Hello all, and happy fall!As you can see, I haven't blogged in a while. I ended up working this summer much more than intended- which is a blessing. However, I tried to really make sure I spend most of the summer focused on my family. Children only have so many summers we get to enjoy with them. My kids are only 6 and 7 years old and already wanting to go places with friends and go on their own "independent" adventures. Yes- I put it in quotation marks because I try to give them the feeling of independence but momma is still watching everything. Haha.
Anyways, I saw something a while back that said: Your day is determined by how you spend your first hour when you're awake. It got me thinking- IT REALLY DOES! If I wake up and just rush and feel frazzled then my kids are going to school feeling rushed and frustrated. Usually the first hour I spend packing backpacks, making a healthy and hearty breakfast, making them a nice lunch to bring to school and a good satisfying but healthy (usually) snack. After I get them on the bus then I'll usually do my devotions and start MY day. But after many overwhelming mornings I decided to change my vibe- for the sake of the kids. I don't want them going to school and feeling frustrated and stressed out because they can tell I'm overwhelmed.
When I decided it was time to change my vibes this is what I did.
1: I set my alarm for a half hour earlier. I am NOT a morning person. I'm not a grouch or anything in the morning. It just takes me a minute to get my brain and body on the same page that it's time to get up and start the day. Setting the alarm for a half hour earlier (even when I snooze it) gives my body a chance to say "Hey, this sucks... but it's going to happen. Get ready!" As I've done it, it's been easier for me to get up and do my devotions, pray, check my emails and then get up and get the kids up.
2: I snuggle the kids awake. Unfortunately for the kids momma doesn't have a snooze button. So, I try to wake them up with lots of hugs and kisses. I've explained to them how my dad use to wake me up and how much it annoyed me. He would mimic the sound of a rooster crowing and it use to drive me nuts but now it's one of those cute memories. So, when I do it to them they start giggling because they know I'm doing something that use to drive me nuts because of how much I love and miss my dad. And they love that they have something from "Bop Bop" in their every day life.
3: Breakfast: I try really hard to make them a nice breakfast in the morning. Don't get me wrong- not all days are full of energy and sunshiny demeanor. Sometimes my kids will have a pop tart or some cereal in the morning. But I try to make sure my kids have some pancakes, or eggs and toast. Something hearty that will keep them full of energy and not feeling hungry until lunch time at school. I really personally feel that it makes the kids feel good that they know they're worth the time and energy in the morning that I take the time to cook for them.
4: Love Notes: I know the mornings are very rushed. But something I've always done is write love notes to my kids for them to see while they're at school. Even if it's a simple "I love you." I buy them those paper bags for their snacks and I write a little note to them to tell the I'm proud of them, or good luck, or to be good influencers. These kids at school have long days! They're learning, working hard, they're timed and scheduled while trying to cram all this information in their brain and then having to learn to deal with other kids and their behaviors- which often times aren't very nice. They're maturing and learning how to navigate themselves in all sorts of situations. This is good- it's important lessons they need in life. But I always, ALWAYS want them to know that whether it's a good day or a bad day at school that they are loved, I'm praying for them and that they will come home to a peaceful environment. Something else I started doing with the snack bag notes is just taking an extra minute to do a little doodle. Usually for my daughter it's a unicorn, horse, rainbow or butterfly. For my son I usually draw a superhero symbol, minecraft characters or a football. They've started to come to me in the morning and looking at the bags saying "What are you drawing me today?!" It excites them that I take a little extra time to do that little thing for them- even though I'm not that skilled of an artist. Ha!
5: Worship: To me this is one of the most important things in our morning routine. Every morning before I get the kids up I put my phone in the kitchen and tell Siri to shuffle Chris Tomlin. I know not everyone believes in Jesus and that this isn't an important staple in everyones life, but it is in ours. With the kids sports schedules there are seasons that we're not always able to make it to church. It bums us out- but as much as we LOVE church we try our best to keep teaching the kids biblical principles and keep their relationship with God flourishing and we know that God is with us and loves us- even on the football field. ;) I love to set my daily vibes up with singing some worshiping God and singing about how wonderful His blessings are. It's actually something I was doing for myself but I recently discovered how it's effecting my kids. My daughter came home and I had worship music playing while I was making dinner and "I will Follow" by Chris Tomlin came on- one of my personal favorites! Leila told me "Mommy! I had this song stuck in my head all day and I was singing it while I was doing my work at school today!" I almost cried. I was so proud and in awe at how my personal relationship with God is influencing their relationship with God. For my daughter to go to school singing "Where you go I'll go, where you stay I'll stay, when you move I'll move, I will follow you. Who you love I'll love, how you serve I'll serve in this life I choose I will follow YOU." I LOVE that the thoughts in her head (and apparently singing under her breath) while she's at school is to trust and serve God while loving other people.
6: Prayers: Every morning before we leave the house I always pray with the kids. We thank God for a good nights sleep, our breakfast, for daddy getting to work safely and I pray for God to protect my kids and for them to be examples of God's grace, love and kindness to everyone at school. Students and staff alike. I think it's important to show the kids that you don't just pray to ask for stuff- you don't just pray for needs. You pray to thank God for his blessings and pray for the strength for them to be the absolute best that they can be. Again, I know not everyone believes in God, but for your kids sake I hope you can find to talk to them about what's going on and how they should handle situations and compose themselves.
I've been doing most of these things for a couple years now- they're necessary for getting the kids to school. The two biggest changes I've made which has changed the entire attitude for the day is waking up earlier to get myself woken up and putting on worship music. Since adding those two things I've been much more at peace, laughing more with the kids in the morning and we actually ENJOY the morning! My kids have started waking up earlier on their own (probably to avoid the crowing rooster sound) and get themselves dressed before I even come out of my room in the morning. This morning I came out of my room to the smell of coffee- They got up of their own accord, were already dressed and made me coffee! I am so blessed!
I hope this blog has been a delightful read- anyone with kids in school know that mornings can be quite the experience. Just know- you're not alone. They're CRAZY! They will continue to be crazy- and you won't be able to start every day as you would like- a LOT of parenting is just learning how to roll with the punches. But, maybe some of these tips can help to send the kids off feeling content and ready to conquer the day with greatness.