Many parents find mornings to be one of the most stressful times of the day. For us stay at home parents, it might not just be mornings, but every-time throughout the day that you attempt to leave the house with your young children in tow.
Mornings don’t have to be hectic or a rush. All it takes is a little preparation and organisation to get the family out the door, with time to spare.
Here are 5 solutions to make the daily get-out-that-door routine a little less rushed for everyone.
Give yourself more time
Make sure you’re giving yourself and your family enough time to complete your typical morning routine . I factor in the things that might make my walk(I don’t drive – yet!) longer and take up more time , is it likely to rain? For those who do drive consider traffic stopping for petrol etc . Over a period of a few days take note of the time you wake, the time you all head out the door ,the time you arrive at your destination V the time you intended to arrive.
- Are you and your family waking up early enough?
- What are your time suckers?(TV watching, phones, checking email, chronic outfit indecision)?
- Are members of the family spending too much time looking for misplaced items (their shoes, their homework, their keys)?
Once you become aware of your family’s time and how and where it’s being spent, everyone can take steps towards making better use of it.
Preparation is Key!
Do as much as you can the night before, such as packing lunches, choosing outfits (for both parents and kids!), completing any forms or paperwork your children need for school , packing bags, and planning/prepping breakfast. Make it part of the evening routine. An example could be homework, dinner, packing lunches and bags, outfit selection, – then onto the bedtime routine. Completing these things in the evening will save you time and stress each morning.
Devise and stick to a morning routine
Establishing routines for both parents and children can be helpful in creating a calmer out-the-door experience. Routines for children help set expectations and create a pattern your children can and will follow. If your evening routine is set up to better prepare you for the morning, your morning routine could be as simple as wake up , everyone washed, dressed , hair done , beds made, go downstairs, coffee and breakfast , brush teeth and out the door! Look – I’m not saying routines aren’t boring , I’m just saying they work! A clear step by step that you follow each morning will mean your children know what to expect , you won’t have to direct them to get dressed , or brush teeth- it’s just part of the routine , it’s just how mornings are always done , and you’ll be faced with a lot less reluctance!
Set all the bits and bobs by the door
The area near the front door can hold all the items you need to take with you when you leave the house each day: your children’s schoolbags, your baby’s nappy bag, your hand bag ,shoes, jackets, and depending on what you and the children have coming up maybe the dry cleaning , an art project, baby’s sling or pushchair etc. Setting up the area with a basket or other storage systems (we have a large wooden box for irregular items , a shoe cabinet for shoes and a coat stand for coats, hats and bags) and placing whatever bits and bobs you’ll need there the night before will save you much rushing about time in the morning.
Remember, that the energy you project affects those around you, and if you keep a calm and composed demeanour, your family will be more likely to follow your lead and remain calm as well