Do you dread getting out of bed on school mornings? Do you want to smash the alarm clock and toss it out the window? Pull the covers up over your head and hide? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you need to learn how to survive those hectic mornings with kids.
Whether you have one child or four children to help get ready for the school day these tips will help you survive the hectic mornings when nothing goes right and everything that can go wrong does.
Like most moms, I thought it was normal to run around like a chicken with my head cut off making lunches, and breakfast at the same time. One particular hectic morning, we were running really late when my young daughter asked me, “Mommy, why are we having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast?”
It was at that exact moment I realized that I had just poured syrup on the waffle in her lunch bag. Needless to say, that day I sent her out the door with a not so healthy donut breakfast in one hand a few dollars in the other hand to buy a school lunch. She looked as confused as I felt. Talk about Mother of the year. NOT!
You think that is bad? I also have an older son who while I was rushing my young daughter out the door to the bus stop was nowhere to be found. The worst part was that I never even noticed he was not at the breakfast table. I watched my daughter get on the bus and the bus pulled away.
I turned around to enter the kitchen and there stood my 13-year-old son still in his pajamas asking, “What’s for breakfast?” Out of the box came another “healthy” donut and from my mouth came “Hurry up and get dressed I’ll have to drop you off at school on my way to work you missed the bus.” Luckily, for me, he does not mind the school lunches.
A few minutes later, I grabbed my purse as I heard him clomping down the stairs and realized my daughter forgot her backpack – Perfect!
We rushed out to the car and I dropped him off at the junior high and drove the 5 minutes down the street to the elementary school. I actually caught my first break of the morning as I saw my daughter getting off the school bus. I honked the horn to get her attention she ran over to the car and I handed her backpack and she was on her way.
Phew! That was over. The rest of the day thankfully was uneventful. However, I realized that I needed to make some changes to prevent another morning like that from ever happening again!
The ideas I came up with later that night seemed simple and easy enough to put into effect–and hectic mornings with kids are almost a thing of the past!.
Tips for a Smooth Morning Routine: Say Goodbye to Hectic Mornings With Kids
• After the homework is completed and all the necessary items needed for school the next day are in the backpack it gets set by the back door where they exit to get on the school bus.
• Sandwiches get made the night before and put in the refrigerator next to the juice box and fruit or veggie sticks. Anything that does not need to be refrigerated that is going into the lunch bag gets put in the lunch bag and the bag is left open for easy access to place the refrigerated items in.
• Clothes and shoes get picked out the night before, are placed on top of the dresser, and are ready to be put on in the morning.
• All the dry ingredients for breakfast and the pan or waffle maker are set out the night before. The table is set so all I have to do is make breakfast and carry it to the table.
Since that fateful day, I have been applying my four easy tips every morning. I am happy to report, we no longer have stressful mornings and no one has eaten a donut for breakfast, forgotten a lunch or backpack since that day!
“To give and not expect anything in return; to give for no special time or season; to give, not for any particular recognition; to give, not for a substantial tax refund; to give for the sake of giving — often just between giver and receiver — has a life of its own — an elevated one.” ~Glaceta Honeyghan
They say there are no selfless acts, because when you do something nice for someone else, you get (at the very least) a warm fuzzy feeling–but there’s a difference between benefiting from “good karma” and benefiting because you only help people with conditions attached.
Earlier this month, a woman I know told me that she couldn’t afford to buy school supplies for her kids. As a single mom who was unemployed, she just didn’t have the money. She had done everything she could to try to procure the things her kids needed for school–even called several charity groups in the area for help, but she got nowhere.
So, I did what anyone would do–I offered to buy her kids the things they needed to start school.
She was grateful, and that made me feel good. She insisted that she pay me back, but I kept telling her it wasn’t necessary. I knew she couldn’t afford to do it, and I didn’t offer to help because I expected anything in return.
I offered to help because I could afford to help, because I care about this person and her kids–and because I have been helped myself along the way. No strings attached.
She felt so strongly about giving back that she came over and helped me with some things around the house, which was appreciated but again, not necessary.
When Strings Are Attached
I have been lucky in my life to have supportive people around me, and when I’ve fallen in the past, they’ve helped me get back on my feet. I’ve always felt grateful for those people and the help they offered me in my times of need.
But in some cases, there were strings attached–like, if I help you, you have to agree to do what I want. Whether the giver expects money, love, support or something else in return, these “strings” can cause a lot of stress and negative energy for both parties.
Dawn over at Frugal Life offers a perfect example of this–a friend of hers offered her a monetary gift, but when Dawn said she wanted to spend the money on a bill, her friend told her that she needed to spend it on something nice for herself instead.
“I was a little upset that she had changed the ‘rule’ on the ‘gift’ and now it came with a condition,” Dawn writes. “She might as well just keep the money and use it on herself. Well, that wasn’t a good response and things escalated into a war of words–me accusing her of being materialistic and having a spend, spend mentality; and she accusing me of being tight fisted and not having any fun.”
See what I mean? Bad energy for all involved.
Pay It ForwardInstead
As for me, I work hard to avoid attaching strings to any generosities I extend to my family or friends. It is human nature to expect something in return, of course, so I have to be very intentional about it. When people insist on “repaying my kindness,” I simply ask them to pay it forward–because for me, that’s the best gift they could offer.
As I said before, I have been helped along the way by many kind people, both personally and professionally–and that’s why I help people whenever I can–to pay it forward.
How to Give Without Attaching Strings
It’s simple: only give what you can afford to spare, and don’t expect anything in return from the recipient of your gift. You can, however, expect to feel great when you do this–which makes your energy and general vibration more positive. That, in itself, can bring more good things into your life.
When you give with strings attached, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. Even if you get what you expect from the person you help, it won’t be because that person really wants to give it to you–it will be because he or she feels obligated to do so. And that, my friends, doesn’t feel good to anyone.
So, next time you help someone, do it without expectations, without “strings” attached, even if your human nature urges you to do otherwise. You won’t regret it.
Have you been the giver or receiver of gifts with strings attached? Tell me in the comments!