Morning Routine Advice: Hurry Up, Slowly

Here is some valuable morning routine advice from guest contributor, Oana Hogrefe. She’s a married mom of two children who runs an Atlanta photography business and regularly contributes to local charities.

Morning Routine Advice: Hurry Up, Slowly

The wise Greek have this saying, ‘speude bradeos’ – later embraced by Roman emperors as ‘festina lente’. I grew up hearing the Latin version as well as its Romanian translation often, as an incentive to move swiftly through those times in your life that require speedy progress, while at the same time remaining focused and deliberate.

Morning Routine Advice: Hurry Up, Slowly

As a parent, the morning routine is often mentioned as one of the most stressful times of the day. This is unfortunate, as it can set up the tone for the remaining hours, both for parents and for children. It’s easy to get frustrated, as we are often running on too little sleep and trying to meet strict timeframes (especially with school-aged children).

My advice to you, and what has been working relatively well for us (while I don’t claim expert status on the topic by any means), is to match the time available  with the number of necessary morning steps to readiness. You can do this by waking everyone earlier or, as it’s the case at our house, redefining what steps are essential for you. Then work back from out-the-door time, and have certain realistic milestones in mind for when the kids need to be awake, breakfast completed, cleaning and clothing done, etc.

As much as possible, save time and stress by doing what can be done the night before.

  • Preparing (or at least planning) the lunches.
  • Having the breakfast partially ready. Having taken the bath or shower in the evening rather than morning.
  • Choosing next day’s clothes. Our son, in fact, often will go to bed in tomorrow’s clean attire: why not? We don’t need ironed and starched uniforms, thankfully, so his comfy t-shirts and shorts will not be ruined, and he has one fewer step to worry about. Our daughter however loves her princess nightgown (which she named “Priscilla”), so she wears it to bed, and gets dressed in the morning, which suits her tempo and personality just fine.

To me, it’s most important to have everyone begin their day feeling content and ready.  Reconsidering what is truly important for your family, and reprioritizing accordingly, may help bring some harmony to what is too often becoming a frazzled, conflict-prone start of the day.

Morning and night are sensitive transition times, when avoiding arguments and power struggles, excessive direction-giving and irritated tones is particularly important. Simplifying the routine and paying attention to the quality of the interactions with the child, adding one extra hug or snuggle, a few well chosen words of encouragement and love can go a long way towards how both you and the children navigate the day ahead!

Morning Routine Advice: Hurry Up, Slowly

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11 comments

  1. This is good advice. I am not a mom but I can see how “Reconsidering what is truly important for your family, and reprioritizing accordingly, may help bring some harmony ” is important for all of us. We all need to start the day on the right foot. Really considering what is important and neccessarry for that to happen is great advice.
    Chasing Joy recently posted..Does Your Smile Bring You Joy? It Can!

  2. Definitely prepare ahead of time! I agree 100%! With four kids, I can’t NOT be ready for the next morning. Otherwise it’s completely chaos and I go nuts!
    Erika Bragdon recently posted..Simple DIY Herb Planters for Kids with The Home Depot #DigIn

  3. Prep is the name of the game!
    Lindsey, the Redhead Baby Mama recently posted..Mommy & Me Monday: Red’s 2nd Bday

  4. Prep is good but I have gotten so bad at prepping that I don’t anymore. I just wing it now next semester the baby will be going to preK so I have to get on a schedule with two of them in school I am dreading it already
    Kita recently posted..Zaxbys is going down

  5. Good Advice, I think it is always nice to be prepared for the next day so less stress first thing in the morning!
    Kelsey Apley recently posted..Join The Home Depot Garden Club – Get Exclusive Discounts Plus Instant $5 off Coupon

  6. Great advice!! I’m lucky! Hubby is in charge of mornings as I’m up and out of the house before anyone else gets up!
    Jenn recently posted..Smoothies made easy! SunRype Smoothie #Review #PTPA winner

  7. Great advice! I’m lucky! Hubby is in charge of mornings because I’m up and out of the house way before the kids get up!
    Jenn recently posted..Smoothies made easy! SunRype Smoothie #Review #PTPA winner

  8. Your right! So much can get done the night before! 🙂
    Kas
    Kasandria Reasoner recently posted..Watch Out For Up and Coming Ty Simpkins #IronMan3Event

  9. We are way past that stage (thank goodness) but I recognize it as wise advice! We had custody of a temperamental Kindergarten age grandchild for a year and I found that allowing her to choose her clothing the night before made for a much smoother morning!
    Beth Zimmerman recently posted..This Is Me

  10. This is a great article. I get my kids up 45 minutes earlier than necessary so that they can be properly prepared for the school day and be ready for NY husband can take them to school.
    Katherine G recently posted..A Little Something On My Mind: Emotionally Boxed In

  11. I am happy you find this helpful!
    Oana Hogrefe recently posted..One wish

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