We have all been there. Monday morning rolls around, we drag ourselves out of bed and are immediately hit with a sense of anxiety and despair. We realize that the calm and structure free weekend has come to a close and now there are lunches to pack, backpacks to collect, clothes to pick out, breakfast to be made. It’s so much to face first thing in the morning and starting the day off frazzled just isn’t a good feeling. To avoid the black hole that had become Monday mornings, I started to implement a few Mom hacks to make life run more smoothly.
Outfits organized over the weekend. Previously I would rush around putting together a slightly coordinated outfit for my daughter in the morning, only to have her whine and complain that she didn’t like it. Of course she didn’t. Being short on time and patience, I would just let her wear whatever. That was typically a sight to see. One day it involved an extra long pajama shirt with a skirt and very colorful pants. Oh, and fuzzy socks that didn’t fit into her shoes. Now, I take a pile of kids hangers to my clothes folding area in the house and as I am folding the laundry, I pair together outfits for the week and hang them on a low shelf in the closet. When the morning comes around, my kids can pick whichever of the outfits they like for the day and I’m not running around trying to piece apparel together.
Stocking the counter. Our kitchen counter is where we house everything that we are going to need before we walk out the door. Every night before I go to bed I get out the kids vitamins, sippy cups, water bottles, coats, etc. Everything goes on the counter for easy access as we walk out to the car. Taking the time to do this the night before only takes a few minutes, but not having to worry about it in the morning with a sleepy and foggy brain helps a lot.
Sunday evening lunches. I was finding that in the thick of it all, my husband and I’s needs were getting lost in the mix. We wouldn’t plan for ourselves and it would leave us rushing to find clothes for ourselves and to pack lunches. Now, I also set out my outfits for the week – including socks, underwear and any jewelry that I will be wearing. In the morning I just grab the clothes of my desire and go get ready. I also started packing lunches for the entire week. On Sunday evening I make enough lunches to get the both of us through the next five workdays. To avoid soggy sandwiches I pack the different components separately (bread, lunch meat, condiments) and if there’s anything that needs to be frozen, I put it in the lunch the night before instead. This helps us to not run out during the lunch hour to grab something costly and unhealthy, we just grab a bag from the refrigerator on our way out the door.
Quick grab breakfasts. One Sunday morning I had a revelation. After making a big batch of French toast for the family, the remaining slices sat uneaten on the counter. Whereas I would typically just throw them out if they went unclaimed, I instead packaged them into 2 slice portions and put them in the freezer. The next weekend I did the same with pancakes. Another time I froze extra muffins. This proved to be a lifesaver in the mornings. Taking a set of pancakes out of the freezer, microwaving for a minute or two and setting it on the table was so much easier, and healthier, than other quick made solutions. Another added bonus is that it’s cheaper, and I always love that.
When life is crazy enough as it is, it’s always a good idea to see what you can do to make it less so. What I really wish is that I had the funds available for a personal assistant and professional chef to do all of this for me, but that’s just not in the cards – I know this because I analyzed our budget to see. In the interim, until I win the lottery or get a giant raise, these Mama hacks make me a calmer and more sane parent, and myself and those around me definitely appreciate that.
Kristyn Meyer is a freelance writer hailing from the mitten state. She is a mother, wife, writer, baker and wannabe coffee connoisseur. She is also the author of two children’s books – “Brother of Mine” and “I Don’t Know”, available on Amazon.