How do mornings go in your house? It’s Crazytown in our house. I think that I fit more in between getting up and getting kids out the door than I do in the rest of my day. No matter how much I think that I get things ready the night before (outfits laid out, backpacks packed, lunches prepared) we seem to always have a few curve balls like missing library books or vanishing shoes.
One thing that I can exercise control over is the breakfast schedule. Yes, I said breakfast schedule. I have been making the same breakfast foods on the same day of the week since 2013. My friends get a huge laugh out of it, but I am quite comfortable with my neurotic breakfast schedule.
Once my oldest started preschool, I hated the morning rush. I was heavily pregnant and had a toddler in addition to my preschooler, and every morning felt like climbing a mountain getting the 3 year old to school. I realized within the first month that we were wasting copious amounts of time on the “I want [insert item we didn’t have] for breakfast!” discussion. It was fruitless. So I typed up a breakfast schedule with pictures so that his 3 year old head could understand it and posted it in the kitchen. Honestly, this is how the poor kid learned his days of the week.
Not only did the schedule cut down on morning tantrums over food preferences (being a neurotic firstborn, he fully accepted the schedule as put forth), but it streamlined my grocery shopping. I will never find myself out of yogurt or granola on Sunday night or Thursday night because that is Monday and Friday’s offering. I know on Tuesday night that waffles are either in my freezer or that I am getting up early the next morning to get them in the waffle iron for Waffle Wednesday.
This predictability helps ease some of my mental load; I can rest easier knowing that there is one less variable in my morning. I also think that this predictability helps the children with their general anxiety about the morning rush. You might not know how your school day is going to go, but you know what will be on your breakfast plate! Another goal of my breakfast schedule was to encourage a variety of breakfasts, so several breakfast categories are represented throughout the week. Honestly, my kids could eat the same boring bland thing every single day, but I am in the “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” camp and want some good nutrition in their tummies for school. Plus, I sure as heck am NOT making three different breakfasts for picky eaters…I don’t do it for dinner either! So if Oatmeal Thursday is not your favorite, that’s fine with me, but that’s what is going in front of you and you can make up for it at lunch. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s what works in our house.