Mommy’s Morning Madness! Organize Your Mornings To Keep Your Cool

“This is a guest post from Anne M. of Green Eggs & Moms.  I get my daily fix of green eggs and great parenting advice from her blog.  I suggest you check her out too- her blog, I mean!”

“Ahhhhhhh! Hurry up, get dressed or you’ll be late for school!”

How many times have you snapped at your children for moving at an oh so glacial pace in the morning? Too many to count?

Let me tell you how you can keep your cool despite the mad rush commonly known as mornings.

Morning routines are marked by rushing. Lots of it.

Rushing your kids to wake-up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their teeth and finally, get out of the door. And with little kids, waiting for them to get things done is similar to watching a scene in slow-motion.

Oh, don’t forget, you also have to quickly find your husband’s blue tie – you know, the one that his mother gave him two Christmases ago.

So, the ultimate question is, how do you keep calm during stressful mornings? By planning, strategizing and more planning. Here is…

How to Organize Your Mornings

 

PLAN

 

1. Make a list of all your morning activities

Jot down what you do from the time you wake up until you’re home alone or you head to work. Include the activities of your kids too.

It should look something like: brush teeth, prepare breakfast, prepare snacks, wake-up kids, iron clothes, make sure kids shower, eat breakfast, wash dishes, etc.

2. Time the activities

Know how long each task takes so you can allocate your time accordingly. If preparing breakfast takes 20 minutes, get a head start by waking earlier than everyone else.

Timing allows you to schedule tasks so you avoid rushing in the morning. (It’s not recommended you time activities down to the last millisecond, estimating will do.)

 

This is an example of a morning schedule:

 

 

 

 

Trick: Allot a 10 to 15 minute period for any unanticipated event. Milk spills, mini-tantrums, etc. In the example above, if you target time of departure to be at 7:45, get everyone ready 15 minutes before that. If you don’t hit a snag, everyone gets to leave early and beat the morning traffic.

3. Identify tasks you can do the night before

Ironing clothes. Fixing sandwiches. Filling-up water jugs. These are a few things you can do at night to save you a few precious minutes in the morning.

Now that you have everything in order, it’s time to…
 

STRATEGIZE

 

4. Set expectations

Explain the morning routine to your kids and emphasize that you expect them to play their roles.

5. Enforce your expectations

Establishing a routine is good training for kids. Stick to it and let them know you won’t budge if they give an excuse for not getting-up. Unless they’re ill, of course.

Trick: For younger kids who tend to dilly dally, print out picture cards to remind them what it’s time for. For example, if it’s time to brush their teeth, hold up a picture of this so they can focus on getting the task done. It beats nagging them.

6. Accept that kids will be kids

This goes for the younger ones most especially. No matter how well-planned your mornings are, it is guaranteed that you will experience bumps. Some big, some small. Whatever they are, let them go and trudge on.

Mornings cannot be perfect

Things will not always go as planned. But with adequate planning and strategizing, you can improve your morning routine to reduce stressful moments.

Got any tips that work for you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Photo by Creative Commons:
Ice – stevendepolo
Watch – Moyan_Brenn
Kids – Ernst Vikne

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

Catch me on G+.

Comments

  1. It’s amazing how I always chance upon your posts, Anne. Even while guest blogging. Haha! :)

    Love this post. I need to start working on our morning routine so we’ll be ready for school in June. Plus the fact that it takes me about an hour and a half to get dressed and do my makeup, lol. :D

    • Anne @ Green Eggs & Moms says

      Haha :) I’m just happy that Pepper published this post. And mornings are the most difficult time of day for me so I decided to get organized. Hope it’ll help other moms, especially first timers. :)

  2. The mom at green eggs is hopping :-) You are right, preparation is very vital. It really pays to plan ahead and not leave it to chance in the morning. Morning madness almost always makes moms grumpy…I guess even aunts hahaha!

  3. The timing of the activities is a super tip. And I believe I need to get up 15 minutes earlier. But for some reason I lounge until DH leaves.

    Pam

    • Anne @ Green Eggs & Moms says

      Oh Pam, don’t we all love to lounge? It’s the best part of the morning until you realize there’s about 5 minutes left until your children’s school starts.

  4. Great post. I agree that establishing a routine is good for kids.

  5. Thanks for stopping by the Lily Pad. Glad to be a new follower. i like to take advantage of everylast minute of shut eye and want my kids to get as much sleep as possible so I think the key for us is to get as prepared as possible the night before. I have the older kids lye out their clothes right down to socks and underwear before they go to bed. I lay out the little kids clothes. I pack all the lunches the night before and have them in the fridge in the lunchbox all set to go, and have backpacks filled and ready. I even lay out my outfit and decide on breakfast and fill the coffee pot before going to bed. There is still some inevitable rushing but the more organized I am the night before the smoother our morning goes…

  6. I think that doing things the night before is the biggest tip that has helped our mornings go smoothly. I get as much done as I possibly can and it really helps! Great tips!

  7. I always allow double the time I think it should take. Sometimes that means the kids get free time to play before we have to leave, and they love that.

    • Anne @ GreenEggs&Moms says

      Allotting more time for kids to accomplish things is important since they end up not-doing what they’re told often. They either sing or start playing if you don’t keep an eye on them.. throws off the morning routine a bit but that’s life with kids!

  8. Mornings are hectic. Timing really helps in our house. The kids like to race.

  9. I have 5 kids who go to school, and they pretty much all have to go at different times, so I’ve had to get pretty resourceful so it doesn’t take me 3 hours of my time each morning, ha! I like your suggestions! One thing I’ve found very helpful is to make sure they have all that they need (socks, clothes, food, school bag, etc.) handy the night before, and always in the same place. This has saved me A LOT of headache in the morning! Also, missing the school bus once helps, ha! (Happened to one of my kids who was always dilly-dallying–now she gets herself ready on time without fail!)

  10. Heather Umphrey says

    I love schedules…I would be lost with out them and life would be a lot more hectic. Children need schedules too. It helps to keep them on track and give them an idea of what they need to prepare for. Thanks, very helpful.

    • Exactly! I’m also the type who’d be lost without schedules. I just want things to be in order. Thanks for the visit :)

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