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?