Look, I’m not talking about a hotel buffet, just a simple slice of toast and scrambled egg. 

But something small and wholesome happened, by degrees, when I decided to wake up early and start my kids days with a healthy cooked meal.

It started with our youngest child who has memory retention issues. Watching him make himself a bowl of pink sugary cereal for breakfast just seemed like such a crap idea. I love cooking and feeding people, it’s a way of nurturing and showing love. So it was an obvious first step to start making him a simple egg and toast breakfast. It only took 10 minutes, and we knew he was getting a good start to his day.

But it was more than the food. It was getting him up a bit more gently and kindly, and starting the day with a few positive minutes together. It just seemed to help set a much more calm and positive emotional tone for the day.

And gratitude. My kids start off their days practising gratitude. 

Because once I was doing it for my youngest son, it logically expanded to include my 16 & 17-year old. Some people might baulk at this and think that their teenagers are big and ugly enough to make their own breakfasts. And they are. And they can. But I love it. I love the small window in the day that we have carved ourselves.

Even though we don’t always speak much, it’s a special part of the day for me. And hopefully for them too.

And the whole process has evolved into a new routine for me too now. I now get up between 5 am and 5:30 am every morning and have created a healthy morning routine for an hour before the rest of the house wakes up. At 6:30 am I wake up the kids. Gently and quietly – (and because they don’t need an alarm clock anymore, they’ve got a routine where they now leave their phones and devices in the kitchen at 9 pm each night to charge overnight – so they don’t actually go on their devices now for at least the first 30 minutes of their day) –  and by the time they are dressed, there is a cooked breakfast for them and they all sit down at the table and take a few minutes to eat it together.

Yes, it has added an extra 20 or 30 minutes to my morning routine. And yes, I do need to get up a bit earlier. But it’s one of the best investments I make in my day. It’s been a win all around. Our mornings have improved by 100%. Now, when we get in the car to head off for the school run we are on time, unrushed, awake and generally in a good mood. In a great mood even.

Sidebar: Music (our kids have a routine where the occupancy of the front seat gets swapped each day. The rules are whoever is in the front passenger seat gets to play their playlist or a podcast, or more frequently now, stand-up comedy routines. Music has been another great way to connect with my kids and another interesting, genuine place to share fun and laughter)

And when I get to my desk after dropping the kids at school, I feel so much better and so much more positively charged. I no longer start my day checking my device or reading emails. I’ve had a great opportunity to spend an hour and a half engaging with my kids and being a part of their lives. A golden hour. A power hour.

And it makes my workday much more meaningful. It reminds me why we do what we do. It puts a sincere and very real “why” right at the start of the day. It has made my relationship with my children so much more positive, demonstrative, open and communicative. 

Cooking breakfast each day hasn’t made my children spoiled. The opposite has happened. It’s made them more appreciative. And kind. 

And in my books, kindness counts most of all.

Sidebar: 3 Super Easy Morning Breakfasts to make for your kids:

  • Scrambled egg on toast and a small tub of yoghurt
  • Cheese Omelette
  • French Toast / Egg Bread

If one-third of my family were excluded from this post it’s because they’re in their own lift club. And besides. My main squeeze ain’t getting out of bed till later. And only after a cup of coffee in bed. Made with love. And the 21-year old is best not trifled with before the sun rises.