With back-to-school right around the corner, I thought I'd dedicate my Mom Mission Monday post to those hectic mornings! I've gathered up a few small tips that will help you achieve a cheerful, fuss-free start to your day. I know it sounds like wishful thinking, but there is such thing as a morning free from meltdowns, missing shoes and all the mania that comes with the rush out the door. Read on and share your own tricks of the trade while you're at it!
- Wake up 30 minutes before everyone. I know this can be painful, but a whole 30 minutes to enjoy your coffee and paper in peace is worth it! A little "me" time puts you in the right frame of mind to tackle the rest of the day.
- Everything that's leaving the house with you in the morning is ready to go the night before. This includes everything from lunches and outfits to diaper bags and briefcases.
- Pick out two outfits for each kid to put on in the morning. This gives them the power of choice and hopefully puts a lid on those epic morning meltdowns over clothes! I don't know where my little one get's it from...
- Lay out your own outfit the night before, as well. I admit, my little one probably gets it from me.
- Always take off your shoes when you walk in the door. This isn't just to save your carpet from footprints, but to avoid the frantic scavenger hunt for one missing shoe come morning.
- Make "theme" mornings. This works well with younger kids. Pretend you're astronauts catching a rocket ship to space, pirates gearing up to sail away on a ship or fairies getting on the fairy mobile.
- Wake them up with a kiss or hug, or at least a warm "good morning." You'd be crabby if you were woken up by a drill sergeant, too!
- If you have older kids, use a morning checklist and encourage them to help you out! Kids are perfectly capable of making their own beds, feeding the pet and even putting together their own lunches.
One thing about becoming a mom that no one tells you is that you will never again be able to control the contents of your purse. You can say goodbye to the days of holding a cute little clutch that only fits an ID and a lip gloss and hello to diaper bags and giant totes that become a bottomless pit of pacifiers, play toys, broken crayons, loose change, a fork from a restaurant (how did that get in there?), lipstick, random grocery lists... and the list goes on and on.
The only way I'm able to lighten the load and keep myself from developing a permanent groove in my right shoulder is to go through my purse at lease once a month and purge all of the random stuff I don't need. There are, however, a few items I simply must have on me at all times. Of course, I'd have a total panic attack if I were missing my wallet or phone, but the stuff I'm talking about is the stuff you always wish you had handy but somehow never do -- especially during the scorching hot, hectic days of summer.
I present to you, the Summer Survival Kit.
1. Blotting sheets or blotting powder: Just because I'm running around like a crazy woman picking kids up from camp, dropping them off at piano lessons and pushing them on swings doesn't mean I can't at least pretend to be fresh-faced and put-together. Blotting sheets are my absolute favorite summer beauty essential when there's no time to shower or even wash my face.
2. Tide To-Go Stick: It's summer. Ice cream is going to drip, barbecues are going to get messy and muddy little hands are bound to be tugging at the bottom of my white sundress. Enough said.
3. Wipes: Believe it or not, I've been carrying around baby wipes long before I became a mom. They get everything out from grease on my fingers to deodorant stains on my dress. And even now, after my kids have grown out of diapers, I still use these bad boys for a quick clean up after a picnic or fun day at the park. Save 75? on Pampers Wipes.
4. Bug Spray: The mosquitoes in the Midwest are relentless. I can't tell you how many times I've wished I remembered my bug spray. I started keeping a small bottle of it in my purse, and I've been bite-free ever since. Save $1.00 on Botanicals Insect Repellent.
5. Sunblock: This one is a no-brainer. Save $1.00 on Coppertone Sunblock.
6. Band-Aids: Skinned knees are simply a rite of summer. Not to mention, my new sandals are bound to give me blisters until I break them in.
7. Allergy Meds: A sudden allergy outbreak can easily ruin a nice day at the park. From pet hair to pollen, spring and summer are the worst seasons for allergies. Arm yourself with Claritin and you'll be a happy camper. Save $5 on Claritin non-drowsy allergy medicine.
Put these seven essentials in your bag and feel prepared for whatever summer throws at you. While you're at it, throw away all the old receipts and empty pens already!