Do you get stressed on Monday mornings?
You wake up late, or your kid wakes up late, and then the stress builds as you hurry to get yourself and your child ready to leave the house on time for school. You shout at him to hurry, and he pisses you off by starting to play when in fact, he has to eat breakfast, get changed, brush his teeth and get out of the #%^**%&& door! Sounds familiar?
After my son went to Kindergarten last year, I learned from painful and tearful experience that sometimes a little planning goes a long way. The first few months were an adjustment phase to the new school life routine. Getting up at the same time, eating breakfast, preparing healthy snacks, and dressing my son in the right gear (we have four seasons here in Switzerland, which is a blessing and a curse! It means you need clothes for every season, which can get bloody expensive and a pain to sort out).
Now that he's been in Kindergarten for almost a year now, we have more experience getting him ready on time and primarily stress-free, so here are our learnings so far. I hope you find them helpful.
1. Don't stay up late on Sundays.
I don't want to be a party pooper here, but I know you want to have your "me" time once your kids are in bed, but experience has taught me that when I've stayed up too late, my whole family suffered the consequences the next day. I'm angsty and short-fused! The lack of sleep can make anyone a bitch in the mornings. I learned the hard way that sometimes being a parent means being the sensible one and getting to bed on time, so you start the day fresh and not as someone who felt like they were knocked over by a bus.
2. Make breakfast ahead.
Okay, I know this may make me sound like a Stepford wife. But it helps to not think about what to feed your kids on Monday mornings. This one step can change your mornings forever! Honestly! I like to make extra pancakes on Sundays and then heat some leftovers the next day.
This oat banana pancake recipe is excellent. I use gluten-free oats and serve the pancakes with peanut butter, almond butter and fresh berries. My kids love it, and so does my husband. https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/banana-oatmeal-pancakes/
Another one of my kid's all-time favourite breakfast is oat banana muffins. They taste delicious, and it's easy to reheat them. I use this recipe from Clean and Delicious. https://cleananddelicious.com/banana-oatmeal-muffin-cups/
You can also try this chocolate overnight oatmeal recipe. My daughter loves it as it has chocolate, well, cacao to be precise. I also add in chia seeds in mine. https://joyfoodsunshine.com/chocolate-overnight-oats
3. Lay out clothes.
Make your kids choose the outfit they want to wear for the next day. That way, they already know what to wear in the morning, and it saves you time and energy from choosing their outfits and getting into tantrums. I haven't gone as far as laying out clothes for myself since I work from home. Since I'm working on a capsule wardrobe this year, I've streamlined and only wear a few work clothes on rotation. That way, I don't get overwhelmed by too many choices.
4. Write your to-do list.
We have so many things we want to do, but it always seems like we can never get anything done, so the best thing is to write a to-do list on a Sunday night. It also helps if you have the list on your phone to refer to it anytime you have a free moment to see what you do and tick off. Call me old school, but personally, I write my to-do list in a notebook, and I love it when I can cross it off! It's a cathartic process for me, so that's why I love writing on paper.
5. You don't have to be perfect.
Look, I'm not saying that you have to be perfect. Sometimes things slip, and there are some Monday mornings where we are practically shouting at our son to move his ass and get to school on time! But on those days when we prepare a little the night before, Monday mornings are a breeze and I can drink my hot coffee in peace after my son leaves for school.
All you have to do is to get into a routine, and once you feel the difference of having a stress-free Monday morning, you won't want to go back to how it was.
How do your Monday mornings look? I would love to hear your comments and experiences.