The door. Don’t let it hit you on the way out. Some mornings it does, some mornings it doesn’t. Here are some ways to help with the dreaded (early) morning routine.
My husband and I work the same hours. We are in at 7 a.m. and finished by 3:30, which is awesome. We have lots of time with our kids and each other every afternoon. However, having to get said kids, ages 3 and 6 months, out of the house and at daycare by 6:45 leaves a lot to be desired.
Here are some of my tips to making any morning routine, especially an early one, a bit less frantic.
Prep the night before!
Prep, prep and more prep. The more you can get done and in the car the night before is so helpful.
- Lay clothes out, even shoes. If your child wears a belt go ahead and put it through the belt loops. Big time saver!
- Make lunches (in our house right now that means prepare bottles) and put in lunch boxes in the fridge.
- Backpacks and nap mats packed and in the car, or hanging by the door open, ready for items to be put inside in the morning.
Have breakfast ready and waiting.
Our 3 year old is definitely ready to eat as soon as he gets up. It only takes about 3 minutes to fix his breakfast, so I do this about 10 minutes before his alarm goes off to wake up. He walks right to the table and starts the eating process, which most mornings is pretty fast, however some mornings can drag on. It’s also great if you have an idea of the breakfast items you want to prepare the night before so you aren’t stumbling around wondering what to make.
Get yourself (completely) ready first.
Moooooost mornings this happens, and when it doesn’t I usually feel the difference. I am much less rushed or stressed if I am completely ready to go and can concentrate on getting the little ones ready. If I am still in the middle of drying my hair or putting on makeup I am a whirling dervish…and usually not a very nice one. This means setting your alarm earlier than you would like, but the payoff is a much smoother morning. You never know when you’ll need to factor in an unexpected “uh-oh” moment, like the toddler spilling yogurt all over his shirt or the infant spitting up all over her outfit. If you are ready, the world goes around much more smoothly.
Some things have to wait until the morning, make notes and leave them near your purse/keys/phone so that you don’t forget those last minute items in the craziness of the morning routine; or better yet, set reminders on your phone. Many times I do both!
Divide and conquer.
Luckily I have a great hubby who is very helpful in the mornings (when he wakes up on time). We have our “duties” that each is in charge of which seems to help with the division of responsibilities, and believe me, every little bit helps. He will feed the little one her bottle and change her diaper while I finish packing the car and fixing my breakfast. I will then get the big one dressed while the hubs cleans off the breakfast table and puts the car seat on the table so that I can just transfer the baby as soon as we are ready to go. I’m not kidding, little teeny things like that are such time savers in the morning. If you are saving steps, you are saving time.