Whether you start your day at 5 a.m. or work out before breakfast, we’re all capable of the best daily habits to get your morning off to a good start. And while the advice may be well-intentioned, it’s unfortunately not always realistic for busy parents. So how can you reinvent your breakfast while also catering to the little people?
For many parents, breakfast is the most stressful part of the day – whether it’s rushing to drop the kids off at childcare, negotiating breakfast with a toddler who just dropped his toast on the floor, or trying to function for a few hours. of disturbed sleep. Establishing routines as a family is actually very important; family routines have been linked to social skills and academic success. But with a busy life, breakfasts can also help you carve out important time for the day ahead.
The sticking point is that, all too often, the suggestions we read don’t seem feasible when caring for young children. After all, how are we supposed to do a workout or make a smoothie with a two year old attached to our hip? The good news is that there are some simple changes you can make to reinvent your morning routine as a parent – here are some of our top tips.
1. Stand up to your children
We know what you’re thinking: your kids already have you getting up early, but when their sleep is in a routine, try setting your alarm clock just 10 minutes before you know they’ll be up, to help you start the day calmly. than chaos. Use that time as you wish: to make a list of tasks for the day ahead; to catch the news; to take a shower in peace; or to finally drink a cup of tea before it gets cold.
“If you can carve out some time for yourself to wake up in front of your children then that’s great and can be really helpful,” says psychotherapist Sophie Harris. “However, it is very likely that this will not happen due to various factors. If so, don’t beat yourself up.”
2. Get the kids involved
Many things on our morning to-do list don’t seem achievable when we’re taking care of the kids, leaving us to start the day with a sense of lack. But can you get the kids involved? If you’re determined to start the day with exercise, there are exercises that can be done safely while holding your baby or, for toddlers and preschoolers, head to YouTube – they’ll love the Hey Duggee Joe Wicks series, which meaning you can train alongside them while they burn off energy. This can also apply to other things; take the whole family out to walk the dog or, for slightly older children, involve them in simple chores and making breakfast.
3. Prepare the night before
“If you have to be somewhere, organize things the night before where possible,” suggests Sophie. “This can help reduce the overwhelming feeling that can come from busy mornings.”
Of course, when the house is finally quiet, the last thing you want to do is get bogged down in housework, but it can be worth using the evenings to prepare. Breakfast is easy; Overnight oats take seconds and can be taken out of the fridge first thing. Go through nursery and school bags the night before to avoid any last minute ‘Where’s…?’ drama the next day.
4. Be realistic
For new parents, adjusting to change can be difficult, but remember that what you achieved in the morning before baby may not be realistic now that you’re a parent. After all, it was easy to make green smoothies from scratch when you weren’t responsible for a whole new human!
Set simple goals, let the little things go (if you have to bribe the kids with screen time to drink coffee in peace, then so be it!) and realize that it won’t always be like this.
“Keep in mind that this is all just a chapter. Although times may be tough, nothing lasts forever. Give yourself compassion,” adds Sophie Harris.
5. Subscribe to happy post
One of the few adult interactions we receive first thing in the day is the postman. So why not set a goal to treat yourself to a happy post to make sure you always start your day off in the best possible way? Subscription boxes are a great way to do this. We love Tassie Club, a subscription box specifically focused on helping busy mums prioritize their wellbeing with a book, self-care goodies and a community of bespoke group chats and gratitude checks in morning.
6. Make your bedroom your happy place
If you’re going to wake up at the crack of dawn, you can make your bedroom the most relaxing place to be, to help boost your mood from the moment you open your eyes.
“Make your bedroom a place where it’s good to wake up,” advises Sophie. “Consider treating yourself to comfortable sheets, or other small luxuries, like soft towels. These little treats can act as self-care at busy times.”
Treat yourself to items that can also make the transition from bedroom to kitchen easier, such as a great cup of coffee for the first drink in the morning, or beautiful cereal. Who knows, it might even get you up at 5am?
7. Weaving in moments of gratitude
It can be hard to do when we’re cloudy, but gratitude makes all the difference. A study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology actually found that those who wrote about gratitude for 10 weeks felt better about their lives.
The good news is that this practice doesn’t have to involve lengthy journaling if you’re short on time—just thinking about a few things you’re grateful for while enjoying a cuppa can help.
“Try to think about what you are grateful for when you wake up. This can help create a mental shift to start the day,” adds Sophie. If you need some inspiration, we love the LSW Mind Cards: New Mum Edition, which have been specially designed to help you take care of yourself during the early stages of motherhood.
8. Don’t fall down the list of priorities
You’ve considered feeding the baby, sorting the laundry and packing the bags, but what about you? It’s natural not to focus on yourself in the morning when you have children to look after, but Sophie reinforces the importance of this: “Try to put your own needs as important as your children’s – make time to eat a healthy breakfast, or wear clothes that make you feel good.”
Not everyone is a morning person, and that’s okay! While we can’t promise you’ll jump out of bed full of energy and gratitude every morning, implementing some of our simple tips can make a real difference in how you and your family start your day.