How to transform a stressful routine without losing your mind


Hectic mornings? Bedtime chaos? Create routines that work - and ease your stress - using this one tip!

Two weeks before school starts again and I’m already planning my schedule.

I’m going to get so much done!

I’m going to get up early and exercise before the kids wake up, we’re going to have everything done the night before so we can eat a leisurely breakfast instead of dashing out the door.

It’s going to be epic.

And then reality sets in.

I’m super stressed by my new schedule. I’m snapping at my kids because it’s not going as planned. But most of all I’m frustrated with myself.

I feel like a failure.

Let’s Try That Again.

Think of the most stressful part of the day with your kids.

Morning routine? Dinnertime? Bedtime?

Take a minute and visualize yourself going through this situation stress-free.

Notice what is different – are you all sitting around the kitchen table eating breakfast together? Do you have a dinner menu planned or something prepared in advance? Maybe your children climb into bed without crying or whining.

Now, make a list of everything you would need to change in order to make your vision a reality.

(Really…go grab a piece of paper and write down your ideas.)

There may be a million things on your list, but for now, focus on the things that are actually do-able, and will really ease the stress of this situation (rather than adding more stress to your day!).

Steps to change the morning routine may look like this:

  • Get up 15 minutes earlier
  • Shower and get dressed before kids get up
  • Pick out kids’ clothes the night before
  • Check work email after the kids get on the bus
  • Make school lunches the night before
  • Sit down with the kids while they are eating breakfast

Sounds fantastic! Right?

And it might be for a day or two.

But, before you know it, you’re sleeping through your alarm, forgetting to make lunches, and getting lost in work emails while the kids beg you for breakfast.

It’s back to stressful mornings again.

Change One Thing.

Instead of tackling the whole list at once, pick one thing.

Yep. Just one.

Feeling successful with one change may give you the energy and encouragement you need to try the other things on your list.

Or, maybe you’ll find that one little change was enough.

You’re not a failure because you can’t make a dramatic overhaul to your schedule in one day. Give yourself permission to take it a day at a time.

One change at a time.

Happy again with logo

Need help to create routines that work?

I’d love to talk with you! Through one-on-one online Parent Coaching sessions, we can talk through those stressful parts of your day and find ways to make things run smoothly. Don’t get stuck in frustration or try to make it on your own! Reach out. Let’s work together!

Nicole Schwarz (couch 3)

Welcome! I'm Nicole Schwarz.

I'm a Parent Coach, Licensed Therapist and Author of It Starts with You. I help stressed, overwhelmed, confused parents find calm, confidence and connection with their kids. No one is expecting perfection here. But, if you’re willing to examine your parenting, find encouragement, or try something new, this is the place for you.

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