November 27, 2017
Milk spilled across the counter; your youngest is throwing a tantrum because the green plate isn’t as good as the yellow; toast fallen on the buttered side; underwear over the pants; shoes on the wrong feet… any of this sound familiar? That’s probably because you, too, have a somewhat chaotic family morning routine.
In a household where daddy regularly leaves before the sun, the birds, or anyone else has risen, I think I know a thing or two about a solo morning routine. To survive this daily ordeal, I have a little system that I hope you’ll find useful too!
1. Get ready the night before
Don’t wait till morning: pack lunches, prepare school bags, pick out clothes, and set the table for breakfast the next morning. You won’t believe how these are huge time savers!
And when it comes to picking clothes, I recommend checking the weather forecast and choosing what everyone will wear accordingly. If your children are old enough to choose for themselves, let them do it: you’ll have something less to do, and they’ll be proud of their independence!
2. Get up before they do
I know what you’re saying: “I need that extra hour of sleep!” Maybe… but maybe you don’t. If you feel up to it, set your alarm clock to wake up one hour before the kids do. You can even take your shower the night before. This will give you more “me time” to have your coffee and get ready before helping your little devils with their own routine.
3. Steer clear of screens
“Julie, breakfast is ready. Julie, come on, breakfast is ready. JULIE, I won’t say it again: breakfast!” Since it goes without saying that Paw Patrol is clearly more interesting than the breakfast plate waiting on the table, avoid the unnecessary distraction of cartoons during the morning rush. Instead, take this time to sit down and chat with your children over breakfast, for example!
4. Make a routine chart your child can follow
Again, to avoid having to repeat yourself and ensure your mornings go smoothly, make some posters with charts illustrating the different elements of your children’s morning routine. Every time they complete a task, they should put something on the poster to show it’s done, like a small character they could stick with Velcro. Many stores offer such posters, but you can also have your kids make their own! They’ll be proud to show their work of art and keeping to their routine will be more fun.
Print and cut out your daily routine picture cards to use in the order you like!
5. Have a get-ready area
If you have the space for it, keep an area in the hall where everyone has a space to leave their personal belongings, like their coat, backpack, shoes, and other accessories you might need depending on the weather. The kids can get ready on their own with everything within reach, so you won’t waste time searching for that left shoe and you’ll arrive at work stress free!