Just like the sun, chaos is there to greet us every morning. Between making (and maybe eating) breakfast, packing lunches, and getting everyone out the door, there is no such thing as a calm morning routine. But now you can embrace the chaos with open arms thanks to these tips from fellow Vegatopian parents:
Maintaining Energy Balance to Stay Grounded
Accounts Receivable Manager Mia Finn, “In order to manage the chaos, you need to maintain energy balance.
“I think of myself as a scale. Tip in one direction too far and everything slides. You can’t juggle and multitask well if you’re not evenly grounded and mentally/emotionally level. A juggler can’t keep balls in the air without balance.
One Side: Work, Finances, Administration, Chores
Other Side: Family Time, Health, Nutrition, Fun, Social Life
“Look at both sides of your scale, are they even? Not necessarily time spent, but in energy terms. Is your work intense? Is an 8 hour day really like a 14 hour day? To maintain an energy balance, check in on your priorities regularly. Dump and delegate what you don’t need. Shift your energy around so you are level and you can manage well. Worked a 50 hour week? Take extra time to do what you love. Sleep and read, go for hikes, bake, do what you need to do to return the balance to your life.
“To embrace the chaos, my family and I have made life hacks:
So you don’t have to spend YOUR morning being El Director! Each of my kids have a checklist on their doors that they go through before they can chill out.
Mornings: Get Dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, make bed, pack lunch
After School: Wash hands, eat snack, do homework, put away lunch, do chores
2. Meal Plan
If you don’t plan to succeed you plan to fail. Making a decision for what’s for dinner and having time to actually make dinner is just too much after commuting and picking up kids. We meal plan every Sunday night. Sometimes we get really keen and pre-cut the veg for the week. It comes in really handy for lunches, snacks and pre-packed veg prep for dinner is really handy.
3. Have family meetings
Your family is your “life team.” Keep your team happy, motivated and on the same page. If you’re like us, you want the best life has to offer, and you’ve probably overcommitted to get there. Social life, awesome job, happy relationships, health, nice home – keeping all that takes work! We rely so much on each other in my family. But we all have our own priorities, so we need to be flexible and compromise. A meeting is a formal(ish) setting where we take turns talking and create a compromising atmosphere. We whip out the calendar and go through our commitments and decide what we want to do with our weekends. How we are going to juggle our activities and maintain that balance. At the end of the meeting we celebrate our teamwork with ice cream!”
Taking on the morning starts the night before—and includes mom time
Account Manager Kimberly Kyriazis advises, “Taking on the morning’s chaos starts at night. Kids thrive on routine, and mornings are so much easier when they are well rested. They might complain about showers and bedtime routines but it always makes mornings easier. They also learn to depend on that routine and always know what to expect… showers, quiet time playing iPads, cookie and almond milk, teeth brushed, and lights out by 9PM.
“Once they’re in bed, I like to have their lunchboxes and backpacks packed and ready to go—only having to add cold items and icepacks in the morning. Both my sons eat the exact same things every day for lunch so this makes things easier. They both like for me to pack Chocolate Peanut Butter Vega Snack Bars for them to have for snack at school.
“In the morning I wake up early to drink my coffee and have quiet mom time either reading or just sitting outside preparing for the day. My boys know that when they wake up they do their school reading and to stay quiet until at least 7:30AM to let me have my quiet time until it’s time to get ready for school. I always get dressed in gym clothes and either run or go to Orange Theory immediately after dropping them off for school. This always helps me to prepare for my work day, both mentally and physically. I believe moms need to take care of themselves first so that we can be our best self and be able to offer a healthy, happy and positive role model for our children and families.
Getting a smooth start to the day
Account Manager Courtney Fonseca says, “Mornings can be slow, easy and blissful sometimes. And by sometimes I mean when you’re on vacation and/or don’t have children or a job.
“The reality for most parents, and especially those working full time, is that mornings typically equal chaos. I’ve learned to accept the chaos and now that I’ve embraced it, I find that I really look forward to our morning routines and rituals. A large part of our routine consists of getting everyone’s bellies full with nutrient dense food that will give them the energy needed to have a great start to their day. Cue the smoothies. I have found that smoothies are a very quick and pretty simple way to ensure everyone is getting the maximum amount of nutrition, for the least amount of work and clean up. What’s not to love about them?
“I start with Silk Almondmilk then add coconut water/or water, ice, banana (or frozen fruit—whatever we have in the freezer), a handful of spinach or kale, chia seeds, almond butter and Vega Protein & Greens to give us that extra nutrient and protein boost that we all need. I throw it all in my high-speed blender and make a batch for the entire family. The clean-up is minimal, for maximum nutrition. That’s a huge parenting win.”