Mornings mean the dawn of a new day, but when you have kids, they aren’t the peaceful, reflective time that they once were. Once your kids are school-aged, mornings can seem like the worst part of the day as you attempt to get everyone up, presentable and out the door. Oh, and be on time, the most important part. These days, parents are held accountable for getting their kids to school by administrators and having that notion hanging over your head can just add to the stress of the morning. However, there actually ARE ways to get your kids to school on time and with ease. Check out our list of surefire ways to get everyone up, out and on time.
1. Keep Mornings Simple
Mornings should be straightforward and easy to navigate. They should not be the time to finish homework, try out a new hairstyle (on your daughter or yourself) or make a lavish breakfast. Save that stuff for the weekend and you will give yourself more time to do the necessities. Try and avoid assigning chores (except for maybe making beds and putting dirty laundry away) so your kids won’t feel rushed and confused as to what the priority is for the morning, which is to get to school on time!
2. Stick To A Routine
Of course not every day will be exactly the same, because of appointments and extracurriculars, but you can still have a basic routine that is consistent throughout the week. Establish the order of the morning, such as waking up, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, then getting dressed. If your kids meander from one task to the next in the mornings, often not getting ready in time then you desperately need a routine. No more “did you do xyz!?” and “put on your shoes!” as you run out of the house! This step requires that you know exactly how much time you need get everything done, that way you can keep the kids on track as the morning progresses.
3. Create A Morning Checklist
Once you have a routine, write it down! We all know we are more likely to accomplish tasks when they are written on paper, and the same goes for children. Make a small (remember, you want to get to school on time!) list of each child’s morning responsibilities and put the job in their hands to check them all off. Not only does this ensure everything gets done, but you are bestowing the responsibility to your children to get themselves ready. If you’re like me, this will be hard to let go of, but in the end you are giving them a precious gift of self-management!
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4. Lay Out Clothes The Night Before
I feel like this is one everyone says to do, but no one ever does. Regardless, it is a simple way to eliminate one more thing to do in the morning. If you have picky children, then this is even more important. If you have to, set a timer for the decision making process, or give your kids 3 choices. Physically lay out the clothes, don’t just pick them out in your head, so the process is that much simpler in the morning. You’ll also avoid realizing special clothes are missing or in the wash a day ahead of time!
5. Get To Bed On Time
No human being functions well in the morning on little sleep, and that includes you, Mom! Make sure that your kids are getting to bed on time and getting the rest they need. They will wake up ready to go, instead of crabby and lethargic. Parents, this requires the same of you too. You will be far less snappy and far more patient in the morning if you’ve had your beauty rest.
Source: @JeffreyBeall via Flickr
6. Prep Lunches & Homework The Night Before
Packing lunches in the morning is another time waster, because it can be easily done the night before. Don’t be afraid to make items in bulk, like PB&J sandwiches and baggies of snacks. Get the kids involved in assembling in to their lunch bags, and keep them where they can easily reach them in the morning. Use the evening to also sign paperwork and finish homework. You’ll have more brain power the night before, when you don’t feel so rushed!
7. Schedule Mom Time
Mornings aren’t possible without mom, so you need to be mentally prepared as well. Try and be up at least ten minutes before your kids to get organized and find a few moments to yourself. Drink your coffee (while its still hot!), finish up a TV show or just sit quietly. A happy mama means happy kids, and kids who get to school on time. Even if your habit is always putting your kids first, there is no shame in collecting yourself in the morning before anything else.