It’s time for the morning rush! Get yourself up, get your kiddos up, eat, get dressed and get ready to head out the door. Being a working mom, the morning routine is not my finest hour. And it is, literally, an hour.
If your home is anything like mine there is often yelling involved in the morning rush. I’m working hard on diminishing that, and you know what? It seems to be working! Our morning rush is slowly becoming a more civilized affair.
I’ve learned a lot in the last few years. My kids are both in school full time and they have to catch a bus at 7:45am. My aim is to have them ready by 7:30 so we have a buffer. In the winter it’s great to have those few minutes for when someone can’t tuck their poufy skirt into their snowpants, or their zippers are stuck. It also takes a few minutes to walk to the bus stop, so those 15 minutes turn into 5 at the bus stop most days!
Let me share with you a few tips I’ve tried to get the morning routine running smoothly.
- I have a Hamilton Beach automatic coffee pot. I LOVE it. When I’m on the ball I will set up my coffee the night before. Bonus points for me if I set it early enough to be just finished when I come downstairs after my alarm!
- Speaking of alarms – both my girls have an alarm clock. Emma’s is the standard radio or annoying loud “alarm sound” alarm clock. She knows how to operate it, and she likes the radio setting. Rose has a Minion alarm clock. It does the radio or annoying “alarm sound” as well, but it also makes Minion noises! Because the volume is digital on the Minion clock the Minions scare Rose awake, or don’t wake her at all, so we use the radio setting with her as well.
- An easy night before task is laying out clothes for the next morning. I can usually get the girls to pick clothes out if there’s something special happening the next day. This has become less of an issue now that Rose only wears dresses EVERY.SINGLE.DAY and Emma can suddenly seem to make decisions more easily. There were days in the past where picking out clothes would be a 15 minute ordeal, and then they would still struggle with actually putting the clothes on…
- Another night before task – get all the books back in the backpacks as soon as the kids are done with them in the evening. We used to spend mornings looking for math books, or agendas. Now (magically!) the kids put their books back when I ask them too. Again, no idea why this is happening more routinely, but it is!
- Lunches. Can’t have a post about a morning routine without the lunches. I hate doing them, so usually Patrick will be in charge of lunches. Also my kids don’t eat anything you would call a “lunch.” No sandwiches, no crackers and cheese, nothing that resembles a meal. Instead they get 1000 snacks. It works for us, so we go with it. And we don’t make them the night before. We could, but we just don’t. We have a lower cupboard where all the lunch items live – unless they need the fridge. The kids know where everything is (I don’t!) so they can throw their lunches together on the mornings when my hubby just can’t get it together to get out of bed. Often an adult is needed to cut up carrots and cucumbers, but otherwise the kids do the rest themselves most of the time now. Even my 6 year old can get her lunch together. I love it!
- And then there’s the hair brushing. I talk a little about girls and hair in my post about raising girls. Who knew it would be such a time suck? Thankfully Emma can (mostly) brush her own hair now, and as long as she makes and effort I don’t usually brush it again myself. This saves me 5 minutes, easy. Once in a great while Rose will let Emma brush her hair for her. I LOVE those days. Sadly they are very few and far between. And now Rose wants her hair up all the time. So that’s another time suck, but there’s not much I can do about it. As long as we brush hair at night before bed it’s not usually too much of a rat’s nest the next morning. So that’s my tip there – be sure to brush hair before bed to make the morning brush easier! We also have been known to use detangling spray on those really rough mornings. The sprays really work!
- This is my last, and best, tip: Do not put the tv on in the morning. I know some people will think “why would I have the tv on?” but we did. Every morning. And it’s a huge distraction. Now that we’ve been tv free for 2 weeks the morning routine runs so much more smoothly. No one is distracted when I ask them what they want to eat. They actually eat and don’t stare at the tv like zombies and take 20 minutes to eat a bowl of cereal. We have conversations at the breakfast table! The girls do still ask for the tv, but I just say no. Every time they ask. Eventually they will stop asking, right?
Do you have any other morning routine tips to add to my list? Please share in the comments. Anything that may potentially help get us more organized and ready to get out the door on time is always welcome!
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Yes, stage out as much as possible the night before. I think we have the same coffee pot 🙂
Wanted to pin this but I don’t see a vertical image.
I’m still working on my Pinterest game. I plan to go back and add pin-able images somewhere in the posts – thanks for the feedback!
Great tips as and great post, as always Jess! My kids aren’t in school yet but I can take away prepping my boy’s lunch and snack for nursery the night before and laying out his clothes as well. I notice when I don’t have them layed out already and am going through his drawers, he runs to the drawers and starts pulling everything out. Another time waster there. Let me know when you have a pin!
The last image in the post is meant for pinning, but if you’d like to share my pin I’ve already created, you can do so here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/800022321277215685/
When my kids were young, we had evening and morning checklists–they helped my kids learn to plan ahead, take responsibility for their own things, and hold themselves accountable. My daughter (now in her 20’s) still makes checklists for herself!
Checklists are a good idea. I may think on that for a bit. My 6 year old isn’t quite ready to make her own, but I think my 8 year old could…
We pack most of my son’s lunch the night before. I’ve learned it’s not a good idea to have the tv on a station with something he likes to watch. Detangling spray is so important and useful for my daughter too!
I’m glad to hear you are using a few of my tips already! A lot of my tips just come from plain old trial and error. Thanks for the comment Brenda!
Fab tips Jess. Putting out clothes the night before is certainly a winner. Even though we home-school, I still keep a routine in place for the kiddies. It’s so much easier to prepare for the day ahead when you are organised.
Thanks so much for being part of #MMBC. Hope to see you next week x
Routine can be so important – it helps kids know what to expect and when. In theory it keeps things flowing!
These are all great tips. We do as much the night before as possible. It definitely pays off on those mornings when the alarm doesn’t go off or we accidentally fall asleep again after we turn it off. I agree that the TV should never get turned on in the morning, it’s just a distraction that’s not needed.
Thank you Sarah! It took a while before my kids stopped asking for morning tv, but it goes so much more smoothly without it! Getting organized the night before is a really great idea too – we often pick out clothes and discuss breakfast at bedtime!