Chaos to Calm: How I Changed my Morning Routine as a Working Mom

We’ve all been there…. you have 5 minutes to get out the door, the kids are screaming, you can’t find the car keys, and you still have no pants on.  As working moms, the few minutes we have in the morning to get ourselves and kids out the door can be one of the hardest times of the day.  For me, some days felt impossible.  So impossible that a trip up Everest seemed more realistic for me than getting my kids and I out the door on time.  I was arriving late to work almost every day and feeling completely stressed out…all before 8:00am!

After seeing all the success my sister was having implementing routines into her daily life, I figured there must be some kind of routine that I could apply to my life to make my mornings easier.  The lightbulb moment came when she mentioned in one of her videos to “do in the morning what makes your evening easier, and do in the evening what makes your morning easier.”   Problem solved – I needed to move all my morning tasks that were causing me so much stress to the evening before. 

 I started simple with making my lunch the night before, a common practice of many working moms.  One morning chore off the list!   

“If you win the morning, you win the day.”

— Tim Ferris

Next I started putting my clothes out the evening before.  Too many times I have gone to get dressed in the morning only to find everything wrinkly, in the wash, or just not right for the day.  In the evening I not only pick out an outfit, but I make sure it’s clean, and wrinkle-free.  No more 6 am power ironing in the basement while yelling up at my kids to brush their teeth. 

This was all making a big difference, but the real game changer came when I also started laying out my kids clothes for the next day.  I would check the weather and lay out a suitable outfit for each of them in the bathroom.  The reason I didn’t put it out in their room was to avoid the ‘I’M NOT WEARING THAT!” moment.  They can see there is only one option and it was far enough away from all of their other clothes that they can’t start digging through their drawers looking for totally new (and likely, less suitable) attire for the day.

The one habit that made the biggest impact on my mornings running smooth is my ‘prep for tomorrow station’ also known as the ‘launch pad’ in the Flylady system.  I make a point of getting everything I needed for the next day collected and place it in my designated area or ‘station’ ready for me to grab on my way out the door.  This includes any documents needed for the next day, my purse and wallet, my gym clothes, and my kid’s daycare items like water bottles and blankets.  Basically everything that I used to run around like a chicken with my head cut off looking for before heading out the door in the morning. It was a total revelation! 

But wait! There’s more!  I have taken this one step further and actually put whatever I can in my car for the next day…less to forget and less to deal with the next day!   

Over time I have added small things to my evening routine to make my morning easier.  I am happy to say that I no longer lay in bed in the morning terrified to face the minutes before heading out the door.  My kids and I sometimes even have a pleasant time getting ready!  If this concept blows your mind then it might be time to take some of your morning tasks and check them off the night before.

   – Jill

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