- Get up ½ hour before the kids and have a little “me” time. Exercise, shower, pray or meditate — whatever makes you feel good. This will give you a chance to feel centered and in control before the kids even get on the scene. Of course, finding that coveted ½ hour in the morning can be tricky, especially when you’re nursing a baby or have little ones waking you up in the night. Don’t force it. If you’re not getting enough sleep as it is, it may not be your season for setting an early alarm.
- Do a few simple tasks that put your home in order. Do you ever find yourself walking from one room to the next, surrounded by mess but too overwhelmed to start? By doing a handful of simple things first thing in the morning, you can make the task of tidying more manageable. Make your bed, unload and load the dishwasher, wipe the counters after breakfast, switch the laundry. After a few weeks of knocking off these nagging tasks first thing, doing them will become a habit. You may find yourself much more relaxed throughout the day and better able to focus on what you really want to do.
- Get ready and have breakfast. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, getting dressed and ready in the morning may start to feel optional. But looking good makes you feel good — it can also help you get more done. I know my productivity doubles in the morning if I will just put on a bra. Also, don’t forget breakfast. Like your kids, you need good fuel to feel strong and have energy.
- Keep your sense of humor. Mornings won’t always be this hard. Sooner or later, your kids will be gone, your house will be quiet, and you’ll be able to sit on the sofa with a cup of hot coffee and a good magazine as you slowly greet the day. In the meantime, when the train goes off the rails, have a laugh, turn on some Jack Johnson, and remember you’re not alone.
A few other suggestions we've heard of? Take baths the night before, lay out your child's clothes the night before, choose your own clothes the night before, place shoes + backpack by the front door, pack lunches each night, turn on relaxing but fun music to keep stress levels down. What else do you guys do to have smooth mornings in your home?