Friday, March 27, 2009

conquer the morning madness

The alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button three times. By the time you fly out of bed, your kids have exactly 20 minutes to get ready before the bus gets there. You throw open their doors screaming to them to hurry up or they are going to be late. As if this is their fault. You go to the kitchen and find that there’s no milk for cereal. But that’s ok, there isn’t any cereal either. Kids will have to make do with a breakfast bar.

It says it’s full of nutrition, and hey, they won’t starve, they’ll eat again at lunch, in about 5 hours. Uh oh, lunch. Well there’s no time for you to make lunch, the kids will have to buy their lunches…again. Mystery meat Mondays never killed anyone right? Your oldest is yelling because she can’t find a pair of clean matching socks, your youngest just remembered that she is supposed to bring in 50 blank index cards. Index cards? Why didn’t you know about this? She says the paper telling about it was in her folder, which you forgot to look through last night. Great. Do you think the teacher would accept blank envelopes instead?

By the time you usher them out the door and into the car, you are a jumble of nerves. You catch a glimpse of yourself in the rear view mirror and see a crazy lady with hair sticking out and raccoon eyes staring back at you. This is not the way to start your day. It is also not a good example for your children or a good way for them to start their day. Get a schedule in order. A morning routine can make all the difference in your day and your kids day. Here is an example of my morning routine during the school year.

  • 6:00-wake up, get a cup of coffee. I set the coffee pot up the night before so it is ready when I walk into the kitchen. If you need your coffee before you can uncross your eyes, get a maker with a timer on it!
  • 6:15-throw a load of laundry into the wash
  • 6:25-start breakfast for the boys. I like to send them out with a hot meal. It is a long time before they eat again and they are growing boys. So I usually make some eggs, toast, put some fruit on the table, juice, and of course their vitamins. If you are efficient, you will set the table the night before.
  • 6:30-wake the boys up. They will get dressed before coming downstairs to eat. When they were younger, clothes were picked out the night before and set out on the dresser.
  • 6:40-They come into the kitchen to eat. While they are eating, I will unload the dishwasher. When they are finished, I put their dishes into the dishwasher.
  • 7:00- Boys go upstairs to brush teeth, comb hair, wash face, and make their beds. I put clothes into dryer
  • 7:20-we leave the house for the bus stop.
  • 7:35-I get home and start breakfast for my husband.
  • 7:45-Husband comes down to eat. I sit with him and have a cup of coffee. Load up the dishwasher when he’s done, and wipe up the counters and stove, and sweep the floor quick.
  • 8:00-Hubby goes up to brush teeth, I grab clothes out of dryer and fold. (if they are done)
  • 8:15-Hubbty leaves the house. I go upstairs and make our bed, and wipe down the bathrooms.
    That is it. After that, my regular routine kicks in. However, if you look at the schedule, no one is rushed. Everyone has time to do what is needed. You have to figure out how long your children take for each task, and start your schedule there.

Some tips.

  1. Make lunches the night before. I seriously do not think the bread gets soggy. Its fine. Its not like its not sitting in a lunch box for 5 hours anyways. It will not be any soggier if you make it the night before, I promise.
  2. Set the breakfast table the night before.
  3. Get up before the kids. This will give you time to wake up, get their breakfast started and greet them with a proper good morning, not a frantic yell.
  4. Make sure all papers are signed the night before. Or designate a time of day after school that you will go through all the papers. Take care of things right away, do not put it off or you may forget about it.
  5. Make sure backpacks are packed and ready to go.
  6. Have laundry done, folded and put away each day.
  7. If your child needs something for school, and it’s not on a paper that they bring home, and they forget to tell you, don’t save them. You can give them a break maybe once, as everyone forgets sometimes. However, don’t continually try to save them. They will never learn to be responsible if you have to always run to the store at the last minute or make a special trip to school because they forgot. Let them except the consequences, and teach them a lesson. If the consequence is an F, than so be it. That is what they earned. You running to the store did not help them, it just enables them.


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  3. I love it Dawn! My oldest will be starting Kindergarten next year and I was actually just thinking about a schedule or routine that I could do and live with. Thanks for the tips!!