I never wanted to be a draconian control freak parent but sometimes you just have to be somewhere and on time. Now the odd late morning is forgivable but, it has been eighteen months since I returned to, work after Little Miss was born and I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I have been on time. That is until now. Three weeks ago we started The Monday Morning Project in the Monkey House and this is what happened.
What was the plan?
I made myself a SMART plan (obvs). I worked out our hurdles. Three monkeys, 7, 5 and 2.5 and a lengthy list of unpredictable nonsense no one could foresee. Despite this I was determined to plot a course through it all and get out of the door on time.
I discussed the plan with Mr LMR who agreed. I needed to be up, showered, dressed and breakfasted by 7.15am to get Little Miss, also breakfasted and dressed, to Nursery for 7.30. Our hurdles were, unpacked bags, lost shoes, tantrums, unreasonable and bizarre requests, unplanned craft (I’m not joking) and Badly Timed Poo.
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
So we made a plan. It was all going to be about the prep. We were generally quite good at Sunday night prep but as the week progressed and, after school activities took over, this dwindled out. We had to find a way to keep the momentum. No good being on time on Monday then an hour late Friday.
We listed the things we needed on different days. Swimming kit, reading books, homework files. I planned work outfits, packed bags and lunches. I planned and prepared meals and I also changed when I did this. It was easy to put off making and preparing to the morning when your willpower has been sucked up by bedtime.
We made sure that by the time we were sitting down on an evening everything was packed and prepared. Even breakfast was weighed and measured ready to be cooked and eaten. Previous minutes that count when you have been presented with a nonsense conundrum to navigate at 7.10am.
Morning madness continues
So how did we get on? Well I can reassure you that our mornings are no less crazy but, I am pleased to say, they are less chaotic. The unpredictable is met with less stress thanks to a reduction in general jobs to do. Our Monkey House is far from perfect but in reality no one wants to start the day screaming at the top of your lungs about shoes or bags or “why are you wearing your underpants as a hat?”
I still don’t get to work bang on time, but it is much easier making up 5 or 10 minutes day to day than nearly 3 hours per week.
One surprising bonus of our new routine has been that it has given me the confidence to try something new. Mr LMR has been going out running early so I have had to put my workouts off until later and been missing them all together at times. In the last week I started a daily workout, getting up with Mr LMR and getting in 30 minute sessions of cardio, strength, Pilates and Yoga. The difference in me has been amazing.
Overall the Monday Morning Project has been a success. Still a crazy rollercoaster but by no means the fairground crash it was. We worked as a team and thought outside of the monkey box. Will it continue? Yes. Will it always go smoothly? Probably not. But I can guarantee that the hard work and preparation will guarantee the flexibility required to allow for unplanned craft and the badly timed poo.