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Our morning routine was crazy with three kids, and now promises to be even crazier with our newborn! Between getting ourselves ready, waking sleepy kids, making breakfast, packing lunches, selecting outfits, packing school supplies, etc., my wife and I are stressed like crazy before we go to work. Any tips on how to better manage our mornings?
As much as you can do the night before the better! I try to lay out their clothes at night on our fireplace, make their lunches the night before, and put out hair stuff as well. Then right when they wake up my kids get dressed FIRST and put their shoes on. Then they sit and have breakfast. It is an assembly line for sure, but it works. NEVER EVER EVER put the TV on in the morning or it will suck your morning away and you will never get them out of the house on time!
Well you could try to do some evening preparation for the next day. I know that after a long day at work and trying to settle down rambunctious kids it can feel like the last thing you want to do before finally getting into bed, but the alternative is getting up extra early after having stayed up late or all night.
This would be my routine... Kids school work done and backpacks packed for the next day, have dinner, Prepare lunches and a quick easy to heat breakfast, get the coffee preset to brew when it's time to wake up (if you drink coffee and your coffee maker does this) do the dishes, get the kids bathed, while getting the kiddos ready for bed choose the outfits for the next morning.
Wake up and get ready, start heating breakfast, wake the kids up and get them ready, have breakfast, pull lunches out of the fridge and out the door we go!!!
This is all theoretical of course, but i can see a routine like this making life a little easier. Not to mention two of your girls are old enough to start helping out a bit. they could help pack the lunch boxes, your five year old could help pick out her own clothes so you could teach her how to put an outfit together (what matches and what doesn't).... anyway i'm sure you guys will soon fall into a new routine.
Breakfast ideas to be prepared the evening before:
tater-tot casserole, breakfast burritos, breakfast pie (breakfast version of a pot pie).. I'm sure i can come up with some more ideas maybe these can get some ideas flowing for you.
You cand definetly select the outfits for the following day in the evenings, and you can get the kids to help you! You can even select yours, iron them if necessary and lay them out somewhere to be ready!
I so agree that it's all about the night before. I don't have to get a big family out the door and I still have to set out clothes, make lunch and have bags ready to go. It makes the morning go so smoothly and starting the day without stress makes for a lower stress day!
Great advice ladies... we have started to choose outfits and make meals the night before. The real test is when my wife goes back to work... but we feel like we are better off now than we were. And we have shut off the TV as MommyRN suggested and that has made a huge difference! As always, great advice to be found on Strongmoms!
I have one more idea-how about adding morning success to a sticker chart. It could be set up so that if the child is dressed with all stuff ready to go at 7:00am (or whatever time) then they get a sticker on the chart.
I am glad things are working! I just found that I do not feed the kids breakfast until they are ALL ready for school. As such, they get ready very quickly. Plus, they know that they are not allowed to watch TV so that eliminates the problem of them sitting around and having to be told 100 times to go put their shoes on. I am glad that things are working well for you.
Great call on using breakfast as a motivation for getting ready... have to try that one!
Hee Hee! Yes, I have tested this out multiple times and it does seem to get them dressed and ready a whole lot faster! Especially if you have a breakfast they want to eat! LOL!
Chocolate chip pancakes get many kiddos up and moving!
Chocolate chip pancakes would get me going too!