School backpacks, soggy cereal and silly blow-ups - A guide to help make mornings more mindful and stress-free.

Have you ever used every ounce of energy you have before you even get the kids to school?

You literally pull up at school, grab the kid’s school backpacks out of the car, pray that you have remembered everything and then smile through held-back tears and a stiff clenched jaw and enthusiastically say ‘bye sweetheart, love you so much, have a great day!

The morning rodeo mental load is a lot …

Packing school bags - check

Signed permission slips - check

Filled the drink bottles - check

Kept your sanity - ummm that one may have slipped through the cracks.

As you drive off, you ask yourself how the actual expletive you are going to get through this day that seems to have already been going for 38 hours ... oh but wait it hasn’t ... you’ve only been up for 3 hours but your darling children have aged you 7 years and managed to suck the marrow from your bones instead of eating their soggy cereal or their now unwanted toast, all in such a short time.

The morning mental load is real and it’s connecting strong and fast to your physical self and you’ve started your day overwhelmed, cranky and resentful that you have to attend this shit show on a daily basis! Now your body is playing catch up with adrenaline pumping, stress hormones activating and soon the decline which will bring on the brain fog and lethargy. YAY! Yep all before 9 am!

Long term this is not ideal! It’s not sustainable for your mental, physical or emotional wellness and something has got to give. Surprise surprise it’s not going to be those tiny people you just dropped off at school looking super cute with their dimples and cool school bags... it’s going to be YOU.

Are you ready for a break from this daily shit show that you don’t ever remember buying tickets for? If you’re answering YESSSSS, read on. If you’re not sure what your answer is it’s because your brain has been left with the bandwidth of a rural township and you 100% need to keep reading. If by chance you’re staring at these words and they look like an ant infestation on your smartphone screen you definitely need the following advice as it would appear your poor brain is like a stolen Corolla that’s been left on the side of the freeway to be towed away. Oh, and you just realised that one of your darlings has left their backpack for school on the porch.  There’s another morning gift you weren’t expecting.

 All jokes aside we know mornings can be tough. Kids have big feelings and quite often they come out to play disguised as:

  • Not wanting to get ready
  • Argumentative
  • Faking ailments
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Lashing out
  • Fighting

 Holy Moly right!  This was not in the ‘What to Expect when Expecting’ book … or did we miss that chapter?

To restore some semblance of calm in the morning, try these simple to-implement tips: 

  • A successful morning starts the night before - Organisation is EVERYTHING! 
  • Task the kids with the responsibility of packing their school backpacks, filling drink bottles and even making sandwiches. 
  • This creates independence, keeps their brains focused and frees up time for you to take a deep breath and sip your lukewarm coffee. Ahhh bliss. 
  • Some non-tangible tips to help mornings slide into school smoothly could include … 
  • Not buying into the drama. Although the constant ‘I’m sick’, ‘My socks hurt’ and ‘I no longer eat sandwiches’ narrative has worn you thin remember to react calmly as your elevated emotions only add fuel to their little already out-of-control bushfires. 
  • Always plan to be early - ALWAYS! Running into school late causes our stress hormones to activate, releasing adrenaline, in turn, leaves us exhausted. 
  • Allow 10 minutes once everyone is ready to just sit (my kids watch something or read during this time and I do a really quick yoga session) Doesn’t always happen but great when it does. Even if you stand and stare out the window while you drink your shake or eat your breakfast, it is still a moment in time to let your calm in. 
  • Play music - pop some music on in the background while everyone is getting ready. 
  • Do a loud lions roar in the car on the way to school. This releases any pent-up energy and allows both you and your little loves to have a fun little connection before you drop them off. Saying your goodbyes on good terms is so important for both of you. There is nothing worse than spending 6 hours worried that you were too harsh and it’s pretty yucky for them to spend their day thinking that they broke mummy yet again.  If this does happen, pop a little note in their school backpack to let them know you love them and you can’t wait to see them after school. 

Godspeed you morning routine renegades … you really do keep the wheels turning, even though it sometimes feels like you have a puncture!