In order to get the kids to their classrooms on time for the 8:30am start time, I need to leave my house no later than 8:15am. Knowing that I am not at my best in the morning, I set out some guidelines for myself to meet my goal of more peaceful mornings in the house followed by a calm trip to school.
Pack school lunches at night!
Packing lunches at night means one less thing to do during my already busy mornings. I pack their lunches every night before I go to bed — usually right after I get them in bed and before I let myself plop down on the couch for some precious TV time for me.
Put all items to go to school by the door or in the stroller before bed!
No matter my method of transportation in the morning, getting the materials together at night is crucial to a timely morning departure. When I do this, I eliminate much frantic running around the house in the morning trying to find those papers from school to turn in or the extra set of clothes for the kids’ cubbies at school. It gives me peace of mind and helps to allow a more peaceful morning.
Pick out two outfit options for opinionated toddlers and/or fashionista kids!
I don’t know how it is in your family, but my kids like to have a say in what they will wear each day. I wish I was the type of person who could completely relinquish control and let my kids cruise to school in two different colored socks and clashing shirt and top, but it’s just not me. So, we compromise! I pick out two outfits for each of them to choose from and they get to pick! This way, they get to have a say in what they will wear each day and I am happy because I get to create the items so that we end up with happy, well-dressed kiddos! Kristal offered some AH-MAZING ideas on how to organize your kids clothes for school here!
Put notes on the door for things to remember.
I stole this little trick from my mom who is famous in our family for posting notes all over the house! By placing important self-reminders on the front door I am sure to see that special reminder before I head out the door and forgot important items for the day! I think it helps to tape the notes at eye level or right on the door handle so I can’t help, but see them before I leave the house!
Put a set of toothbrushes and toothpaste in the kitchen.
The suggestion to out a set of toothbrushes and toothpaste came from our fabulous pediatric dentist She said that having this set on hand makes it much easier to get the kids to brush their teeth before heading out the door because you don’t have to get them back into the bathroom to do it. They can brush their teeth in the kitchen or even at the table after they finish breakfast! I am going to integrate this routine this week and got extra toothbrushes and paste for the kitchen today!
Put hair accessories in the bathroom closest to the family room.
This is an idea I had just this weekend (inspired by the toothbrush idea) that I thought would reduce my running around the house to get Maddie’s hair organized in the morning. Here’s my plan: Instead of trying to get Maddie to come back into her room to brush and “do” her hair, I am going to move all her hair goodies into the bathroom next to the family room so that I can just do her hair while she is watching TV or eating breakfast. Time saver and kid-pleaser!
Get yourself dressed and ready first!
In airplanes, flight attendants always suggest that in the event of diminished oxygen that adults put their oxygen masks on first and then help children with their masks. Getting to school on time is much less dramatic, but it does relate in an important way. Take care of yourself first!
Using this principle, before I attempt to motivate my kids into getting dressed, I get myself dressed! I let them happily lay in their jammies on the couch sipping their soy milk and apple juice while I get dressed. Sometimes this involves showering and getting ready for the day and other days I simply throw on my workout clothes for the gym, but whatever the case, I get myself ready first! After that I can focus my whole energy on the kids and know that I am ready to go! And…they love that my nagging and hustling does not interrupt their precious morning TV time. Win-win!
What are your tips for getting out of the house early? We’d love your insights!