6 Steps for Moms to Starting the Day Right
6 Steps for Moms to Starting the Day Right
We all have those lousy days that essentially begin with the press of the snooze button on the morning alarm, then rushing out of bed, trying to make it on time to school/work, flying out the door after throwing “something” in the kids’ lunch bags, and then going through the drive-thru to grab a coffee and a
healthy muffin doughnut. Those hectic mornings do not only stress me out, but the kids too! And I am so ashamed to say that this is how we started off the school year a few weeks ago… first day of school… coming back from the cottage the night before (awesome labour day long weekend though that’s for sure!), and the already-set alarm did NOT go off on the first day of school!! I almost cried! I was so angry at myself, blaming myself and feeling like I was such an irresponsible and incompetent mom! I fed the kids breakfast, and basically flew out the door. From waking to leaving: 7 minutes! All 3 of my precious kids made it on time on their first day of school… their outfits were at least picked out the night before (as always). (I then came back home to make their lunches and drive back to school to drop them off… Umm yep that was one embarrassing morning for this mamma..) And that was the first day of school for my baby boy!! 😔 I was a disaster…
But, let me tell you… ever since then… I have not one, but TWO alarms set for 6:40 am and the morning routine is much smoother. The kids and I love it as we take our time to eat a healthy breakfast, have healthy lunches already packed for school the night before, enjoy my cup of coffee, talk and sing with my kids, read a devotional and then ride our bikes to school together… And for the rest of day I am not stressed out and feeling guilty about the way I prepare my kids for the day, and more than that: I set the tone for the rest of the day! Yep, we moms can do that, whether we start off on a positive or a negative note.
So… back to our topic: What makes the start of the day right? I can share with you what works for me, and hope this will either give you ideas or help you in some way to set your own morning routine to help you enjoy morning-time instead of storming through it, and dragging the kids along and drowning them right in it…
The first step begins with the night before the better mornings!! How can I wake up early when I go to bed after midnight, surfing the net, reading, folding laundry or doing whatever else I might find to do! We can all find something else to do other than sleeping, just like naughty kids 🤔 BUT, if we make it into a routine and stick to it: going to bed and shutting off all electronics, books, and other distractions at a decent hour (11 pm for me), then we should be able to wake up early instead of half an hour before leaving the house! Did you know that sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, increases the stress levels and also increases the risk of heart disease and early death (related to heart disease). So let’s make ourselves (and our children) a favour and sleep for our own benefit and theirs too (since our precious blessings do need their mammas around longer).
Try not to press that snooze button, but actually try to get up and aim for the bathroom! Turn on the light to move into the day mode quicker, and brush your teeth and tongue. Yes, brush those germs off before ingesting them with your breakfast, and brush also to remove the plaque that was built during the night long sleep. I set my personal alarm to 6:40 am so that I have enough time time to get myself ready, make a fresh cup of coffee, look at my calendar, get up the kids, make them a healthy protein-packed breakfast (oatmeal, omelette, fried eggs, crepes, yogurt, glass of milk) that will keep the energy level high until their first break at school. So yes, there is just so much to do in the morning (in addition to finishing off their lunch bags with healthy foods), so half an hour will just not do for me to complete all these tasks in a normal, yell-and-storm-free fashion. This is so important to me as I actually have time to talk with my kids, snuggle even, read and sing together as we get ready for the day! Then at 8:30 we hop on our bikes (weather permitting) and off we go to school… Yup, it is possible when we just stick to the routine and get out of our bed nice and early! (I need 2 hours… as you see, to get my family ready for the day)
I cannot say enough about how essential these morning checklists are to my family! I tape a checklist on their wall, right on top of the light switch so they see it when they turn the light on/off as a reminder. I will give you an example of what kind of tasks I put together for my 8 year old son, in nice big bold letters, and laminated or placed in a clear plastic sheet protector then taped on the wall.
When he forgets to do something (like brush his teeth) I just tell him to go back and check his list! So I don’t have to keep nagging at him for not brushing his teeth, or making his bed… This also makes them feel like they have already accomplished something right in the morning, and gives them a sense of responsibility too. Mornings run smoother if the kids have a routine too. They are basically dressed and ready! One MAJOR thing accomplished when you have children, let me tell you that! 🤗
Our bodies are depleted of both nutrients and water from the night long sleep. First thing in the morning when I walk into my kitchen is drink a glassful of water (I put lemon or wild orange drops in it, because I have them handy and because of their health benefits). If you do not have or use essential oils, don’t fret… just add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and enjoy. According to research, besides dehydration, the other reasons why you should be drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach are:
💧 water helps rid your body of toxins
💧 improves your metabolism
💧 aids with weight loss
💧 alleviates heartburn and indigestion from the accumulation of stomach acids
💧 improves skin complexion and radiance (by releasing toxins, and increasing blood flow)
💧 promotes shiny and healthy hair (water makes up almost ¼ of the weight of a hair strand!)
💧 prevents urinary tract infections, bladder infections and kidney stones
💧 strengthens the immune system
Wow, a free and readily accessible glass of water can really make a huge and positive difference in your life when you drink it first thing in the morning, and of course throughout the day as well.
It is so easy for us moms to just forget about ourselves when we tend to our children’s needs, and it is so important to put some healthy food in their bellies as well as ours. When I am not hungry I am a happy mom! And let me tell you something… you sure don’t want to see me hungry 😁 I also like to have breakfast together with my kids… and to kickstart our day I purposely try to make sure that our breakfast is protein packed since after a long night’s sleep our bodies are low on energy, protein, vitamins and minerals… we are basically depleted of nutrients… kids and adults included! And what we would most often tend to run to is a quick-fix carb-filled pastry to satisfy our hunger hassle-free. Then mid-morning we have a sugar crash (both mentally and physically), thinking we might just need another coffee for some energy boost. Eating protein in the morning makes us fuller and maintains our energy and satiety longer. In our house, we love eggs (fried, scrambled, French-toast, in crepes… I put a lot in the batter), oatmeal with milk (not water), and yogurt with granola and fruit. Check out this website with some more info on protein-rich breakfasts and recipe ideas.
It makes such a huge difference when I wake up in the morning and I don’t need to worry about what to pack for my kids’ lunches meanwhile trying to feed them a healthy breakfast, make my coffee and have myself sit down for an actual breakfast… Having lunch bags prepared the night before is especially essential for this mamma of 3 kids because EACH ONE OF THEM have different food preferences… one likes meat, other does not, one likes apples, the other one loves peaches, one likes sandwiches the other cannot stand sandwiches unless they’re with jam! And the list goes on and on…. so yeah, having our lunches prepped the night before is not optional but mandatory in this house for a smoooooth morning!