … scroll down to read My 5 Morning Mom ‘Must Do’ Tips.
My husband leaves earlier than myself for work and we have decided as a team (or more like I was nominated in a rigged short straw game) that I would be the consistent force on the drop off and pick up parent train on the weekdays for the kids. So here I am embracing mom life every morning and loving it with no regrets. Our kids ages are 6, 7 and 10 so I feel I have earned a PHD in mom organizing which has been 11 years in the making (seems legit right?).
Ok, so a little about me I have 3 beautiful, crazy adventurous, strong willed children and yes not all of them share the same personality, but most of the time I feel like it would be easier to negotiate a hostage situation rather than have them complete a to-do, chore or task. My little brood of children consist of oldest to youngest; Jackson aged 10, Campbell aged 7 and Matilda aged 6. So here is the number one tip that ALL Moms need to start doing make them ACCOUNTABLE 100%. We need to start delegating some of the workload and making our kids responsible. If your child can work an IPAD or electronic device then they can absolutely help out in the mornings. Hey, I’m an 80’s baby and my kid who is 10 is not going to be damaged for life because he gets his on bowl of cereal in the morning, he will likely grow to be a normal and functioning adult (its ok… take a big deep breath, yes your kids can do stuff).
Kids and most of us adults thrive on structure and organization.
“If you can’t find what your’e looking for and you have no idea what the heck it is you should be doing
Then why on earth would do you think you would do a great job? “
Makes sense right…...
So first off lets organize, de-clutter and make you simplified in your life, If you are the only person left on planet earth that hasn’t heard of Marie Kondo; then get on Amazon and order the book ‘Finding Joy’ or binge yourself a whole season on Netflix, Either way it’s a life changer to take responsibility and toss out the items that are not functioning (or finding joy) in your home.
No matter if you have 1 kid or 10 (oh my Lord, bless you if you do) these tips or at least some of them are a great way to get your mornings back on track and actually enjoy the morning’s with your people. I mean heck even if your not a mom then I’m positive that you can find use in these tips that I have found best for my family.
My 5 Must Do Tips for Mornings, with Kids
Organize Those Closets…. (Find some Joy, Literally)
I find most of my morning delays and epic kid dramas were created because my kids couldn’t locate clothes easily, the younger kids really struggled with finding clothes in the drawers and if they did it would likely be a Halloween costume.
Now don’t get me wrong sporting a princess Elsa or Superman number is awesome, its not that great on picture day!
Sundays are my laundry days (and meal prep but we will get to that in Step 2) . My little girls help organize all their outfits for the week, we label them in days of the week bins to help. Both girls are responsible to pick out socks, underwear, t-shirts and pants or shorts depending on the season. Folding clothes face up (using the ‘Kondo’ method) helps them decide quicker and find items easier. Now I realize that most of you are thinking you don’t have time to fold every item of clothing like that, so I say focus on the t-shirts (this is a huge time saver) and yes takes a little more effort but is far less clean up in the long run. Remember this is a good time to de-clutter the closets and toss out 30 + extra t-shirts your kids don’t need.
Prepare lunches the night before
In our house Sunday is meal prep day not only for the kids but for us adults as well. For me this is the most important day of the week. We prepare mostly snacks and quick meals that we can grab easily on the go. We are a super active family with lots of after school events throughout the week so I find it best to prepare snacks in advance in order to avoid junk food or drive through fast food.
Some of our weekly prep food staples are:
Hard Boiled Eggs
My kids love hard boiled eggs and they are a perfect on the go snack for us, I normally grab 1-2 dozen organic free range eggs from Costco, they are affordable and it makes sense for us buy in bulk because of our large family. Eggs are a great source of protein to keep us going.
For a sweet treat these are a great snack on the go, there are many different recipes that we have come to love but my favourite is from the cookbook ‘Oh She Glows ‘. My kids are split on their love for these but this mommy loves them. I love storing them in glass mason jars so that they are easy to find in the fridge.
Veggie & Fruit Sticks
Veggies & fruit are great options for snacks. Our kids love to eat them plain, with hummus or ranch. We prep them on Sunday so that they can all be washed, cut and stored in jars for the week, Here are some of my kids favourite veggies with crunch.
This is one of the easiest things to prep and I discovered it through a friend. My oldest son is an athlete playing hockey sometimes 5-6 times (or more) per week during peak season. We started looking at quick protein packed alternatives and found out about Juice Plus, a whole-food-plant based beverage mix.
2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Packet of Chocolate or Vanilla Juice Plus COMPLETE VARIETY Drink Mix
1 Cup of Milk (plant or animal based) I use non-sweetened almond milk
Mix all the ingredients together in a mason glass jar to be used for storage, place in the fridge and chill for 2 hours then serve.
We keep our puddings for up-to 3-4 days for an added option these are delicious topped with some fresh berries or bananas.
Banana Applesauce Muffins
Our family loves banana muffins and honestly my kids love these little treats, I bake them into bite sized snacks because I find it easier to pack into their lunches.
3-4 Ripen Bananas
3/4 Cup of Apple Sauce
1 3/4 Cups Flour ( I used wholewheat, sometimes split with other flours like almond)
3/4 Sugar (I use brown, but you can also use maple syrup)
1/3 Cup of Avocado Oil
1 Tsp of Baking Soda
2 Tsp of Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp of Pure Vanilla
Peel all the bananas and place into a mixer, add the apple sauce and then the oil. Mix on a medium setting. Combine the dry ingredients and then add the vanilla. Bake at 350 for 10-12 mins (snack size) until golden brown, or for larger muffins bake for 20-24mins.
Get your kids to pitch in and help
Kids love responsibilities so why not get them to help out in the mornings? We have 5 points on our checklist to know what is needed in order to get ready during a busy morning. I have a list on my fridge so that each child knows what is expected of them, charts help kids visualize so get creative and make things fun and clear for them. This took a while for my children to get the hang of but a big old spoonful of persistence paid off. I had to take a couple of big deep breathes and let go of the idea of perfection for each point, and take appreciation for the great job that they were doing.
Brush Your Hair and Teeth
Get your lunch kit, water bottle and bag pack items
Get your outwear etc jacket, hats, boots and mittens (depending on the season)
Make breakfast a must do as a family routine and talk (device free)
Its true when they say that ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ and kids need to start off the day right with a good nutritious meal. We pick items like oatmeal, eggs and toast, apples and cereal, yogurt and berries or sometimes pancakes (that I prepare on the weekend and just heat up). I love mornings with them and truly enjoy our conversations sipping my morning coffee and setting our weekly goals.
Don’t forget you - Look great and feel great
My morning looks like walking up at 5:30 am, working out for 1 hour, quick shower. Get the kids up and help them get dressed then head downstairs to have breakfast, pack lunches, coffee (and lots of it) and then the drop off. I love these great sweatshirts and t-shirts sold by Mom Culture.
I love the product from Mom Culture its a great way to still feel super stylish and fun. Layer them with yoga pants or jeans and your set.