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PM Bottom Line: Before you hit the sack each night, do these seven things to make tomorrow morning smoother and the day more productive. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of productivity! Grab the checklist for moms OR the checklist for kids NOW and see how much better tomorrow can be.
There are different seasons of motherhood. If you are staying at home with one child, you may not need to do much preparation for the next day. But if you have kids in school, sports or clubs, if you work, if you volunteer, if you work out, if you have “town” days when you run all your errands, if the family is going to church, if you need to leave the house for ANY reason, you know that your busy day starts the night before.
Before you go to bed you need to have a basic idea of what tomorrow holds, at the very least. And if you’d like tomorrow to have a smooth start, with less rushing, crying or yelling, you need to PREPARE for tomorrow. You want to get a jump start on tomorrow by doing a few very small, but VERY helpful steps before you hit the sack.
If your kids are leaving the house with you in the morning, you also want THEM to take some small steps to prepare for the morning rush. Even very small kids can be involved in the evening preparation for the next day.
Toddlers already have a bedtime routine and adding one or two tasks, even if you’re still doing most of them, help them to take on more responsibility as they grow. They can check for shoes and socks, discuss breakfast, fill water bottles and more. And later they can take over more tasks, moving toward what should be your ultimate goal: their independent self-care and oversight of their responsibilities.
To help you be a more productive mama in this area, I’ve got two printables for you to use. These are night time checklists that will NOT overwhelm you but WILL get you set for a quieter and smoother morning. One is for YOU and one is for the kids. Both have blank space to add your own tasks that might be specific to your family’s needs. The children’s checklist has pictures to help pre-readers.
TIPS FOR TECHIES OR ECO-FRIENDLY MOMS: suppose you don’t want to print a list each
night? Use these as guides. You can slip the children’s checklist into a plastic sheet protector and use dry erase markers to add different nightly tasks and check off each task. You could print one for everyone or one for each kid.
Or, for mom, add these as recurring tasks in your favorite list-making or calendar apps. Or use the sheet protector method, too. Apps are great, but I also appreciate shutting down all the screens and technology before bedtime and a paper list works better for that.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all we SHOULD be doing and prepping ahead of time. Don’t get bogged down! Check out these seven mom tasks and six kid tasks that will help establish good organizational habits AND get you going in the morning with less chaos!