I'll be the first to admit that mornings can be a bit rough around here... often hectic and stressful, which doesn't exactly set the tone for a productive day -- for me or for my kids.
Things are complicated even more now with two of my kids heading off to middle school and the other three split between two elementary schools. Starting the year off right with a simple yet effective routine is going to be essential.
I felt like we were finally getting things under control toward the end of last year -- after I had a slightly embarrassing but spot-on realization. The reason our morning routine didn't always go as planned, usually started with my own shortcomings.
I've never been a morning person, but getting myself off on the right foot to start the day, almost always results in a more organized and pleasant morning for my family. Getting plenty of sleep and waking up a few minutes before the kids need to be up, gives me the breathing room and energy I need to get the rest of the family up and going for the day.
Along with plenty of sleep, my daily vitamins and a simple breakfast are also key items each morning -- and coffee, of course...
If you read my other blog, you might recall that I recently added a vitamin regimen to my diet. I used the VitaSelect tool on Walmart.com to determine what vitamins were essential to add to my diet, and I've stuck with it for about 4 months now with fantastic results. To ensure that I don't run out, I've made a recurring reminder on my calendar to pick a new batch up at the beginning of each month.
While I'm not a big breakfast person, I also feel like it's important that I have a little something before tackling getting the kids off the school. Smoothies are the perfect solution, and this easy smoothie recipe is a family favorite. I like to add in a little protein powder to make it more filling (Six Star Whey Protein pictured).
This easy smoothie recipe makes a big batch, so I actually only need to make it a few times a week. I freeze the remainder in these Ball Plastic Freezer Jars, and then just pop one in the fridge to thaw overnight. My kids also like to pack them in their lunches -- they thaw by lunchtime but keep their lunches cold in the meantime!
Today was their first day back, and I feel like things went very smoothly, but I'm sure that we'll tweak things a bit as needed. This is the first year that all of my kids will be in school all day, so seeing them off was a bit bittersweet, but I'm hoping that the uninterrupted work time during the day will help us maintain more balance overall.