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Mommy Morning Makeover - Tips to save time in the AM

As a Mom of 3; I am constantly looking for ways to not run in circles! I recently started working outside of the home and the transition was rocky. I was constantly forgetting something in the house or my children had no clue where their items were, and it was just a mess. As the Mom, I'm supposed to be a responsible party in the household; so, I used the following tips to whip myself back into shape! If you need help getting out the house faster tackle these areas & the mornings will be enjoyable! My biggest tip now is remembering what good old Ben Franklin told us: "Failing to plan,is planning to fail." I'm sure you're reading this because you are sick of failing at mornings; let's fix your problem step by step!

The list to happy mornings is as follows:
1. Go to bed early.
2.Make a Morning Routine.
3. Pack purses, backpacks, gym bags, yoga bags, soccer bags etc the night before.
4.Talk to your children,hold them accountable & reward them.
5. Include your Pets into your Morning Routine.
6 Assess Transportation.
7. Pre- Plan Outfits and Iron them.
8. Pre - Plan & or Prepare Food.

We are now going to dive into each topic and I can share what worked and what didn't and how you can be successful in each area! Keep reading, there is hope; PROMISE!

 

1.Go to bed Early.

I know this is the most unpopular topic for busy working moms however, it's a must. Not sleeping has been linked to serious health conditions and who has time for that?!  In my house, my children go to sleep at 9 pm and once they are in bed I start doing all the things I was unable to do while they were awake. This list generally includes, tidying the house, blogging, crafting or hanging with the Hubby. It's like a golden time because the house is quiet & I can actually pick what I want to do next. Last month, I picked ONE task PER NIGHT & did it, then hung with Hubby & then bed time by 11:15 pm. This allowed me to tackle my hunny- do list without taking all of my free time. #winning 

Honestly though, this is an ongoing battle for me, I wired myself to work until I'm dog tired;because I know I can. These days however, I'm learning to maximize my best self and resting allows me to regroup in such a pleasant way!  We all know sleep is sacred. It's difficult to change your bad habits; but I'm here for it!  

I urge you to restructure your nights AROUND your desired bedtime. There are a million reasons to not go to sleep on time, but in the morning, none of them matter. 

PERIODT!

2. Make a Morning Routine.

The word routine to a me, is an oxymoron. I say this because it's a wonderful concept but, implementing a routine is painfully annoying and hard on my ego.  However, once mastered, I'm at peace.

-Nicole Meeks

Routines seem wonderful on paper but, implementing actual changes in your life that require further effort on your part, and others around you, is fricking difficult! My tip is to track what's currently working & then implement small strategies one by one, to help you deal with the outliers. This should allow you a good starting point & not overwhelm you with sticking to a totally new script. As you master one thing add another. It's a simple process but, doing it takes brain power. PS - it’s okay to change things, don’t be loyal to a routine that isn't serving you! 

3. Pack Ahead. 

Packing ahead has been a HUGE game changer! I started doing it because on day four of my new job I left my badge at home; my badge accesses the parking lot & all entries into the building. I was stuck outside for 7 minutes & it was FREEZING! (I was early so I wasn't late, just annoyed) I don’t like being cold, or forgetting things; needless to say, I've been packing ahead ever since! Generally, my purse is already equipped with the essentials. Some days I'll bring different things from home to post or work on while I am away, so I add those to my purse,the night before. Twice a week, I will visit a local coffee shop before or after work, on those days, I will also pack my laptop bag ahead with the things I need to complete my tasks.

4. Talk to your children.

Talking to my children about leaving early & on time was a HUGE success factor. My minis are at fun ages and are able to complete small tasks that are a huge help! Children generally, understand and care about your feelings and will try to do the right thing, most of the time. I explained Mommy has a job now and in order to buy toys, Wi-Fi, and necessities I have to leave home at an exact time EVERYDAY! They love their Wi-Fi so complying was easy for them. All backpacks are in their rooms and easily accessible. They are responsible for hanging coats, hats and scarves up and do well with getting those items in the mornings. I do also; have an inbox near the front door, that they can drop papers from school into so I can look, sign or review them and put them back into their bags before school. Small rules save massive time.  At ages 11,10 & 4 I have the liberty to make them accountable, so I do, they will appreciate it; I just know it! 

At the end of the week we go do one fun thing because when you work hard; i.e. allow Mommy to leave on time; you play hard! The kids always look forward to their special outing & I enjoy not having to chastise them all morning. #momftw

5. Add your Pet to your AM Routine.

 

Make time for them in your mornings! My dog is so loving and wakes up before everyone in the house. EVERY MORNING! I used to be soo angry, because I wanted to sleep in however, now I just get up & walk him. It allows me to get my blood flowing, chug a bottle of water and get his morning jitters out all before the children wake up. Once we're back he hangs around them until it's time for us to leave. Chiefy J, my dog, gets loads of love and reassurance that he's the best pup ever! He's honestly a wonderful addition to our home and taking care of him early is something he deserves and it works out for everyone. Being a pet owner is a commitment; no need in complaining about it, just do it.

6. Assess Transportation. 

Living in Atlanta, traffic is a HUGE thing! It's something you always have to plan around and if you aren't mindful of it; you'll be late everywhere! I use the Google Maps App to plan my routes around the city. When I'm eating breakfast, I check traffic & then check it again 30 mins before I leave the house. This ensures I don't lollygag on high traffic days whenever, they might be; I just have 2 "check traffic alarms" set, this way, I don’t have to remember to check it & I'm always on time. If you use a ride-share service (Uber / Lyft) to move around your city, try booking in advance; as an Uber driver I know that you can schedule an UberX ride in advance & they'll confirm your ride with you twice,once  24 hours prior & again, 30 minutes before the ride to confirm you still need it. Doing this will ease your nerves & allow you to plan to be available when your ride comes.

7. Pre- Plan Outfits & Iron them.

Having your clothes & accessories pre-planned for you and your minis will save your mind in the mornings! I am not kidding here! Every Friday night I wash all uniforms & work clothes allowing me the rest of the weekend to iron & fold to be ready for Monday morning. I check the weather on Sundays & plan outfits accordingly. My 11 year old irons his clothes himself & I take care of the rest of the house. Teaching him little things early ensures he'll be self sufficient when the time calls for it. 

....also, HAIR! 

Hair is the one thing I do NOT have down to a science. Hairstyles change weekly & sometimes daily for my daughter & I. Braiding her hair into a style that will last a week is done on Sunday evenings. Friday night I am taking it down, Saturday is wash day & Sunday I style it up, again. This process generally goes as planned if we don't overbook our weekends. I understand that taking the time to maintain our hair is a priority but I don’t allow it to consume my entire day because we'll both be miserable. My husband takes my sons to get their haircuts every other week.

 

8. Pre- Plan and Prepare Food. 

Meal Prepping has been saving moms headaches since the 1900's! LOL! Funny to say that huh?! However, so few Moms participate in the process because of the planning it entails. I urge you to get a few simple recipes and start prepping to save time and stress levels! I generally opt for a sandwich & chips for lunch. I'm simple that way; eating the same thing doesn’t bother me as long as it's good to my body and taste buds. LOL! I tend to pack healthy granola or fruit bars as snacks, because I have goals of slimming down this summer. If you are a person that likes to eat out then I would suggest you make a note of all the places along your route that you love & add those stops to your morning commute! Although, I would highly recommend meal prepping because it saves a massive amount of money each week. The average American spends about $240 each month on dining out, at $60 per week I could buy soo many planner goodies. A brand new Foxy Fix each month; just think about it.  I love to watch meal prepping tips for the family on YouTube. Another helpful tool is, Pinterest, there I'm finding actual recipes for us; we're slick picky!  Lastly, meal prepping helps with day to day cleaning because there's less dishes when you cook once or twice a week. I like cooking for 4 days (Mon-Thu) simply because the weekend is here & I generally will want something different. 

 My children are able to pick their sides (one healthy, one sweet & drink) for their lunch & they also take sandwiches or eat at school; it's up to them.  They have specified bins in the pantry with their snacks so the grab and go process in the morning is easy! 

Start Now! 

Start with the area that will be easiest to master! If you are the family cook or can cook, then meal prepping maybe your easy solution; once you have a working plan then move on to the next thing. As you master these areas celebrate your wins! Allow yourself a treat for making over your mornings; something as small as new earrings or a facial. Small rewards matter, so keep the process of mastering your objectives fun and light. Changing your mornings doesn't have to be hard or frustrating. Keep it easy & fulfilling. Since implementing these small changes I have the best mornings ever!

Planning ahead is essential to having productive and stress free mornings. Keep your planner open and keep plotting your perfect morning until you are having it over and over again! Having the perfect mornings start the night before so set an adequate bed time, prepare your bags and make sure your children and pets are ready for a stellar morning! Mama has a plan and ain't scared to follow it! Need a little reminder?

 

Below, I have attached a free print out of these steps! Perfect fit for any planner! 

Morning Makeover Tips

Thanks for Reading along! I hope your mornings turn into magical times of the day!

XO,

Nicole 

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