For the past week or so I have been getting a head start on the day. I shoot to be up by 6:30 or 7:00 since the kids come downstairs at 8:00. This one change has made such a difference in how the day flows and, best of all, allows me to greet the kids with genuine enthusiasm for the day.
As much as I don't enjoy waking early I really am a morning person. I don't even drink coffee. Heh. But I work well in this quiet time. I'm able to do things like drink a cup of hot, black tea while planning my day and reading the news, make a healthy breakfast, prep lunches, exercise, and get in a load of laundry. It may not seem like much but it's so nice to have some time to get centered and prepared before the chaos begins. Anything I can do now to make a future event (activities, meal times) go smoothly is helpful.
If I take the time in the morning to make myself a wrap for lunch I know that even if the kids are going crazy, the baby is fussy and the kitchen is destroyed I will still have a healthy meal to sit down to and eat with the kids. If I can clean out the sink I'll be ready for when the kids want to do water play. (2 cups, a spoon and a sponge each and they're in heaven.) And if I chop up some vegetables I can get dinner in the crock pot in under 5 minutes.
I've made some other changes to help keep me organized and on track through the day (daily planners, task calendars... I'll get to those later) but this one has been the most important and had the most impact. I feel... empowered, and that this is the start of some very good things.