Home » Blog » kids

Tag: kids

3 Steps to a Smooth(er) Morning with Kids

Mornings at our house used to be chaotic. Some mornings still are.

You too?

Then you are in the right place.

My husband and I both work full time. Luckily, I have a great husband who helps out with everything around the house. Even though we both get things ready in the morning, there was a time it was extremely chaotic. It was ok when we just had one child. Then we had a second child and the chaos magnified. I’m not sure how adding one little person to the mix could do that, but it did.

In the mornings we would:

-Unintentionally be short with each other.

-Lash out at our 4 year old for not “moving fast enough.”

-Rush out the door with not a minute to spare.

Every morning was a nightmare. I would feel stress for at least the next half hour after leaving the house, even though that part of the day was done. Needless to say, it was not a good way to start the day.

One morning on the way to work, I was thinking about this dilemma. What made the mornings chaotic and how could we solve the problem? In short, everything which had to get done!

Mornings used to be chaotic. Then we implemented these 3 steps. Click To Tweet

3 Steps to a Smoother Morning (2)

Photo Credit: cuppycake fiend via Compfight cc

I talked to my husband about this later in the night, after the kids were in bed and we could think. We came up with three ideas to make our mornings easier.  Here are 3 steps you can take for a smoother morning with kids:

1. Prep everything you can the night before.

Think about what does not have to be accomplished in the morning.

Did you write those things down?

Those are the items you can prep the night before. The main excuse I get for this step is “I’m too tired.” I understand that. The last thing I want to do after the kids go to bed is prep for the next day. I would rather plop down and watch tv, write, or go to bed.

However, by spending 15 minutes prepping for the next day, I save myself from having a huge headache in the morning

Items I prep the night before:

-The kid’s lunches

-Our lunches

-Set out clothes

-If it is Sunday, I pack bags for preschool and the sitters for the week

Although prepping is not my favorite thing to do, it sure helps in the morning.

2. Make sure you are completely ready before the kids get up.

I like sleep. A lot.

When I went back to work after having our second daughter, I realized simply being up before the kids were up was not going to cut it. I was going to have to be completely ready before their little eyes opened up.

For me, this meant showered, make up on, hair done, dressed, coffee drank, and my daily reading.

Does my morning always turn out like this? Nope. Some days the girls decide they are going to get up 5 minutes after I do…at 5:30 am. Thankfully this is not the norm.

When I am completely ready, I can then focus on their needs once they are awake.

3. Have set “jobs” each morning.

The prep you have done the night before makes finalizing lunches and other items much less complicated. However, there are still numerous things that have to be taken care of in the morning.

Breakfast has to be made and lunches need to be finalized. The preschooler needs to be poked and prodded to get dressed, eat breakfast, get her hair done and brush her teeth. The baby needs to eat breakfast and *most* of the time we get her dressed before taking her to the sitters.

There is still a lot that has to be done to get the kids, and us, out the door on time. We figured out early on there are certain parts of our morning routine that we like over others. And thankfully we each like doing what the other would rather not.

The hubs loves to make breakfast, which means he takes care of all of the food in the morning, including finishing up lunches. I usually handle corralling the kids and getting them to the breakfast table and then finish up getting the preschooler ready.

This doesn’t mean this is the way it always is, but it allows us to each have something to own in the morning. This also means we don’t get in each other’s way or assume the other person is going to take care of that one thing neither of us want to do.

In Conclusion…

Ensuring mornings are a little less chaotic and a little smooth(er) with kids can be achieved. It takes some planning in the beginning, but once you find your groove, the process of each morning is much smoother. Are mornings still chaotic for us sometimes? Yes. When they are more chaotic than normal, odds are we skipped one of these steps.

What can you do to make your mornings smooth(er) with kids?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

Permission to Let Go

I was at the end of my rope, emotionally, mentally and physically. I realized I couldn’t do it anymore.

How often do you push and push yourself, only to end up in an extremely unhealthy place? For those with dreams and plans, a lot of time and effort goes into accomplishing goals that are outside normal, everyday responsibilities. I seem to do that all too often. I have dreams, plans, and goals. I want to do and accomplish much in this life.

So I push.

And push.

And push.

Until I am at a breaking point.

When You Are At Your Breaking Point

Emotionally, one can only take so much. The car breaking down. The air conditioner breaking. Our daughter having surgery. My grandma passing away. Job interviews for jobs that meant a major family move. We have had one occurrence after another this summer. When I thought we were done with one situation, another presented itself.

Emotions play into our physical and mental well-being. When we are struggling emotionally, we struggle physically and mentally. The inverse of that is true as well. Physically, I was pushing myself to write a blog post a week, continue with coaching clients, and work as an adjunct professor. This was on top of my full time job, a husband, kids, and a house to manage.

Three weeks ago, I decided to give myself permission to let go.

Give yourself permission to let go of the

Granting Permission

The drive to do certain things comes from my “achiever” strength. I set goals for myself and I find fulfillment in achieving those goals. I create to-do lists so I can mark the items off of my list. I will even add something on to my to-do list after I have done it so I can cross it off (weird, right?). Yet I know this about myself which is extremely helpful.

Three weeks ago I decided to let everything go that wasn’t a top priority and to simplify my time. I had to go to work and I committed to adjunct; those couldn’t be put aside. What I could put aside was the pressure to write every night, to edit my book, to put that perfect graphic on the blog post, and to have my house spotless.

I had to give myself permission to have a messy house and to not give the baby a bath every night.

Give yourself permission to not do that one thing you feel you need to do. Click To Tweet

I gave myself permission to be a wife. I gave myself permission to be a mom, to play games with my big girl and giggle with my baby. I gave myself permission to just sit. I never just sit. Oh how this was so good for my soul. I also gave myself permission to be spontaneous and head out of town with my family for the day.

Give yourself permission to let go of the things that are not important. The things that take your time from what truly matters to you. When you know your priorities, you can begin to say no or put aside the items on the to-do list that do not matter.

The Right Action at the Right Time

I realized the amount of information I was consuming a day was not helpful either. Everyone is trying to sell something these days. 8 days to a more beautiful you. 6 steps to make $300k a year. How to double your Instagram followers. We are told by big names like Michael Hyatt that to be a success you have to do x, y, z.

The internet makes everything look so easy. The reality is, it takes hard work and networking to become successful. There is no magic formula. Being bombarded with these messages is not helpful nor healthy.

The internet makes everything look easy. The reality is, it's hard work. Click To Tweet

Limiting how much time I spent online and with the tv on took a burden off of me that I did not realize I was carrying.

In Conclusion…

Life can be extremely stressful. There are stresses that we can’t get rid of and unexpected situations that cause emotional turmoil. Playing with your kids, spending time with your family, these are the things that you can never get back. Once time is gone, it is gone. Give yourself permission to not do that one thing you feel you need to do. Cleaning the house or writing that blog? There will be time for that, but don’t let it consume you like it almost did to me.

What is something you can let go of?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

3 Ways to Help Your Kids Overcome the 9-5

Monday.

Monday morning, specifically. Thinking about this can send a chill up your spine. Especially when you go to a job you don’t particularly like.

We all need income. Sometimes, this means having a job that is less than desirable. After you have been in a job for several years, you begin to feel like your stuck. You have accrued vacation time and received raises, but the work has become monotonous. Research shows only 13% of people worldwide like going to work.

Every time I drive on the freeway during the 8-5 commute route time, I think about all of those people going to their job. I think about you going to your job.

traffic

Photo Credit: LuisJouJR via Compfight cc

Do you like your job?

What are you sacrificing by going to work?

Do you feel like a cog on a wheel?

If you could choose to do anything, would it be the job you are going to/leaving?

Or

Do you need a Monday morning mulligan?

Going to College

When you were leaving high school and entering college, the common question asked of you as you graduated was “what will you major in?” I’m guessing you picked a safe major and not something you are passionate about. You picked the degree that *might* land you a job after graduating. Yet here you are, stuck in traffic, wondering what happened.

The reality is the jobs that will exist in 5 years haven’t been thought of yet. And most people don’t know themselves well enough to figure out what they want to do for the

Rest

Of their

Life.

When they are 18 years old.

A Different Way of Thinking

I was listening to a TED Talk the other day. I do not listen to them often enough, but when I do, I am always challenged by what is said. Even if that challenge is simply a more open mindset. This particular TED Talk was how a mother encouraged her kids to be more than hoop jumpers. You should take the 15 minutes to watch (or listen to) the video.

After I listened to this, my mind went many directions. I had three takeaways from what I heard which I could put in place with my own kids.

Here are 3 ways to help your kids overcome the 9-5.

  1. Help your kids discover their interests

When kids are little, they seem to gravitate towards certain activities and subjects. As they get older, those interests will change and become more focused. Allowing your kids to experience new things will help them learn what they are interested in. I am for allowing kids to try new things, sports, music, or dance, to name a few. I am against packing the kids time so tightly that they don’t have time to be a kid.

As their interests become more focused, help them discover what they really love.

  1. Call out your kids abilities

Most adults don’t know their skills and abilities, so what makes you think a 17 year old really understands this? As your children get older, you will begin to see what they are naturally good at. Name these abilities to them. Help them develop these abilities.

  1. Help them develop a good work ethic

Opportunities are not normally handed to you unless you have proven that you are trustworthy enough to get the job done. Early on, help your kids develop a good work ethic. Teach them that good things come to those who work hard for it, who have goals, and who are focused. Teach them. Do not hand things to them.

Help your kids understand their abilities and discover their interests. Click To Tweet

These three things will help them find fulfillment and potential success. Help them dream and take practical steps to achieve those dreams.

Why potential success? Success is subjective. We learn a lot when we fail. And those failures, when we learn from them, can help lead us to success.

In Conclusion…

As parents, as functioning adults, I believe many do not know their abilities and only some would be able to identify interests. I think we have long forgotten to dream about what makes us fulfilled in lieu of the 9-5. I hope I can live my life in such a way that my kids see a dfiferent way. I hope I can help guide and challenge them to seek what is best for the them, even if it doesn’t fit into mainstream business.

In your current occupation, are you using your skillset and abilities? Do you get to do something for work that is an interest? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)