Published on October 20, 2016 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
You know those mornings when you’re nagging your kids to hurry up and eat, get dressed and brush their teeth? Of course you do … it’s almost every morning! The relief comes only when the kids are out the door. At least until you realize they forgot the permission slip for that day’s class trip and you have to run it over to school.
As a mom of three, I have had more of these mornings than I can count. But then I wised up and started some new routines aimed at getting my kids ready faster in the morning. My secret is simple: Do as much as possible the night before. That’s it! A little pre-planning makes for a much smoother morning. See if these five tips work for you too:
1. Try Evening Showers
If you have multiple kids sharing a shower or little divas who take leisurely showers, this one tip is a lifesaver. Evening showers let kids take their time, plus they get a chance to unwind and relax after a busy day. Many young children get bathed at night, so the transition to evening showers is a natural one.
2. Pick Out Clothes the Night Before
Any woman can relate to standing in front of a full closet and feeling like you have absolutely nothing to wear, much less time to make a decision about what to wear, because you’re already running late. Same goes for kids. Lots of clothing choices can be overwhelming, and figuring out what matches can make it even more frustrating. Since picking out clothes can be a time-consuming task, we do it the night before. My kids pick out clothes, socks, shoes and undergarments, and leave them near the dresser. When morning comes, they can quickly and easily get dressed … BEFORE breakfast.
Because I don’t know about your kids, but mine wake up hungry. Like bears coming out of hibernation. But they aren’t allowed to come down for breakfast until they’re dressed. That’s the rule. And they sure get dressed a lot quicker! They might not listen to me, but they definitely listen to their stomachs.
3. Pack Backpacks Before Bed
Have you ever spent a rushed morning searching for your child’s homework or library book? Well no more! I did this one too many times. There were even mornings where I had my kids start walking to the bus stop while I stayed back and scoured the house looking for that pesky piece of paper, eventually finding it and racing to the bus stop like a madwoman. Having kids pack their backpacks the night before and leaving them by the door puts the responsibility on them. They need to find the stuff they will need for the next day and pack it up. This saves lots of valuable morning time.
4. Gear Up for Morning
No more running around in the morning looking for a sweater. Similar to pre-packing the backpack, having outerwear ready to go the night before saves precious morning minutes. The last thing you want to be doing in the morning is searching through laundry baskets and coat racks looking for the only sweater your child deems acceptable to wear (and leaving a trail of clutter behind you, because you definitely don’t have time to put away everything you just pulled out to find that sweater).
5. Win Breakfast
Make it something the kids really like. I guess it’s common sense, even though it took me forever to figure out. We either have cereal or waffles on school days – my kids love them and will eat them quickly. They’re less fond of eggs and take much longer to eat those. Whenever I served eggs on a school morning, I had to bribe the kids into finishing them. Who has time for that? Now I only serve eggs on the weekends, when my kids can take their own sweet time eating them.
These simple tips usually help me get my kids ready faster in the mornings. But things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the morning won’t go smoothly. There will be a disagreement that needs to be hashed out, orange juice will get spilled on your child’s new shirt or you won’t be able to find your car keys … or all three. It happens to every mom. And that’s perfectly okay.
The best thing you can do every day is set your kids up for success. Is that always possible? Nope! We all have off days. Even if we do everything in our power to get the kids ready faster, the unexpected will occur. When it does, keep moving, keep your head up and teach your kid to accept that tardy slip with grace. You’ll get ’em tomorrow mom!