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I don’t know about you, but no matter how much I prepare, or how early I get up, getting three kids out the door in the morning seems like an impossible task at times. Sometimes, the littlest thing such as a lost shoe, an outfit that doesn’t fit or spilled milk will throw off the whole morning. Below are some tips to help smooth out the morning and prevent the inevitable yelling that seems to occur when you’ve told your child to put their shoes on ten times! When you find ways to simplify your morning routine, you will find success in getting out the door stress free.
It’s important to create routines that don’t take too much time to prepare. What I mean by that is if making your mornings easier means your night time routine is hours long of packing backpacks and lunches, laying out clothes etc. then are you really making your life easier? There’s a million tips out there (I’ve tried them all) on how to stay organized but let’s be honest, it’s a lot of work and if your “organized life” means you spend hours staying organized then what’s the point?
Remember, the key here is to SIMPLIFY YOUR MORNING ROUTINE.
1. Wake Up Earlier
Duh! This seems obvious doesn’t it? But I really mean it. When you have kids thrown into your morning routine, things just take longer. Wake up earlier and way before the kids so that you can get your self ready without them. Also, it’s nearly impossible to get ready at the same time as the kids, therefore, I try to get myself completely ready before I have to wake up the kids. Side benefit: some quiet time in the morning and perhaps even some time for self care.
2. Tag Team
Remember that part about it’s impossible to get ready at the same time as the kids? Rely on your spouse! Set clear expectations of who does what. My husband gets my daughter dressed and then brings her in to me to do her hair. Once he’s all ready for work, he heads downstairs, gets our coffee pulled together and starts breakfast for the kids. Teamwork makes the dreamwork!
3. Prepare for the Week on Sunday
I don’t know what it’s like with your kids, but for my 7 year old, getting dressed is apparently as hard as climbing Mount Everest. Before I discovered this trick there was a constant battle of “I don’t know what to wear” or “I don’t want to wear what you picked out”. I pick out all the clothes on Sunday, including socks and underwear and put them in cubbies hanging in his closet.
When my son wakes up he knows he can pick from any of the cubbies for a “mom approved outfit”. It gives him choice in the morning, without overwhelming him with endless possibilities on what to wear. This simple hack has literally saved our mornings.
4. Let Go of Perfection
If you take nothing else away from this post, remember this; things don’t have to be perfect! If your son goes off to school and his hair is not combed and he is wearing a shirt that doesn’t match his pants… so what? If your daughter has a frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some fruit snacks and a granola bar for lunch, rather than the organic veggies and fresh pasta you wanted to make… so what?
Some days will be perfect and you will look like a super mom as you make it out the door with each kid fed, bathed and ready to take on the world, while you arrive fifteen minutes early for your morning meeting with fresh coffee in hand. Other days, you’ll be lucky that your kid has on a coat and has scarfed down a Poptart in the car on the way to the carpool lane.
At the end of the day, don’t stress and don’t expect perfection. Once you lower your expectations, you will find peace in your morning routine.