What’s your morning routine like? Does it look like something out of June Cleaver’s life, or are you scrambling like a mad woman, throwing backpacks and lunch boxes at your cherubs as they race out the door trailing the leaving school bus? If you are honest with yourself and are like most moms out there, you need a little bit of help with this morning routine here are some ideas to make your mornings go much more smoothly.
Make Getting Dressed Convenient
Nothing can derail your morning quite as fast as a frantic search for a pair of little girls jeans. If you have heard “Mom, where are my jeans?” one too many times, it may be time for the hook method.
Place two hooks on the bedroom door, and put two outfits on them the night before. In the morning, your child can choose from the two outfits, and you can simply replace the chosen one with a new one the next night. Or, to streamline this process even more, place five hooks in the closet, and choose five outfits on Sunday night, one for each day of the week.
Finally, set your child’s shoes by the garage or front door so they can throw them on as they leave. This way more of your child’s wardrobe actually gets worn, and you are not fighting a “what to wear” battle in the heat of the morning.
Streamline Lunch Packing
Let’s face it: most convenient lunch food is not all that healthy. If you are trying to make healthier choices for your child, consider investing in a bento box. These help you to create perfect kid-friendly portions of healthy foods, including things like salad, fresh fruit and hummus, plus you can easily see what your child chose not to eat when the box comes home. You can also pack your bento box the night before, to streamline your morning routine.
Tame the Book Mess
The backpack can be the source of great trauma as you are rushing out the door. When your child doesn’t know where it is, or where that important homework assignment is, or where his spelling book is, it creates drama that has to be addressed immediately. You can stop this drama in its tracks by hanging hooks by your door for the backpacks.
When homework is finished, all books and papers go in the backpack and it goes on the hook. You can even color code book covers and folders so you know which backpack to put it in if you see something misplaced when you are tidying up after bedtime.
Dealing with Homework
Don’t let your kids’ grades slip due to misplaced homework. Have a dedicated homework station in your home, and insist that the homework goes in the backpack when it is done. Consider doing a “backpack check” as part of your bedtime routine. If you can instill this habit in your children when they are young, you can prevent quite a bit of drama as they enter the more independent teen years.
Make Breakfast Simple
A healthy breakfast is vital, and many breakfast cereals don’t cut it. Yet, taking the time to cook a big breakfast each morning is going to add time that you simply don’t have. Plan ahead by making freezer-friendly breakfast meals. You can make a big batch of breakfast burritos, peanut butter pancakes and sandwiches, for example, on Saturday, and then everyone can just grab one, throw it in the microwave and eat on the run.
Mornings are busy, but they don’t have to be frustrating. All it takes is a little forward thinking and planning ahead to make your morning routine something everyone can enjoy. Send your kids off to school without stress by simplifying your morning.
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