10 Tips for an Easier Stress Free Parent’s Morning
You may be thinking, is a stress free morning possible? The hustle of getting more than just yourself ready in the morning may never be an outlet of relaxation, but we promise that with implementing some tips into your routine, a parent’s morning doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Parenting is always worth it in the end, and it is rushed mornings like these that parents recount years later. Our first priority is our children, yet we don’t take a moment to see how important parent self-care is to the development of our child.
Our priority will always be our children – we’ve all heard that happy kids make happy parents. Parent self-care isn’t putting yourself before your children, a recent study shows child-centric parenting leads to parents that are happier and more fulfilled. Parent self-care relies on taking an ounce of time to reflect, see how improvement can be made within your parenting routine, and having the goal to make your mornings more enjoyable.
Plan the Night Before
Avoiding the stress of the morning rush means facing it the night before! We know how tired parents are after a long day at work, but planning your day ahead of time will avert the crisis of a rush the next morning. What is the weather going to be like the next morning? What clothes will you be wearing to work? What outfit will your child be wearing for daycare? The best part about planning for your morning the night before is that you have time. Let your child pick their outfit with you, it is at this age that they desire to feel independent. Ensure they have everything they need in their backpacks to make them feel ready for the upcoming day. Pre-pack your meal for work, you’ll love waking up the next morning and having it already made. Plus, if you’re big on waste management, making lunch out of your dinner’s leftovers will make this job ten times easier. If there’s a big day coming up at daycare for your child, you’ll know to pack something special the night before. Evenings are the perfect time to read newsletters. Get showers and baths for yourself and your child completed the night before, having this out of the way in the morning will ensure you have the time to provide a nutritious breakfast.
Promote Valuable Sleep
Forget about all of the things you have to get done in the morning before work and daycare, we’ve all dealt with the morning crankiness of children which only diminishes our mood. How to make your morning easier? Make sure that everyone is getting enough sleep. We know that the pinnacle of sleep for an adult is the sought after eight hours, with at least seven hours achieved to sustain healthy habits. From 1 to five years old, children should sleep 12-14 hours a day between nap time and nights.
If only this was easier said than done as children will only sleep when they’ve maintained a sense of calm and feel drowsy to do so. Avoid caffeine in meals before bedtime. An expected bedtime for your child makes them know when they should be ready to sleep by and allows their body to create its own alarm clock. Preparation kills the stress of your morning, yet you won’t be truly prepared until you set goals for your sleep as much as your child’s. Professor of psychology, Norbert Schwarz, has found within a study that “making $60,000 more in annual income has less of an effect on your daily happiness than getting one extra hour of sleep a night.”
Read to Your Child Before Bed
Setting up the expected time to read a story aloud to your child before bed will allow them to keep their energy focused on an entertaining task. The before-bed jitters will disappear, and their ability to go to sleep will be much easier. Not only this, reading aloud to your child develops a strong bond while nurturing their imagination. When reading before bedtime becomes apart of your nightly preparation for the morning, your child will become excited for these moments, instilling an imperative love to read that will remain with them in their teenage and adult years. Reading before bed builds your child’s inner dictionary and improves attention. Plan to spend a minimum of twenty minutes before their bed reading to children at the age of four. If your child is younger than four, fit time in before bed to finish a storybook. Some of our favorite children’s book authors are:
- Dr. Seuss
- Robert Munsch
- Mercer Mayer
- Micheal Rosen
- Leslie Patricelli
- Todd Parr
- P.D. Eastman
Post a Routine
Young children love responsibility. Help them help you get ready in the morning by posting a magnetic whiteboard somewhere accessible – such as your fridge – of what needs to be accomplished in the morning (washing face, breakfast, brushing teeth, combing hair, getting dressed, putting shoes on, grabbing everything). When children know what is expected in the morning, they will want to be much more cooperative to accomplish these tasks. Getting ready in the morning will be less stressful and be fun for them. With a whiteboard, children will feel they have more of a voice should they wish to change parts to the routine or add a note for the next day.
Get up Before Your Kids
If feeling stressed in the morning is due more to the personal aspect of not having enough time to get yourself ready or forgetting to do things within your own routine, wake up earlier than your child. Getting yourself ready and put together makes waking your child up and going through their routine less frazzled.
Help Your Child Make Their Bed
Making your bed has become a staple to motivational speeches as making your bed in the morning allows you to successfully complete your first task of the day. A survey of 1,000 people shows that 74% of bed-makers feel accomplished at the end of the day, while 50% of non-makers do not. Making your bed starts your morning off right, so why wouldn’t it for your child? After waking them up, help them make their bed to spur a positive mindset and give them their morning purpose.
Just because you have a routine posted doesn’t mean you need to keep strictly to it. While routines are important in the development of a child, some days will not go as planned. Your child will wake up no longer liking their outfit and will not feel like eating their breakfast. Don’t let the stress of the morning get to you – as long as you’ve stuck to your nightly plans, you’ll have extra time in the morning to problem-solve. Ask your child what they feel like eating, while you make it, have them pick out what they feel like wearing for the day. If trends like these consist, sit down with your child and rethink your routine. Dr. Laura F. Dabney, MD, a psychiatrist, states that “if your kids feel like they are part of making the routine they are more likely to follow it.”
Choose a Centrally Located Daycare
Waking a child up at 7:00 a.m. is completely different from 6:30 a.m. There is enough stress in the morning to get everything done, worrying about traffic and the time spent driving out of the way to drop your child off at daycare just isn’t worth it. Choose an Airdrie daycare, preschool or kindergarten that is conveniently on your drive to work. Do some research and see if certain childcare centres you are interested in have pick-up and drop-off points. Accredited Airdrie childcare centres operate on standards of flexibility and improving the lives of parents as much as they can.
Give Your Kids Time
Nobody likes to be rushed. When we’re rushed, it feels as though we are taking longer to get out the door. Mornings shouldn’t be based on the “grab and go” philosophy. If you wake your child up at a time where they’ll have an extra fifteen minutes, they are much more relaxed throughout the morning. If they have extra time before hopping in the car to sit and relax, you’ll feel better knowing there won’t be any tantrums.
Weekends Are Different
On weekends you don’t have to go to work and your child won’t have daycare. Make this family time special. Routines shouldn’t be strayed from too far, but ensure your child knows that weekends are not weekdays. Make a special meal, start a family tradition every weekend. Children power through weekdays as much as adults do – when they have a reason to be excited for the weekend, weekday mornings both for you and your children will become easier.
Keep Calm and Prepare
Going about your morning in a smarter way to reduce unnecessary stress and make life easier lays the foundation to ensure that even before daycare and work, you are spending the most quality time possible with your child. Having specific tasks to get done at night to focus on key essentials like breakfast in the morning will lay the framework of ensuring that growing up, your child understands time management skills, and develops a healthy night and morning routine. Every moment of being a parent is cherished, Little Angels’ Airdrie childcare is passionate about adding to the enrichment of these moments by providing out of school pick-up and drop-off to selected elementary schools across Airdrie.