Mornings. Most mornings in the Higham house are a flurry of kids getting ready for school, animals being fed, breakfast being made, and parents trying to get out the door for work. It wasn't always like it is now. But we're learning to adjust. And in learning to adjust, we're learning to be a little more thoughtful and prepared.
Amy has been back to work for almost a year. It's been a bit of a transition figuring out what life looks like with two working adults and a house full of kids. And one of the areas that we have the most to learn is in the morning. And while some mornings are better than others, we are learning how to make the most of the morning routines.
So we thought we'd share a few things that we are learning in hope that they might help you as work through your mornings!
prep, bedtime, dinner clean up, homework duty, and carpooling. If one morning is going to be uniquely busy, make a plan of who will do what.
We know that our most crazy mornings come when we aren't ready for them. So as much as we can, we try to plan ahead.
2. Do it the Night Before
Our mornings can be chaotic. 5 kids and 2 adults all getting ready at the same time can be a challenge. And it's really easy to lose our patience in the midst of all the chaos. But when we think ahead we can use our time to help alleviate some of the morning stress.
One of the ways we reduce stress is by getting things done the night before. Making lunches, laying out clothes, staging school bags and coats, and making sure you have everything you need for the next day is ready to go before bedtime has proven to be most helpful. In general, these tasks only take a few minutes to do, but in the morning, when you're running around, any one of these things could take up considerable time. So avoid the monkey wrench and pinpoint the tasks that can be accomplished the night before.
3. Work as a Team
Before Amy went back to work, we had a pretty good routine. We worked well together getting the kids ready for school, serving breakfast, and getting our day going. I had a job with flexible hours so getting into the office at a particular time wasn't always an issue. And while I still have some flexibility, Amy has to be at work at a specific time. That introduced a new stress. But a light went on one morning when Amy, while totally stressed out, said that she needed my help in the mornings.
That morning was a reminder of how important it is that we work together as a team. By Jay jumping in to help with the morning routine, the stress and frustration of mornings is greatly reduced. We know that the best way to make it through the morning is to work as a team. So as you make your plans, accomplish your task the night before, remember to work together as a team.
4. Involve Your Kids
When the kids were little Amy was able to pack lunches, clean up the dinner dishes, get the kids ready for bed, and plan your bible study. But the kids of have grown and the amount of lunches has increased. And while some of the kids eat the school lunches, there is still a bit of work to do to get them ready for school. The nice thing is, the kids are now old enough to help.
It was a great day when we finally ditched the stroller and diaper bag. But it was an even better day when the kids were old enough to do some tasks for themselves. Now, we have the kids help with the tasks they are able to do. So some nights our younger kids make their own lunches, help with breakfast or straighten up the house before school. Having the extra hands can be super helpful!
5. Remember, This Too Shall Pass
When the house is quiet and the kids are all in bed, we often think, "Where has the time gone?" Our oldest graduates this spring. Number two will graduate next spring. After that it will only be a matter time till our youngest heads off to college. Time flies! With that in mind, remember, this too shall pass.
Yes, mornings can be absolutely crazy, but that craziest is only for a short period of time. Before you know it, it will be gone. The kids will be grown and gone. And these crazy mornings will be memories. So in the midst of your morning routines, pause and remember that it only for a short time.
We haven't mastered mornings yet. Believe me, we still struggle to get everyone out the door. Some mornings are better that others. But we're doing our best.
How do you manage your busy mornings? Share your best morning tips and practices.
- the higham family
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.