I am not a morning person, never have been, and don’t expect to become one anytime soon. However, I have a son who is a great morning person. He thinks we need to beat the roosters out of bed. Since I have to be at work by 7:30 in the morning, I guess this isn’t so bad. However, getting ready and to work on time is still challenging no matter how early my son wakes me up. To get everyone ready and out the door is a feat not unlike a circus act that deserves an award. Here is how to get your family on a morning routine where you are at least on time, if not early.
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Plan out the details.
When you are a working mom, there is no ‘winging it’ with your morning routine. You are required to get you, kid(s) and husband (because let’s be real, he’s not managing it on his own) dressed appropriately, fed, out the door and to respective destinations at a set time. You also need to allow time for traffic, someone not wanting to get up, someone forgetting their homework, etc. Therefore, make a list of everyone who has to be ready, everything that has to be done to get ready, everything each person has to take with them, and who needs to leave the house when.
Determine how long everything will take to accomplish.
Make sure to leave extra time for this as a cushion (at least initially).
Work backwards to determine wake up time.
Once you know how long everything takes, you can total up the time to decide when everyone needs to get up. I find it works best to work backwards to determine this.
Realize, the you will likely be the first one up.
If you are reading this, you probably have young kids or a baby that require a large amount of your assistance to get ready in the morning. Therefore, you really need to get up and ready before anyone else. When planning out your schedule decide what time the kids need to get up. Then figure out how long it will take you to get ready and plan to get up that much earlier than the kids.
Make expectations clear.
Once you have figured out what time everyone needs to get up, share your plan with the whole family. Make it clear to everyone old enough to understand what time they will be expected to get up and anything they are expected to do in the morning. If you are counting on your husband to make breakfast or pack lunches while you get kids dressed, then make sure he is prepared for that.
Make checklists of everything that is needed.
You can post this on the fridge or by the door. This is great for teaching kids to be responsible for remembering to bring their own things. For kids that can read, you can write out a list. For kids that are too young to read, make a list with pictures of the items. Have the kids do a run through of the list before leaving the house to make sure they have everything. This is great for helping you remember to check that the kids have everything and reinforcing that their stuff is their responsibility.
Organize everything before going to bed.
This goes for everyone in the house. Make sure clothes are laid out, homework is done and checked, paperwork is signed, backpack is packed, etc. Doing this before bed helps to get everyone focused for the next day as well as avoiding morning battles about what to wear and looking for missing homework. For babies going to daycare, make sure the milk is packaged as required and any food and other items are ready to go.
Pack or at least plan lunches ahead of time.
Meal plan on the weekend for what everyone is going to eat for lunch. Then prepackage everything at the beginning of the week. Fruit and veggies can be washed, cut and prepackaged into individual servings, so that they can be quickly tossed into a lunch. Sandwiches can be made without the condiments and wrapped. The condiments can then be individual packets. You can even pack the full lunch the night before. Put it in the lunch box in the fridge. Then in the morning all you have to do is add the ice packs.
Do a test run.
Once you think you have the perfect system planned and you have everyone on board, do a test run on a day where it isn’t as critical to get out the door on time. If you are coming back from summer vacation, start the morning routine a week or so before school starts. If you are going back to work after maternity leave, start the morning routine a couple weeks early. This allows you to get the kinks out and make any necessary adjustments.
There you have my 9 steps for a smooth morning routine. It really is true that when you can nail the start of your day, the rest of your day follows suit. So, get planning, and treat your morning as the most critical part of your family’s day!
Meet the Guest Blogger
Lauren Forsythe is the mom behind My Favorite Job Title is Mom. She is a veterinary pharmacist by day job and a wife, mom, equestrian, ice cream lover and occasional hot mess the rest of the time. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram!
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