Claire Saliu Makeup Artistry

Makeup Artist, Beauty and Lifestyle blogger and busy Mama.

Morning Mum Hacks

If I'm being completely honest, the transition from being a Mum of one to a Mum of two scared the bejeepers out of me at first. I wondered how on earth I was going to be able to juggle newborn life with having no.1 child starting Junior Infants in primary school. The thought of the night feeds, the school runs, the homework and all of that fun stuff, whilst obviously all necessary parts of parenting my two little angels, did make me anxious and make me wonder how I would fit it all in.

Well, here I am, a year on. Little Miss L has just turned one, is (mostly) sleeping through the night, young Mr. K has made it through Junior Infants and is happily settling into Senior Infant life with his buddies and their new teacher. While I'm no Supermum by any stretch of the imagination, I did pick up a few tips and tricks from my online and "real-life" friends which have helped preserve some sanity and stop us from being late to school each day. And so, that's the purpose of today's blog post!

1. Have as much as you can ready the night before.

I know everyone goes on about this, but honestly this has to be one of the best pieces of advice I've learned. I know first-hand how tempting it is to just flop on the couch once the kids are in bed and binge-watch Power or Workin Moms or whatever your Netflix of choice is - and I do that too some days - but pause that TV for half an hour or so if you can. As much as you don't want to think about whether to put jam or ham and cheese on Little Johnny's sambos after having to coax the little treasure to go to bed for probably the last hour, you will feel even less like it tomorrow morning. I try to make it a habit to have Mr. K's sandwich or wrap made, his lunchbox washed, and the rest of his lunch items prepped in the fridge or wherever so that I can just pop them into the box the next morning. I'll check his schoolbag to make sure homework has made its way back in there and leave his uniform or tracksuit within reach, and check the changing bag if I've to take the baba somewhere after the school run.

Another part of this night time prep which will save you stress and time is to have your bath or shower before bed. I know it sounds odd to some, but not only do you not have to queue up for your turn in the bathroom in the morning, but it can be a nice relaxing bedtime ritual as well- after all, it helps the kiddies to sleep too! I will use some relaxing bath products like good ol Radox or my favourites from Rituals, and that few minutes is probably the most peace I've had all day so it's definitely worth it. Also, is there any better feeling than getting into fresh pjs when you're freshly washed?

I used to find that the morning showering process helped to wake me up and get going for the day, but since I've started showering at night instead, I use an energising type of facial wash in the mornings (currently the Primark Energising Jelly Cleanser which is beautifully citrussy and refreshing), and that ritual instead helps to rinse away the cobwebs and wake me up a bit more.
I strongly recommend you try swapping from morning to night showers if you haven't already, even just the once - and see whether it's worth it to you which I'm almost sure it will be!

Writing your to-do list for the following day the night before too will help you to not only clear your mind of those million and one things that need doing before your head can hit the pillow,  but you will wake up the following morning with a clearer plan of action and list of priorities.

2. Meal Prep is your best friend.

For ages I thought that meal prep was a load of cobblers. Who wants to spend their little bit of free time at the weekends or in the evenings chopping veggies and filling umpteen Tupperware pots? Well,  I've been converted. To go with the aforementioned sambos that I've made the night before, after I do the weekly Aldi shop on a Sunday, I wash and chop Mr. K's lunchbox faves of carrots, cucumber, grapes and melon and chop up enough for the school week and store them in the fridge. This saves me up to 10 minutes each morning - which doesn't sound like much but when you've an almost 6 year old that you're trying to coerce into brushing his teeth and a baba on your hip, every little helps! I could take this further I know and start prepping the dinner ingredients too but I'm taking baby steps first!

3. Give your kids "chores" to do as part of their morning routine/getting ready.

Another way to make things go a little smoother and faster on those weekday mornings is to give your little ones small jobs that they have to do each morning to get themselves ready. I've found that using these little jobs and combining them with a sticker reward chart makes it much easier to get Mr.K motivated and makes for a slightly saner Mama! His jobs include putting his lunch bag into his schoolbag, putting his breakfast dishes into the sink and getting his hair conditioning/anti-headlice spray out of the bathroom each morning. Granted he needs persuading some mornings but I've definitely noticed an improvement so far.

4. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier.

Easier said than done sometimes, I know. I love my sleep just as much as you do. Especially when you've been up half the night with a teething baba or a little one who likes to crawl into your bed in the small hours of the morning. And especially when you can't predict what time those little angels are going to be waking up for the day.
But if you can manage it, the extra time is so worth it, however you decide to spend it. It's totally up to you whether you use that time to get ahead with the breakfast/bottle/lunch prep/dishes/delete as appropriate, but that's not why I think you should set that alarm.

Picture this. Everyone else is still asleep, so the house is quiet. You can drink that cuppa while its hot, have your breakfast, read a few pages of a book or magazine, do a few minutes of meditation, affirmations, get some fresh air, listen to the birds singing - whatever takes your fancy. Use that time for you, to ease you into your day gently and keep you going until the next "down time" you're going to get! Honestly you will not regret trying this out. Or at least I don't regret it - after all, happy Mum, happy kids, right?

If you're too fond of the snooze button on that alarm, get yourself an alarm app on your phone that forces you to do something other than tap one button to turn it off or snooze it. I use an app called Alarmy which you set like a normal alarm but also select the actions that you want to have to take to turn it off. The idea behind this is that in order to turn off the alarm, you need to be more awake, hence you're less likely to fall back asleep and end up sleeping late. For instance, I've chosen to answer some maths problems - and I have to keep going until I get the required number correct in order for the alarm to shut off. I know some people who swear by leaving their phone or alarm clock at the other side of the room so that they absolutely have to get out of bed to turn it off, and that can work really well too.

5. Multipurpose your makeup bag.

If you don't want to have to put on a full face or a simple face of makeup in the morning, then you absolutely shouldn't have to. Whatever you decide to do is entirely up to you. But I find that on the mornings that I have made a bit of an effort to put on a bit of warpaint, then I definitely feel like I'm in more control even if I'm really not! For instance, the Sculpted By Aimee Beauty Base that I reviewed recently serves as a moisturiser, an SPF, and an illuminating base in one. And my much-loved Luna by Lisa palette often ends up being used as eyeshadow too as well as for the rest of the face. If you want to know more about a simple everyday makeup routine, I'll leave the link here to a blog post and video tutorial that I created recently.

So there you have it, that's most of what I've learnt so far in my motherhood journey. Some of this may already be what you do on a daily basis - or you may even be miles ahead of me and have all of this mastered already. But I do hope you found this post helpful?

If you've any other morning tips to add, please feel free to comment below? Thanks for reading as always and bye for now,

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