5 ways to improve your morning routine

Almost every mother knows this… Kids wake up much too early and in very bad moods. You try to understand how on Earth could you forget to buy bananas (or whatever keeps you going in the morning) and why you didn’t go to bed earlier last night. And there’s this overwhelming feeling that the morning can’t be saved anymore…

It seems that I’ve been having more mornings like this lately. I think it may have something to do with winter and the fact that it’s still dark outside when we get up… Anyway, I’ve decided that something has to be done about this. So today I’m going to share with you some lifesaving morning tips for improving your morning routine. They worked perfectly for us and I hope they can help you, too!

Morning tip #1: Hug your baby

If you don’t already do this, just start your days with a big hug. It’s not only about warm touch and closeness, but also child-parent bonding. Hugging stimulates the release of oxytocin – the love hormone. There’s no better way to start your day than a huge dose of love – for the children, as well as for you as a parent!

Morning tip #2: Find a reason to smile

This might take some effort when you’re in a bad mood yourself… But it’s really worth trying. When you see your children in THAT kind of horrible mood – don’t push them further over the edge. Take a step back. Try to find or improvise something that will make you all laugh. If you have small children, do a little scene for example pretending you don’t know how to put on socks properly. Try to put one over your hand or on your head and then ask kids how it’s supposed to be done. With older children you can pretend to throw a ball of paper to the trash – and miss every time until you eventually ask kids for help. You know better than me what works for your children and makes them laugh – I’m just saying it’s worth it.

Morning tip #3: Take 10 minutes and play together

However absurd it may seem to “waste” precious time on playing when you’re in a hurry, it turns out to be a very good idea – as Kate Orson suggests in her book Tears Heal: How to listen to your child. From personal experience I can tell you it works perfectly, too! It’s all about a few moments when you can show your child some tenderness and interest. In our case reading a few pages from a book or a few minutes of playing with blocks is just enough. Just take a moment to be with your kids and as Orson suggests – children will feel happy and connected to you and therefore more likely to co-operate during the rest of the day. Works wonders!

Morning tip #4: Let children decide

For example: let them decide what they want for breakfast or which sweater they want to wear today. I usually offer my kids two alternatives, so we’re all happy – I’m sure they’ll be properly dressed and they feel confident and decisive, because they were allowed to make their own choices..

Morning tip #5: Play some music

Music has the power to reduce stress and lift your spirit. And again – it works not only for children, but also for you! I sort of treat this part of our morning routine as fitness. I’ve chosen a few songs that work every time:

– I feel good by James Brown

– Happy by Pharrell Williams

– Don’t worry, be happy by Bobby McFerrin

During first two songs we’re dancing (or clapping our hands/running around the apartment/exercising/making breakfast – whatever’s needed at that moment) and sing. The last song slowly calms us down. But what’s most important I have an agreement with my 3-year-old that the last song also measures the time when he’s supposed to put on his clothes. Of course, if he’s having trouble with some part of his clothing and he’s not ready on time, we just play the song once more… but when he manages to get dressed before the end of the piece, the proud look on his face is just priceless. For me that little agreement of ours was the best idea – so feel free to use this morning tip at your own home!

As you can see, there are some simple things you can do to improve your morning routine – I hope you’ll find the morning tips helpful! I can promise you one thing – after a 10-minute set of happy, energetic songs in the morning even if the kids are still a little cranky, you’ll definitely feel better and restore your faith in the fact that it still might be quite a good day.