There’s so much that can sidetrack a family on a busy morning. From picky kids to forgotten homework to unpacked lunches, getting kids fed, clothed and out the door on their way to school can feel downright impossible sometimes. Luckily, I’ve done quite well at setting a morning routine this year and for the most part, even a busy morning goes quite smoothly. But some days, it seems like the morning brings nothing but challenges. So, when Quaker Canada offered to send me a special package to help manage those busy mornings and share my experience, I was thrilled. Here’s what I learned after a week:
1) A Little Nighttime Preparation Makes Mornings Easier
My oldest son loves oatmeal for breakfast and usually there’s enough time to put the kettle on, boil water and make him a couple packages of his favourite Quaker Instant Oatmeal. But some mornings, even that few extra minutes of breakfast preparation can make the morning feel rushed. So, for the first time last week, I tried Overnight Oats. I’d heard a lot about the concept in the last few months. Just mix equal parts oats and liquid, and then add toppings, sweetener and flavouring as desired. I used milk as the liquid and added blueberries and maple syrup for flavour, then refrigerated the mixture overnight. The next morning, Zackary sat down to a delicious, creamy and hearty breakfast…no extra time required!
2) Kids Can Do a Lot of Morning Preparation Themselves
It’s been a bit of a shock for me to realize that Zackary is ten years old already, and fully capable of doing more for himself than I generally think. Since I was a single parent for a few years, it became second nature to cater to my boys a bit more than I should. Not only is Zackary fully capable of making his own breakfast, but Benjamin is too. The paranoid mom in me doesn’t want them using the kettle just yet, but there’s no reason they can’t pour their own cold cereal and milk. Zackary usually eats granola when he wants cold cereal, so for the last week he’s been pouring his own when he wants it, giving me extra time to make sandwiches for the lunchbox.
3) Moms Need Breakfast Too
I’ll admit that this has been an issue I’ve struggled with since my late teens. At some point, I just stopped feeling hungry as soon as I woke up in the morning. But when I try to have breakfast each morning, I notice a difference in my energy levels and overall wellbeing within just days. When Quaker Canada sent my package, the company happened to include a box of Quaker Harvest Crunch, a cereal that had been my favourite through most of my childhood. (Yes, I was a bit of an odd kid.) Having my favourite cereal in the house again was an easy way to encourage me to make time for breakfast myself and the cereal was just as delicious as I had remembered!
4) A Regular Morning Routine Helps Everyone Feel More Relaxed
There are days my boys wake up hours before they need to leave for school and other days when they sleep in so late that every minute feels rushed. But they both know that there are some things they need to do every morning regardless: get dressed, make their beds and clean the floors of their rooms. Likewise, my own routine consists of checking and signing the agendas, making lunches, making hot breakfast when it’s requested and setting backpacks ready by the door. The routine of each morning helps to make the days a little more streamlined, even when we’re short on time. And that means that everyone is less stressed on those especially busy mornings!
Getting through school mornings calmly and successfully is a moment that Quaker Canada refers to as a #SpoonDrop…that moment when your child heads out the door feeling confident, well fed and prepared for his busy day and you can finally sit back and celebrate a morning well spent! With a little help from Quaker Canada, I’ve had quite a few #SpoonDrop moments this week, and I’m sure I’ll have even more in the future! Make sure to check out the Quaker #SpoonDrop website for recipe ideas, tips and more to help your family enjoy their own #SpoonDrop mornings. With a little preparation and a few techniques to help us sail through the busiest moments, school mornings are nothing to fear!