I'm learning to make friends with the morning. If it was up to me, it would go something like this... sleep until I wake naturally. Sit on my back porch with hot coffee and look at the garden, the birds, the water. Exercise. Eat breakfast. And so on. But there's those little people milling about, so it usually goes a bit more like this... wake to the call of "Mama!" from a still-too-dark room or to a little finger poking at me under the covers. Followed by requests for food, drink, markers, play-dough, TV, bathroom assistance, and so on.
With school starting last week, I decided to grab hold of our morning routine from the get-go. Each night, I now work with the girls to pick out their clothes and lay them out on little chairs in the foyer, by their room. Also the night before, I pack lunches, set up coffee, make a breakfast plan, set the breakfast table and lay out my own exercise clothes (no excuses). In the morning I wake at 6, before everyone else, to work out. When the girls get up, they go right to their "dressing area" and get dressed. I posted a sign there that outlines our routine and they have really taken to it! The steps are clear and the reward is clear.
Such a simple thing, to set a routine. Kids love routines. Mama loves routines. Everyone is happier and mornings have been (almost) grumble-free! Having this little dedicated morning space has helped us develop a rhythm that really works. This week, I plan to replace the paper sign with a chalkboard I have stowed away. Here, I can also add little messages and drawings for the girls to discover.
What is your morning rhythm? I'd love to know what works for you and your family.