Let’s face it – getting oneself and the kids out of the house, on time and still sane is no mean feat and one Moms encounter on an (almost) daily basis. And it doesn’t seem to get any better even as the kids grow older or the days get colder.
I have put together some ideas – based on my own parenting experiences (including having an ADD child) that helped me get out the door and even managed to get me a cup of coffee too!
- Start with a calendar. Preferably a physical one in a central location (I found the front of a kitchen cupboard worked well) onto which EVERYTHING and I do mean everything is written. This includes extramural activities, matches or competitions, cycle tests, doctor or dentist appointments, parent/teacher conferences, birthday parties, etc, etc. This gives you a quick overview of the week and what to expect. It also serves as a reminder for the children of what is coming up.
- Every evening check what is on for the next day or even a couple of days ahead – this way you have time to ensure that practice kit is packed, or projects are ready to go at the door in the morning. It also serves as a handy reminder for birthday presents which may need purchasing.
- Prepare as much of the following day’s breakfast and lunch as possible the night before – bowls, cereals, tea, coffee etc can be put out so that only water or milk need be added. The same goes for non-perishable lunch items – snacks, fruit and such can be put into lunch tins before hand and even sandwiches can be prepared ahead of time. (Handy trick – leave any soggy ingredients for the morning).
- Double check that all uniform items are ready before bed – that way you aren’t hunting the missing sock/tie/jersey in the morning madness.
- Ensure that all homework is in the school bag and any permission slips or forms that need to be returned are also accounted for.
- Set your alarm so that you have at least a 20 to 30-minute head start on the children. This way you can get yourself dressed (and the cup of coffee made) before you have to start herding cats (a.k.a. the children).
- Once the children are awake, dressed and eating breakfast, you can then finish their lunches (as well as yours) and start rounding up everything that needs to go into the car or out the door with the children.
- With 15 minutes to “out-the-door” time start following up on tooth brushing etc and grab your last minute items.
- And you are good to go! Enjoy your day and the small margin of sanity you gained.
A quick tip (especially if you have a child who has attention issues) is when they get home have a routine planned out for them to put used items such as lunch tins in the appropriate place so you have a head start in the evening when you get home.
I hope these tips have helped – please feel free to leave me a comment or tell me any other ideas which have helped you be more productive in the morning.