Five simple ways that busy working mums can get a balanced Monday morning

It’s Monday morning (again). You glance at the kitchen clock and gulp down a cup of coffee while trying to put on your clothes at the same time and realise that you only have five minutes to get your six year old dressed and ready for school…and you forgot to make her packed lunch last night when you dozed off at your laptop (again!).

Now that the guilt has set in, and you mentally telling yourself off for not being organised and to stop procrastinating, you soon remember the warning your easy going line manager gave you last week for being late the fifth day in a row.

No one said being a working mum would be easy – they just said you could have your cake and eat it where juggling work and motherhood are concerned.

The key to achieving any balance at home, especially that Monday morning balance, is being prepared. Try a more organised approach to your Monday mornings and you will find that they turn out to be a lot smoother and less stressful for everyone.

Here are five steps to help you achieve that delicate Monday morning balance and start baking some of that cake:

  • As boring as it sounds, preparation is key

  • First and foremost, be prepared – the routine, everyday things that form part of your week can be prepared for. Taking simple steps like the following will go a long way to helping you speed up the mornings and reduce stress:

  • packing your child’s lunch the night before
  • washing and ironing school uniform at the weekend or the night before so that all clothes are hung and ready to go in the mourning. Better still, prepare at least five outfits for each member of your family over the weekend and have your husband and children assist you in the process
  • packing your handbag (especially if you’re one of those yummy mummies who like to swap handbags a few times a week!)

  • Set your alarm clock 10-15 minutes earlier to give yourself more time in the morning

  • If it will helps, try to sleep half an hour earlier to make up for the time difference.

    There’s nothing better than waking up before your kids and spouse to shower and dress before everyone gets up – you will feel so much calmer and be able to think through what you need to do.

  • Keep breakfast simple but healthy
  • If you feel that you just don’t have the time for breakfast, try keeping bananas (and other easy to eat fruit) and vitamin fortified cereal bars handy and ready to grab and go for those days when you just can’t fit breakfast in.

    There’s no excuse for the children to miss breakfast, though, so instead of a morning fry up, try cultivating cereals with fruit during the weekday and do your full English at the weekend when there’s more time…it’s healthier for them, too.

  • Get your family into a routine and stick at it
  • Our bodies crave routine – it may sound burning and mundane but training your body to do things at a certain time will help make a lot of the battles start to go into autopilot for you and the rest of the family, which means less tantrums and shouting.

    Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Sticking with a schedule will make it easier to effectively manage that Monday morning balancing act.

  • Divide your morning into phases

  • Trying to accomplish everything at once will only lead to chaos and confusion I. Your household, so using phases will help – especially when you have children who are in different age groups at home.

    For example:

    • phase 1: wash and get dressed
    • phase 2: eat Breakfast, phase

    Set the phases in 15-30 minute time increments (these will vary and will ultimately depend on the overall time you give yourself). Help your family stay within the proper phase and ask them to also pitch in and help. Encourage your family to stick to the morning phases to keep things running smoothly.


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