I’ve learned a lot since I published that article! And I still find myself re-considering how to tweak my routines. Our days are complicated lately! While I work on un-complicating them, I still have to get to bed at a reasonable hour, get up and out of bed in the morning, and complete a handful of tasks before I leave the house every day!
I am older and wiser (as are my kids!), so today, let’s take another look at “A Great Morning Starts the Night Before”!
- Look Ahead.
- In my original article, this was a solitary step for me as Mom to take. These days, the teenagers and I all need to check in with each other and with the upcoming calendar.
- Part of parenting is to foster planning and self-management skills in our young adults (and working on that for ourselves, too!). Some days, there are scheduling challenges or car usage juggling!
- I look at the calendar for the next few hours, days and weeks, and ask the important questions of myself and my sons to move us forward. I may jot down those questions on a dry erase board, in case our schedules don’t synchronize. (For example, “Where is the grade report from last Friday”, “Does your tux jacket need dry cleaned after last week’s concert?”, etc.) They can start working on answering these questions in my absence!
- Meal Planning: I’m the only person who packs a lunch anymore, so lunch making isn’t as important as it used to be.
- However, ensuring we have portable breakfast foods on hand has become more important, as has dinner meal planning to make sure I have a meal planned that works with the next day’s schedule.
- Instead of assigning a specific meal to every day, I may list 5-7 quick and favorite meals on a note near the fridge, and make sure we have the ingredients on hand for each.
- Then I can choose a really quick meal on days we’re strapped for time, or a more involved meal if I have a little extra time.
- “Lay out clothes for tomorrow, for you and your children” was the statement in the original article. However, as we and our kids grow and evolve, we know this gets a little tougher!
- Laundry maintenance. The success of this step relies on maintaining the laundry process (and yes, I have started a load of laundry as I’ve been writing this). By “maintaining the process”, I mean – keep the laundry moving along and don’t let your wardrobe options pile up! For example, start a load every evening, and toss it in the dryer every morning while you get ready for your day.
- Another key to success in this area is to have a standard ensemble to wear for your typical day. I am NOT the person to give fashion advice, but I am the person to offer suggestions that will save you time and aggravation. Spend an hour some evening, and put together a handful of outfits you can easily when you’re strapped for time.
- “Pack Your Bag the Night Before”. This piece of advice never grows old. I had an early morning breakfast meeting today, so last night, I made sure my notes were in my bag. We still stumble, as the completed forms I laid on the middle-schooler’s backpack for him to take back to school today are still laying on his dresser… but tomorrow is another opportunity to turn stuff in!
- Go to bed. Good sleep hygiene is vital to success, for all of us. A reasonable and consistent bedtime and calming night-time routines, including planning and prep for the next day, help ensure good sleep and a better morning tomorrow!
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