School Daze: Morning Prep

School mornings… as pleasant as a hemorrhoid, no? Early start, grumpy kids (and parents), little time, lots to do, start times, and tantrums (from kids and parents.) Fun!

Though our mornings aren’t scenes of fairytale bliss, and far from serene, they are streamlined. They are organized. How? One word: preparation.

I wake up ahead of everyone to heat breakfasts, pop lunches into backpacks, and begin my day so that by the time my crew shuffles downstairs, the rhythm is already in motion. My first-thing-in-the-morning task load isn’t too great though because I prepare everything I can ahead of time.

Lunches and snacks? Made at the beginning of the week. I simply grab a container stack, the water bottle, and place it in the lunchbox.

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Outfits? Laid out for the school week on Sunday evening based on the weather forecast and week’s schedule. The day’s outfit hung in the bathroom, so there are no clothing battles in the too-early morning.

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Each outfit bundle contains a top, bottom, socks, and underwear

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A week of outfits

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The next day’s outfits

Breakfasts? Prepared and plated the night before. I just heat and place them on the table while my caffeine brews.

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Mama’s caffeine? Set up the night before and ready to brew.

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Mama’s tea

Basically, when I wake up in the morning, it’s a matter of hitting “play” as opposed to scrambling to piece it all together while attempting to ready myself and my minions for the day. (That’s a feat in and of itself.)

We all could use a leg up in the morning. Why not give yourself one with a little prepping?

 

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Needing to Break the Routine

It’s 5:30am. My littlest, who cosleeps from his nighttime wake-up until morning, is half-asleep nursing. I feel my 5:45am alarm approaching: stress!

Knowing I would remain fully awake now and not wanting to disturb my husband or nursling, I turn off my alarm carefully trying not to disturb my littlest. I feel stress bubble up inside me. “I NEED to be up in 13 minutes.” I think to myself. I begin contemplating whether I can sneak out of the bed without waking my bed partners. But my toddler is a boob barnacle, so sneaking out is a non-option. “Do I just wake him up and take him downstairs before he’s ready?” I ponder. I dash that thought knowing full well how rocky a morning that will be.

“But I NEED to get up!” I mentally moan. I carefully lift my head to look at the clock without disturbing my littlest’s latch: 5:35.

“Wait,” I think to myself, “my preschooler is on Christmas break. My husband is dropping off our kindergartener for her last day of school before break. All I’m doing is going to the grocery store, doing chores, and driving school pick-up this afternoon. I don’t ‘NEED’ to wake up right now.” That’s when I realized what I really needed to do: slow down.

I needed to pull up the covers and cuddle my little one. I needed to feel his soft skin and pudgy hands. I needed to etch in my mind the feeling of his warm little footsie pajama’ed body against mine. I needed to savor.

Sometimes I get so lost in the to-do list, the routine, and the stressors that I can forget what I actually NEED to do. Slow down and savor for this all goes by too fast.