I find the goodbyes to the warm, lazy summer and the hello to school days hard to do every year.

The hardest is getting the kids to bed earlier, setting a new routine, and trying to keep everything moving like gears in a clock. That means getting everyone out the door with less stress.

As a busy mom who may not be able to count on your DrSpouse to assist you, how can you make each morning as stress-free as possible?

The secret: do prep work ahead of time.

Being prepared beforehand lightens your mental load and helps you not forget anything. You’re no longer just in a reaction state. You’re not only prepared, but you have time to spare.

Here are some ways to plan ahead:

1. Make meal planning a family activity on the weekends.

When you meal plan together, everybody gets to choose what they want to eat and connect for lunch and dinner. At this time, you can talk about anything.

2. Choose fast, easy & healthy breakfast meals.

Fast, easy AND healthy?! Does that exist? It does!

Here are some examples that are stocked in our house:

  • French toast bakes
  • Egg bake or egg muffins
  • Oatmeal
  • (Ever popular) cereal
  • Coffee (…and on auto brew 😂)

Even if some of your favorite breakfast foods require time, such as pancakes which is my kids’ favorite, you can make them on the weekends and then pop them in the microwave as you go.

3. Have a consistent place to grab everything

Make a “station” in your home where everybody can pick up these things they need to start each day:

  • Shoes
  • Coat
  • Bookbags
  • Lunch

4. Set up the night before.

This is an example of a daily night routine:

  • Lay out your clothes and shoes
  • Get lunches (mostly) packed
  • Pack bags for daycare/school
  • Sign papers
  • Refill diaper bag with supplies
  • Recharge your phones
  • Study calendar for tomorrow

In summary

Prep work is the secret sauce.

When you put in the time up front to prepare for the next day, you will simplify your life where you can actually enjoy life as it’s happening, not operate like your hair is on fire.

What are some of the ways you simplify your morning?