All moms know the sounds of a typical weekday morning: Birds chirping, bacon sizzling, and the desperate shouts of “TIME TO GET UP! NOW!” from moms heard ‘round the world. For those with kids, we know that the morning is a race against the school bell, with many obstacles to overcome before making it to the front door. A single missing shoe can be the defining moment that guarantees a walk of shame to the principal’s office for a tardy note. Here are some of our tips and tricks to helping you get your kids to school on time.
The best weapon you have in your mommy belt is to prep ahead. Bedtime needs to become a ritual of picking out clothes and laying them out for the next day (including the full set of shoes and socks), making sure all homework is packed, and that lunches are made and ready to be grabbed from the fridge. Consider this your training for the morning marathon. If nothing else, the clothes are key. Simply picking out an outfit and shoes can eat up time quickly, even as an adult. Just getting that done ahead of time can save you a good fifteen minutes to half an hour, and you’ll get the “But I don’t wanna wear that” out of the way. If you have older kids, make sure they’ve picked out their own clothes the night before.
The next morning, set your kids’ alarms for about fifteen minutes before they need to get up. This eliminates the frantic yelling and dragging them out of bed by the foot. It will wake them up, but allow them that extra “five more minutes,” to gently wake up. It will give a little warning head’s up, rather than suddenly being awoken. No one likes having to jump right out of bed. Another tip? Open the blinds or turn on the light, the brightness which will pull them out of sleep. Consider this the stretching.
Finally, the moment of truth begins from the second your kids’ feet touch the floor. That’s when you’re off and running. Pack their lunches in backpacks while they’re getting ready so you don’t forget— we want to avoid the second trip to school to drop off a forgotten lunch bag. Have a variety of healthy options that are fast for breakfast, such as microwaveable oatmeal, cereal, granola bars, or fruit that can be taken in the car or on the bus if need-be. Kids like to have choices, and for your sanity, don’t let yourself fall into the “I don’t feel like pancakes, can you make me eggs?” trap. As wonderful as it is to make breakfast for them every morning, make sure you have a fast plan B if they refuse to eat it and you don’t miss a beat.
Hopefully some of these tips will help your morning roll a little smoother. A free organization app like SteerList can really help with a morning checklist so nothing is forgotten. The morning reminders can make sure you sign and pack a permission slip for the upcoming field trip, or remember to stop by the office to put some money on the kids’ lunch cards. Being on top of your morning routine guarantees a strong finish, rather than frantically tripping over the finish line.