I’ve always been a morning person. Okay, correction, I’m a morning person in summer. In winter the alarm goes off before the sun is up and all I want to do is cosy on down into the blankets and hibernate. My boys, who would greet the day with the sunrise on any given summer day, are similarly bear-inclined and sluggish on cold winter mornings. All they want to do is cosy on down in the big bed and snuggle.
When setting up a blanket fort for the day just isn’t an option, some fine tuning of the morning routine is in order. This is how we get out of the house on days when we really just want to stay in.
- Give yourself something to look forward to. I love my morning shower just a little bit more if it involves gorgeous smelling soap. Lush’s Honey I Washed the Kids is a favourite. When getting up is a struggle, the promise of a beautifully scented shower entices me out of the covers.
- Time your shower. Having moved from the cosiness of blankets to the bliss of warm water (and yummy soap), I’m in no hurry to get out. But get out I must and those shower timers we all used when the country was about to run out of water still work a treat.
- No screens. This means me! Keeping the kids aways from screens when we’re in a hurry just makes sense. It also makes sense to put my own social media away. If I have to check email or messages, I do it as soon as I wake up and then leave that phone alone. Except for …
- Music. There is nothing more energising than some good tunes to get the day underway. The one exception to my no screen time rule is listening to my up-and-at-’em playlist or Spotify’s Have a Great Day compilation. Dancing around while making breakfast keeps the winter blues away.
- Prepare the night before. You know it. I know it. When I make those sandwiches, pack those bags and have the breakfast table set up, I save precious minutes the morning after. Careful preparation the day before can result in a much more streamlined morning routine (and extra time in bed if you’re lucky).
- Clothes out. For both me and the kids. Putting my outfit together the night before is a huge time saver. My eldest (7) gets into his school uniform as soon he gets out of bed. Still working on the toddler.
- Have a check-list. When we have 10 minutes to get out the door, I’m not thinking about whether it’s library day or not. So I’m going to create a laminated tag on a key ring to clip onto my kids’ bags that lists the things needed for each day. We can then do a quick check as we head out the door. As an added bonus this will help my kids be responsible for their own things.
- Just breathe. When you’re all stressed and yelling, no one gets out of the door any quicker. There is a direct relationship between how much I shout and how late we get, so I try to keep things as calm as possible. Seriously, the music helps.
- Do one thing at a time. Oh, I know how well we all multi-task. I’m a master at it. Except I’m not. Things go much quicker if I just do one thing at a time — touch it once and move to the next thing.
- Encourage the end goal. I like to pop little notes into envelopes and place them in the car the night before so that the kids have something to look forward to when they buckle up.
- Share responsibility. If we all want to catch those extra winks on wintry days, I can’t do everything myself. I get the kids to help with the chores and we’re all out the door much faster.
- Make your cuppa take-away. Sometimes coffee is nice to have. On winter mornings it’s a necessity. So I actually get to drink my morning brew, I put into a little thermos and take it with me when we leave. These ones from Biome are great.
- Be a bit easier on yourself. It’s actually perfectly fine that you didn’t get three loads of washing done, your email tidied and a cake baked in the hours before school and work start. Enjoy the snuggly time with your kids. If beds are left unmade, hair not quite brushed and shirts are slightly crinkled on cold winter days, it’s not the end of the world. Those warm winter cuddles under the blankets are too precious to give away every day.
How do you beat the winter blues and get yourself and your kids moving on cold mornings?
More tips for surviving winter:
- Winter Self-Care: Why Hibernating Can Be Invigorating
- 10 Essentials for a Great Winter Wardrobe for Kids
- 5 Things I Hate About Winter (and 5 Things I LOVE)