When the alarm clock sounds and everyone in your family begins to begrudgingly make their way out of bed, there’s a long list of tasks that must be completed before everyone can leave to start their day. Getting the kids out the door before the bus arrives or the last bell rings can be particularly difficult, especially if you’re trying to prepare for your own day in the process. These tips won’t make getting your kids out of bed without complaint any easier, but they may help you get everyone out the door on time.
Establish a Routine – It’s not always easy to make it out of the house on time when you have an established morning routine, but it’s definitely more difficult if you’re flying by the seat of your pants. Make sure that you establish a set routine for each morning that includes feeding every member of the family, making sure that everyone’s dressed appropriately and that everyone is ready to troop down to the car or school bus when the time comes.
Trim Down Your Breakfast Routine – Breakfast is the first and, according to many an old wives tale, the most important meal of the day. While you may have dreams of providing a spread worthy of Donna Reed on a daily basis, it’s simply more realistic to save the pancakes with smiley faces for a Saturday when you’re a bit less pressed for time or a special occasion. But streamlining breakfast doesn’t have to mean that everyone’s eating a packaged toaster pastry on their way out the door, either. Stock up on plenty of healthy breakfast cereals that don’t list artificial flavorings and dyes among their ingredients, opt for skim or reduced-fat milk over whole and snag a few pieces of fruit. Making these small changes will ensure that breakfast is balanced and that you’re not up with the roosters to make sure everything is cooked on time.
Pack in Advance – There’s nothing wrong with packing backpacks, double-checking for homework’s presence in a dedicated spot and picking out tomorrow’s clothes before bed each night. You may be surprised by how much of your morning is wasted in the incessant scramble to gather up everyone’s necessary possessions before it’s time to walk out the door. Packing everything up and getting things ready in advance might require a few more minutes at the end of your day, but it will shave tons of time off of your frantic pre-commute hours.
Shower at Night – Unless you have an elaborate hairstyle that requires washing before styling, there’s no reason why you can’t shower at night. If you need that blast of water to start your morning off correctly, though, you can still shave plenty of time off of the morning preparation routine by insisting that kids get their bathing in before bed. When morning hygiene requirements are reduced from bathing or showering, hair drying and getting dressed to simply brushing teeth, face washing and hair brushing, precious minutes are saved and the chances of making it out the door on time rise dramatically.
Check the Weather Forecast – All of your well-intentioned, night-before packing and preparation will go flying out of the window if you’ve prepared for a sunny day and are unpleasantly surprised by rain. Make sure that you’re staying abreast of the weather forecast, and that you’re picking out clothes for your children and yourself that will be appropriate for the conditions predicted by the experts.
Wake Up Before Your Brood – When you have a house full of children and schedule that’s full to bursting, advice that calls for sacrificing even a moment of your early morning rest can seem like outright sacrilege. Before you completely dismiss the idea of waking up earlier, consider how much easier each day would be with a few moments to shower, have a cup of coffee and browse the news before everyone in the house wakes up and begins demanding bits of your attention. When you’re able to wake up first and complete your own morning rituals before the kids are awake, you can dedicate that time to helping them stick to their schedules, rather than shouting for them to manage their time properly as you fly through the paces of getting yourself ready.
Outlaw Early-Morning Distractions – Making a rule that bans use of electronic devices such as cell phones and televisions, which distract kids and make them less likely to get a move on, can help to eliminate many of your early morning time-management woes. Kids may resist a switch to screen-free mornings initially, but once established, such a routine can free up more than enough time to get everyone out of the house on schedule.
Jacqui is a guest blogger for . As the content manager for Aupairjobs.com, she loves writing articles related to kids and parental issues. You can check out her recently published article on her blog by clicking here.