Let's pause for a moment and close our eyes. Picture a typical weekday morning...maybe last Wednesday, perhaps this morning pops into view. How is it in your abode? Do the words "smooth, easy, on time, sparkles and rainbows" describe it? Or are you apt to use "chaos, nagging, frantic, rushed, icky" to detail those first hours of the day?
Riighhhht. I'm there with you, friends. Ever since we came back from winter break, I've been hounding Kiddo to get out the door on time. If getting your troops awake, dressed, brushed, pottied, fed, and off to school with everything they need for the next seven-or-so hours has been less-than-easy lately, we've got some tricks and tweaks to make you mornings move along a little better.
-- Make checklists for the kids. On a dry erase board or the fridge or somewhere, make a list of everything the kids need to do each morning. From brushing teeth to getting on those shoes and socks, having a list for them to refer to saves all of you time, and puts the kibosh on saying "Please get dressed" 23 times.
-- Create a home base for "the stuff." Instead of spending those precious six and half minutes having to track down a missing left glove, two umbrellas, and a backpack, designate an area where all of that stuff lives. If you have the space, give each kiddo a hook and a little bin to hang backpacks and coats and to toss gloves and hats. When entering the abode, just have everyone disrobe and drop his or her Daily Accessories in that one spot. After homework and before bedtime, be sure they stash those carry-alls in their proper area.
-- Get up a little before the kids. I know, sleep is precious. It is golden. It is to be cherished, but setting your alarm even 15 minutes before the kids gives you a chance to start the day, pour a cup of java and get into a good mindset for the morning (and yes, go to the bathroom in peace). We all know, if Mom is in a good place, more often than not, others will ease that way too.
-- Put on some jivey tunes. I'm a firmer believer in the power of music in situations -- to calm, to energize, to boost a mood. The right song can truly change the whole scenario that is happening. If your kids tend to be on the sleepy side, put on a few "up" songs to get them going. If they are frantic and need to focus, pop on a more calming background melody.
Share your best tips on making mornings go smoother and faster!