Before Macy joined me on the video above (at the 4:07 mark), I was going to title this post How We get Up & Out Affects Our Work Day and Our Kids’ School Day. But let’s face it, you all probably are pretty interested to learn about Macy’s hacks for getting out of the house, as much as you are about mine.
Prior to getting to those tips, let me just set the stage. From a brain perspective, how we begin our day often impacts the entirety of our day. And this is true as much for us as it is for our kids.
When we are frenzied -- waking up a bit late, scrambling to find that missing permission slip, trying to bang out 3 new work emails from our phone while making some eggs – the alarm part of our brain (fight, flight, or freeze) is activated. In this state, our prefrontal cortex (the part of our brain responsible for problem-solving, attention and creativity) shuts down. In this state it is impossible to be an effective worker or student.
However, when we make a habit of a calm and predictable morning routine, we set our selves and our kids up for a happy and productive day! So here are a few tips for getting up and out!
1) Macy’s top tip. Have your clothes picked out the night before. I see it every day – when my kids plan the night before, from clothes being picked out to backpacks being organized, and when Kenny and I plan the night before – lunches are planned and somewhat prepped – we roll through the morning in a fairly blissful state.
2) My top tip. Wake up early. Aside from making sure I do a 5-minute meditation, this is the single biggest factor to determining how my day goes. When I can get up early (and everyone’s early is different), I take care of ME just a little bit before my kids get up, and this sets the stage for calmness as we all try to get out the door. I make sure I am up in time to meditate, drink my coffee in peace, and take care of a chunk of work, whether it is a bit of writing or some email catch-up. Speaking of waking up, another of Macy’s tips is to have one of her parents wake her up, rather than the alarm. This quick bit of connection in the morning is meaningful, and sets the tone for her day.
3) Create a Routine. We wake our kids at 7:00 AM, and we are out the door at 7:42. The “42” might seem a bit type-A, but it actually keeps us all with our eye on the prize – keeping things moving. We have a pretty set routine based on our kids’ needs and our schedule. Who wakes the kids, who makes breakfast, who drives to school, is all clearly planned – we really avoid flying by the seat of our pants in the mornings, and it has interestingly turned into one of our most pleasant times of the day.
4) Macy’s surprisingly valuable tip. Be sure to make fun of dad! He is a very good sport and it provides some great comic relief. For this one, you will have to watch the video above.
I hear from so many parents, especially working parents, how the morning routine is a constant source of stress for them and their families. With school just around the corner, flip the switch on this time of the day and see what steps, and new habits, you can create to make your life so much more peaceful, happy and productive. The entire rest of your day will thank you.
P.S. Mark your calendars!! My brand new A Moxie Tribe, an incredible online community for working moms, begins on September 3rd. Registration begins on August 20th, so join our waitlist here to ensure participation and priority enrollment and pricing.
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