Your Day Begins the Night Before

What did Mom always say?

“Your day begins the night before.”

Now that I’m a mom, I’m learning more and more that she was right. (Of course, she was.)

My little ones are only in preschool, but we realized the first week that a good morning is much more likely if we’ve had a good night.

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

When they are in school, we have a pretty strict bedtime of 7:30 for the one-year-old and 8:00 for the two-year-old. This gets them plenty of rest for their big day ahead, but it’s easy to let bedtimes slide on the weekends or when school isn’t in session. We’ve learned the hard way that this does not go well for us.

Picture a two-year-old wide awake at 10 p.m. with mom snoozing away in the recliner.

So I’ve set a rule that they can’t stay up later than an hour past their normal bedtime on non-school nights. (And they usually don’t make it that long.) This is something that will likely get tougher as they get older, but we always want to place a high importance on getting a good night of sleep and keeping a pretty standard sleep routine.

Old Advice with a Twist

Most people will tell you to prep as much as possible the night before. That’s true . . . for the most part.

In case my earlier-mentioned crashing at 10 p.m. didn’t tip you off, I am not a night person. What might take me five minutes to do in the morning will inevitably take 15 at night. So if it’s getting late, and I’m having trouble putting together sentences, there is no way I’m going to successfully prep three breakfasts, lunches, outfits, and bags. I’d rather just get up half an hour earlier.


If you’re a morning person, too, don’t beat yourself up about not having everything ready to go the night before. That being said, I try to at least have in mind what we’re going to wear. (Bonus points for actually laying it out.) And I rely on a morning routine.

Forget Variety . . . Routine Is the Spice of Life

My mornings all look the same. From the food we eat to the way I do my hair, from my workout to my jewelry, there is no changing it up through the week. (That’s what the weekends are for!)

Sometimes I feel like I’m part of a Daniel Tiger song, but mostly it just helps keep me sane.

It gives my girls a clue about what to expect, too–whether it’s a school day and they need to step it up or whether they get to stay in their PJs all day. 😉

As they get old enough, I’m sure we’ll make them more a part of the routine. And, as with everything kid-related, just when you think you’ve got something figured out, it changes.

Experiment with routines until you find what works best, and stick with it until you need to experiment some more!

What tips do you have for getting your sleep and morning routines back-to-school ready?

Tiffany is an Alabama expat who has been married to Jason since 2005 and has called Fort Worth home since 2007. They welcomed Catherine in 2012 and Nina in 2013. Tiffany recently retired after 10 years of librarian life to focus full-time on doctoral work at the University of North Texas and part-time on health and fitness coaching. In her spare (ha!) time, she enjoys blogging at, tweeting (@mrsmcbookworm), podcasting (, watching sports (Roll Tide!), and walking with Fred, their Bichon Frise. You will rarely find her without a cup of coffee, and she is a big believer in the one-minute dance party.


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