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Adding A "Bad Morning Buffer" To Our Schedule

Posted by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 56 Replies

One of the things that frustrated me endlessly last year was the fact that I could wake my kids up every morning at the same time, but we never knew when we'd walk out the door. Would they be dressed, have their breakfast eaten and teeth brushed out the door in 30 minutes like our schedule called for? Or would it take 50 minutes and would I be hounding them the entire time?

I just never knew. 

Last year - in order for them to be at school after the doors were opened, but before I'd be late for work - we had to be pulling out of the driveway at exactly 7:25am. Some mornings, waking them up at 6:55 was PLENTY of time to meet our goal. Some mornings I would wake them up at 6:55 and they'd barely be dressed by 7:25.  And on those mornings? The day started with lots of nagging.

This year, I have a tiny bit more flexibility to my mornings. I decided I have a 20 minute dropoff window where the school is open for them, but I also won't be late for work. A 20 minute window of "Just Fine" time to target for. We can leave the house anywhere between 7:30 and 7:50 and no one will have to wait outside the school and no one will be late for work.

So, I decided to try something new.

I'm still using the 30-minute target and waking them up at 7am, but I'm not griping or yelling at all. I'm reminding them what needs to be done, pointing out when they're lolly-gagging, but I'm giving them the freedom they need to simply wake up some mornings. Sometimes they come straight to the table for breakfast, sometimes they have to wallow in the misery of the morning first. Sometimes my daughter gets dressed in 2 minutes, sometimes it takes 10 minutes and 3 outfit changes. Sometimes they want more breakfast. Sometimes they're not in the mood for any.

With this new 20 minute window, I can give them a little bit more freedom to simply get going in the mornings and it is working out beautifully. Sometimes we're out the door at 7:30. Most of the time we're hitting it about 7:40. Some days, especially if we've had a late soccer game the night before, it's 7:50 before we're pulling out of the driveway.

But, none of us are late, and I'm not starting the day of nagging them constantly about getting dressed and brushing their teeth.

So far? It's working out GREAT. I'm so glad this year I have that tiny bit of flexibility with my schedule that gives me that magic 20 minute window!

What is your morning schedule like? Are you like me last year with a 60-second target mark you HAVE to make? Or do you have a 20-minute window to make your mornings a bit less insane?

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by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 7:12 AM

I have at least a 20 minute window.  They know if they get up and get dressed, eat etc., they have a little bit of time to play before school.  Most days they are good about getting up and ready so they can play.

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 7:23 AM

My son wakes up at 6:30 and bus comes at 7 am

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Last year we seemed to be down to the last minute a lot.  This year I have that larger target window and it seems to be working much better. 

by Michelle on Sep. 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Our morning is pretty easy. My dd is older so we don't really have bad mornings. Up at 6:30, dressed, eat, brush hair and teeth, make sure everything is is backpack and out the door at 7:15.

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I get them up earlier because they are slow eaters.  But then I lay their clothes out for them while they are eating and get ready myself.  Then we get ready, brushing teeth, hair, face etc..and then get dressed.  We even have time to watch a little TV before we go.  Which is kind of relaxing for all of us so we are not rushing.  We leave early so we don't have to try to get into the morning rush to school traffic and wait at school until it's time to go in for him.  

My youngest takes the bus at 12 PM for pre-k, so I am giving him a snack at 10 am, brush teeth and hair and face, get dressed at about 11 and then time to relax again.  We usually play a game at that time.  

But it helps to be a SAHM and not have to rush off to work too.

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Wow, that's quick.  You must have everything ready the night before?

Quoting johnny4ever:

My son wakes up at 6:30 and bus comes at 7 am

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:32 AM

My DD's alarm is set for 7:05 and the bus doesn't come until around 8:15.  That gives us plenty of time to have a un-rushed morning.

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

This year I'm not sure yet. School starts tomorrow, ack! I'm afraid I will be hounding DS to eat his breakfast so we can get out of here on time.

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 11:10 AM

My morning routine is pretty simple. Since lunch and clothes are picked out the night before. And I usually have a good idea of what's for breakfast already. Kids wake up and do what they need ( use the bathroom, brush teeth etc ). They have breakfast then get dressed. Book bags are already ready to go. Just have to put lunch in the book bag.

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM

I do a 15 minute window for me and to prepare breakfast in. Little one rises at 5:50am and is ready to go by 6:15. Her bus comes at 6:25.

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