I set two alarms for each morning. One is my “hey girl, it’s probably time to get up and get moving” alarm, the other is my “GET UP, GET UP, GET UP!!!!!!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!!! GET UP!!!” alarm. I think it’s time for a little transparence here… I don’t like mornings. I am grouchy in the mornings. I am a night owl by nature. I would prefer to be up all night and tucked warmly in my bed all day. So mornings are hard in our house, and because of this, I work hard to make mornings go as smoothly as possible.
Here are some tips that I have implemented in my house to make the morning routine as quick and easy as possible!!
1. Have a plan!! Lay out clothes the night before, pack lunches the night before, look at homework the night before, plan breakfast ahead the night before… do AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE as you can the night before so you have as little as possible to do in the mornings.
2. Bedtime bath routine! This not only makes our mornings go more smoothly, it makes our nights go more smoothly. My daughter doesn’t adjust well to school-time and so nights fall apart for us some times. To combat this, my daughter takes a bath during or just after dinner time. This gives her time to distress and relax, and helps keep her out of my hair while I am doing stuff at night. It is a system that works well for us. It also reduces the things we have to do in the mornings.
3. Simple breakfasts!! This is key in our house. My kids aren’t big eaters when they wake up, but I won’t send them to school without some kind of sustenance. So, breakfasts for us include frozen waffles, frozen pancakes, pop tarts, quick cereal, and granola bars. We also have frozen breakfast sandwiches for anyone that wants it.
4. Know your jobs!! Our kids know what they are required to do each morning (brush teeth, get dressed, wash faces, eat breakfast, let the dog out). Because they know what is expected of them each morning, there is no confusion as to what needs to be done. No fights, no surprises, no breakdowns. When we first started the morning routine battle, we had these things written down so they were easily seen – words for the reader, pictures for the non-reader.
5. Know your time frames!! I know that in our house, it takes about 35-40 minutes to complete our morning routine and be ready to walk out the door. I allow an extra 5 or so minutes in case of problems. If my kids ride the bus they have to be ready to leave at 7:10, so we wake up at 6:30. If I take them, they have to leave at 7:20 or 7:30, so I wake them up at around 6:45 or 7:00.
The big thing that helped us was to talk about morning expectations before the time comes. Have a plan, and do as much prep before as you can.