Welcome to my new series on Stress-Free Living! For the next few weeks, I’m going to share my experiences over the years learning to make life happier and easier amid constantly changing schedules, locations, adding family members, and (gasp!) HOLIDAYS!
Because our ministry had us on the road at the time, we drove late into the night (or rather, early into the morning) to get to our next meeting. Thankfully, because we had a motor home, the kids were able to go to bed at their normal time, so they got their rest. But I felt it was important to stay awake to help keep my husband awake for the long drive, so neither he nor I got to bed until about 2am.
That in itself isn’t bad, but the following morning was awful! I was awakened by a very hungry baby the next morning, and of course while I was feeding her, the rest of the kids woke up and wanted breakfast. By the time I got the little kids some food, it was mid-morning. Then suddenly, the unthinkable happened: there was a knock on the door!
Oh, no! I was still in my nightgown!
What did I do? I did what anyone else in my situation would have done: I hid and told my husband to go answer the door! 😀
Seriously, though, mornings can be rough, especially with a young family. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years that have made my life easier. Maybe some of them will help you!
1. Rise 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the family. Right now I wake up at least an hour and a half earlier than the rest of the family, but when my children were little, I simply wasn’t always ready to do that. But through the years, I discovered that if I could just get up 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the family, I could have at least a little bit of relaxation time before I was mobbed.
2. Greet each person with a 100-watt smile. I talk about this is one of my previous posts, How to Make Your Home a Better Place, Part 2. If you are able to get up 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the family, this step is pretty easy. No matter how the night went, I always try to greet each person with a big sincere smile. At first, it was hard to do, because I was enjoying having time to myself so much, but eventually it became a part of me, so that I was sincerely glad to see them when they got up.
3. Ask each person about how they are doing, or how they slept last night. “Hi buddy! How did you sleep?” I’d ask as I tossle my son’s hair. It’s a good way to show we care, because sometimes young folks don’t sleep well, and it bothers them and it’s good for them to talk about it. Other days, you can swap crazy dream stories, which are always funny. It’s a cheery way to start your morning.
4. If you have small children, try to get them their breakfast as soon as possible after they get up. Young children are always hungry early in the morning, so having a good breakfast soon after getting up can chase away the poochie lip!
5. Make sure they read their Bibles as soon as possible in the morning. If you make your kids brush their teeth, you should make them read their Bibles. I always ask my children what they read this morning, and it’s always good to help us start a good spiritual conversation. Starting the day on a good spiritual note is the best thing in the world.
Finally, when nothing seems to work as planned, flexibility is the key. My blog post, A Mom’s Motto: “Semper Gumby” Always Flexible, covers that topic in depth.
While your family may not live in a motorhome, there may be some ideas here that you can add to your mornings that will help you be a more effective (and happier) momma!
Your Turn: What are some things you’ve learned over the years that help your life mornings run more smoothly? Are there some routines you’ve found that didn’t help?
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