I am not a morning person. Neither is The Goose. Needless to say, we’ve had more than our fair share of school morning battles. Since the beginning of the school year, we’ve come up with a morning routine that works for us, and helps us start our day on the right foot.
How to make school mornings less stressful:
Make waking up fun. Nearly every morning I wake The Goose by playing a fun, fast paced song on my phone. This wakes him up almost instantly, and puts us both in a good mood, especially when we start dancing around the room. (Our current favorite is Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” nobody can resist a catchy song like that!).
We race getting dressed. I never get dressed before The Goose is awake. Instead, I wait for him to wake up and then we race to see who can get dressed first. But the thing is, I always let him win. (I’m trying to make the morning less stressful, after all, and the one time I did accidentally win the race made things unbearable). So while he’s getting dressed, I make my bed. (One of the seven things I do everyday to keep my house clean).
I’m always awake and out of bed before The Goose. As I mentioned before, I am not a morning person. I wake up crabby, groggy, and in desperate need of coffee. It takes me a little while to start feeling like my normal self in the morning, that is why I always wake up first and take a little time to myself. Nobody likes a crabby mommy.
Prepare for the morning the night before. I know plenty of moms who don’t make lunches, look through school papers or choose clothes until the morning – but I am not one of them. I do as much as I can the night before, that way I’m not racing against the clock in the morning and rushing to get ready for school. (My one exception is fresh fruit for lunch and snack – I always wait until the morning to cut it up, so that apples don’t turn brown, strawberries don’t wilt, and kiwi fruit don’t get smashed in his lunch bag).
Absolutely no electronics in the morning. This is a hard one, but I do not allow The Goose to use the iPad, watch TV or play on the computer before school. I used to let him watch a show on the iPad while he ate breakfast, but it always ended with him forgetting to eat and me getting frustrated, so I put a stop to it, and it’s made the morning so much easier on us.
Morning checklist. I’ve written before about my love for the checklist. As it turns out, The Goose loves lists, too! I used to do everything for The Goose in the morning. I’d pack his backpack, get him dressed, even put his shoes on him. Sure, it made the morning less hectic because I didn’t have to wait for him to finally decide to get dressed or eat breakfast, but it was making things harder for him at school. As it turns out, when your mom does everything for you at home, you expect your teacher to do everything for you at school, too! So we sat down together and put together a small checklist of things that he needs to do on his own every morning. (Get dressed, eat breakfast, pack schoolbag, brush teeth, put on outdoor clothes). He also needed an incentive to get his chores done in the morning, so we made a rule that he doesn’t get his half hour of iPad time after school if he doesn’t do his morning chores.