Do You Dread Crazy Weekday Mornings?
It’s just another Manic Monday. You wish it was Sunday………okay, can you tell I’m a child of the ‘80s? This classic song from The Bangles (written by Prince – RIP!) was out on the radio when I was not even a teen, but now I get what they’re singing about. The work week can be hectic. Throw in crazy things like the alarm clock not going off, so now you’re scrambling around – and your gas tank being on “E” while you’re sitting in a parking lot that is traffic, after you rushed to get your child to daycare…….
What’s a busy mom to do?
The key is time – taking time from one day, typically Saturday or Sunday for working moms who do the Monday to Friday gig. Adjust this accordingly to your work schedule – whichever is your “off” day from work so you can do your “prepping” on this day. I would highly recommend you try to do everything you can in the one day – weekends are short enough as it is, I tend to do as little as possible on Sundays (aside from church) so that I can spend time with my family.
It also helps to think ahead and map things out – have a strategy. SET a schedule. I’ve always had a problem with a schedule, for whatever reason – I’ve worked a 9-5 gig for over 20 years, and my internal clock still seems to be resistant at times to waking up before 6. But now that I’m a mom, I almost HAVE to go to sleep no later than 10 p.m., otherwise I’m a HOT MESS in the morning!
Here are some ways you can make your weekday mornings less crazy:
KNOW your schedule.
For me: Monday and Tuesday I can make an impromptu grocery store run if needed, or mail something at the post office. The rest of the week I take my son to my mom’s which means leaving the house earlier and (unfortunately) getting home later, which leads to…………..
Make friends with an ONLINE CALENDAR.
I like Google Calendar and set up alerts and color code; set alerts ahead of time – I like to do a “snooze” alert (maybe a few days or a week ahead) and then one that day, hours before an appointment, etc.). That way I remember something important and can plan accordingly (prescription’s about to run out, hair appt. that might conflict with a lunch, Curious George show so no way to do a Mom2Mom sale that day too). Try to take a glance at your calendar on Sundays, so you have an idea how your week’s going to be. Even with all of my alerts, it’s nice to see in advance how your schedule looks.
Shop for all your GROCERIES on your off day (Saturday or Sunday, or whatever your day off is).
Have recipes handy – crockpot/30 minute meals are awesome. I like going to Hungry Girl, Skinny Ms., Skinny Mom, Allrecipes and Pinterest for help here. Have nutritious but quick breakfast options handy – cereal, fruit, smoothies. Prep as much as you can, or even do some “cooking for the week,” so you’ve got meals pretty much set, all you have to do when you get home is heat them up and serve! Get a crockpot meal cooking overnight on Sunday or during the day on Monday, and at the very least, that weekday dinner is all set!
Don’t forget the little things.
Even “little things” can trip up your weekday mornings. Fill up your gas tank over the weekend or on your day off. And also visit the ATM – unless you live off of your debit card and can’t even fathom carrying even $5 in your wallet or purse, make sure you hit the ATM, maybe on Saturday or Sunday after church when you’re out filling up your gas tank, buying groceries, etc. If your kids are school-age, make sure they’ve got homework/projects completed.
While you’re prepping for the week’s dinners, also get your lunches and snacks together.
If you have a fridge at work, bring your week’s worth of lunches and snacks in on Monday, so you don’t have to worry about bringing something in each day of the week. When you’re running around in different directions and need to make sure everyone else has their stuff, it helps if you don’t have as much every day.
Think of these 3 R’s: RESET, RESTOCK, RECHARGE.
RESET your alarm clock if you’re like us and need a couple of days where we’re not waking up to a startling sound. RESTOCK around the house – from snacks in the cupboards for everyone in the family, to Q-tips and toilet paper in the bathroom so you’re not stuck sitting on the toilet yelling out to someone to get you a roll. RECHARGE your electronics – phone, tablets, etc. charged – overnight – again, have a set place for these things – a charging station, if you will. I’ll admit, as far as this goes, we have chargers in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom – but it’s so routine for me to check all of those now that it works for us. Go with what works for you – as long as you are in the habit of charging and putting things in the same spot all the time, you should be fine.
Get the LAUNDRY done, and set up your WARDROBE for the week.
This will probably help if you have school-age children as well. Check the weather forecast so you at least have a clue how to dress, and dressing in layers always helps, especially in transitional seasons like spring and fall. Have all your clothes ironed and outfits laid out. Something I’ve noticed myself, that my hubby has called me out on – is actually getting dressed when I get up helps make the morning go more smoothly. If I’m not using my a.m. time to work out, I should get dressed and get that out of the way. I shower in the evenings – that’s just what’s always worked best for me, even when I was younger and single.
Half-dress your little one(s).
Some parents may balk at this, but I dress my son in his shirt (plural if it’s below freezing outside) before bedtime. We are still working on potty-training him, but the way he wriggles away and makes a game of just putting on his socks and shoes when it’s time to leave in the morning for daycare, every little bit helps in my house!
Have your purse, diaper bag, keys, shoes, jacket, briefcase, and kids’ backpacks all in ONE SPOT (or the general area).
We don’t have a house with a hallway, so we make do – we do have a key hook by the door, and I have a hook to put up my purse. Shoes and jackets are also close by. I do try to help my hubby with this one; for whatever reason he will put his briefcase in different places, and before lights-out every night, I try to go around and make sure everything’s where it should be – otherwise he forgets his briefcase!
Get some….SLEEP, that is!
Make sure you get the sleep you need to function as optimally as possible. I’m sure you know the ****optimal amount is 6-8 hours. As the week goes on, I don’t mind too much sleeping 6 hours, but on Sunday night at the very least – Monday night too if I can manage – I try to get 7 hours of sleep.
Don’t just set your alarm early. GET UP early – BEFORE everyone else does.
My co-worker would tell me for the longest time about how she would wake up at 5 a.m. (yikes!) so she could sit and relax with a cup of coffee, and have some “me time” and read a book, before her husband and daughters got up and the morning chaos would start. Again, this is one of those things I just didn’t “get” – until I myself became a mom. Now I look forward to that one hour to myself. Get up a full hour early if you can – 30 minutes will probably work too, but that time goes by fast. You can read a book as my co-worker does, or do yoga or a “quickie” workout before you have to jump in the shower. Just take a few minutes and do something that will relax or help get you ready for the day – even just sitting still and taking deep breaths helps. Go outside and enjoy the fresh air if you can (it’s been unseasonably cold here in the Midwest, so I just dart my head out just enough to gauge the weather while my dog is outside doing his business).
DELEGATE – to the hubby, parents if you can.
This is all teamwork! Don’t try to do everything yourself. An example from my life? As I mentioned earlier, I take my son to Grandma’s on the latter 3 days of the work week. That means we have to leave the house earlier, and also means we get home later. I ask my husband to take care of the meals on those days, IF I don’t already have a crockpot meal set up (as suggested above). My husband also does any store runs on those days if needed. And he takes our son to daycare the first 2 days of the work week.
Yes, this may be contradictory, but as necessary as a schedule and routine is to cut down on the insanity, as a busy on-the-go mom, you should still BE FLEXIBLE with your schedule when you can. My toddler normally sleeps well – most nights. But every once in a while, he wakes up screaming at 3-4 in the morning (close enough to your normal wake-up time where you ponder, “Maybe I should just stay up?” But then you know you’ll be even more tired!), and I go to his room and snuggle with him. Once in a while, the alarm clock may “forget” to go off (or you may have forgotten to reset it, yes?) – or your husband may not be able to drop the kid(s) off at daycare, and you have to change your morning schedule accordingly. These are the days where you just have to BREATH, and be okay that the morning isn’t going “quite right” – but it’s all good!
These tips may not TOTALLY eliminate craziness in the mornings, but I hope they do help make your weekday mornings less crazy. Do you have other helpful tips to share? Let me know in the comments!
Did you enjoy this post? Please share with your friends. And if you haven’t done so already, SUBSCRIBE to receive my blog posts by email, and you’ll also have a chance to win in my subscriber-only monthly giveaway. Thanks for reading!