Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Secret Morning Weapons

Most of you know what a struggle it is to get the kids out the door in the morning. Some days are better than others. But in general, there is a huge relief felt around the world when everyone is where they are suppose to be with everything they are suppose to have with them.

Here are a few of my Secret Weapons to getting the kids out on time...

1.  Prepack.  When I had toddlers and babies around I always had my diaper bag packed and ready to go at the back door.  I had my bag filled with the everyday needs and emergency essentials.  Now that I have older kids I still keep a small pouch in my purse for any and all needs my kids (or the mister) might have.  I keep things like mini-air freshener (that has come in handy more times than I can remember), hand sanitizer, elastics, barrettes, band aids, cold medicine strips, nail trimmers, a pill pouch with assorted pills, mini-headphones, safety pins and a spare pads (for me).  I also keep tissues, chapstick, lotion and gum in other pockets.  I always like to be prepared.  (I keep things like cold packs, pencils, wet wipes, tissues, napkins, water bottles, and Advil in my glove box in the car-- you never know.)

2.  Set up for your morning the night before.  When I know we have a busy morning scheduled I set the table for breakfast, pack lunches, write notes, put out shoes-- basically anything we'll need for the next morning so we can just get out the door without thinking too much.

3.  Set out clothes the night before.  I have done this for my kids since they were born.  I include everything they need like undies, socks, undershirts, clothes ect.  They each have a location in the hall that their pile goes and they all know the routine.  It can get sketchy the older your kids get so you can change it up by letting them pick out the clothes the night before.  Just stick to your guns and make them keep their choice.  The days I have problems with the girlies and their clothes dramas are the days that I forget to lay their clothes out.  It doesn't happen often, but when it does I'm always sorry.

4.  Get a daily routine in place.  My kids know that no matter what they are doing, we always get dressed at 7:30 a.m.  We always have breakfast at 8:00 and shoes need to be on by 8:16.  There are no surprises and the kids like to have the predictability that a schedule provides.

5.  If you are having problems with attitudes in the morning, music is an instant cure all.  If we are heading to church, I play my soft church music.  If we are heading out to a party, I put on something that makes me want to dance.  If I need the kids to calm down-- something mellow.  It's not rocket science but it always works for me.

6.  All homework must be done the night before.  This one seems obvious, but every kid tries to bend the rules on this one so they can play at night just a little longer.  I have finally put a rule in place that homework needs to be done as soon as they get home.  I pick one kid at a time and go through their entire backpack, talk about their day, do homework with them and help them pack it for the next day.  I have four kids so that takes quite a bit of time and patience but it's so worth it.  I get to spend time with each child, give them the attention that they need, stay updated with their lives and help them feel completely prepared for school the next day.

I'm no expert by any means but I know that I like to be on time and feel prepared.  I know that it makes my kids feel confident and it makes our morning go so much smoother.  I hope this helps you and your household.  Mornings can be hairy-- but they don't have to be if you plan ahead.


Tiffany said...

You're good! I think the music is my favorite, works for me all the time, never even thought to try it on the kiddos.

JennRose said...

I'm not a mom yet, but I'm not a morning person, so I do a lot of this for myself! music, clothes laid out, lunch packed, etc. It saves the groggy panic and poor clothing choices I would have made in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I totally do the same thing! Everything is ready to go the night before and I swear my purse weighs almost as much as a small child from all the supplies I keep in it. You are right, you never know!

It Rhymes with Witch said...

All I can say is WOW! I am too busy blogging in the morning to help my kids get ready!

connie said...

So many good ideas. Where were you when I was raising my kids? They could have used you to help their mother out. I can see that there would be a lot less confusion and a lot more happiness in the home.

Cassie said...

I LOVE these tips from you because you are super mom! Your the best, love ya!

I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar said...

Great advice. I have a lot of things I could improve on. Thanks for the tips!

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