You have exactly one hour to get the kids fed and out the door for school and yourself off to work. You have one child refusing to eat breakfast, another not dressed and you can’t find the permission slip that needs to be returned that day. You’re getting more frazzled by the minute and the day has barely started. Without careful organization, weekday mornings can often look like this. How can you avoid the craziness?
I would not define myself as super organized or as a person who has fool proof systems in place. However, when my kids were young what was important to me was that we all started our day on a positive note. I didn’t like the idea of them going to school upset and I didn’t want to start my day exhausted from nagging and running around the house looking for things. It just made sense to set up a system that made life easy for everyone.
When we have to be somewhere in the morning, every minute counts. Ten minutes spent looking for something when you have to leave in half an hour is critical. My morning routine actually started the night before. I made lunches at night and put them in the fridge so in the morning the kids just needed to open the fridge and grab their lunch kit on their way out the door. When they were young, I set their clothes out at night so no time was spent in the morning picking out something to wear. I very often put cereal bowls and a couple of boxes of cereal on the table so in the morning, all they had to do was get the milk out of the fridge. I made sure backpacks were at the front door and permission slips and forms were all dealt with the night before. All of this made the morning routine run pretty well.
Once my kids became teenagers, I decided it was their responsibility and not mine to make sure they got to school on time. I simply wasn’t going to take that on. I knew none of their teachers were going to look at them and say: “Why didn’t your mom make sure you got to class on time?”. I did tell them that once they got into the work world, being late was not going to be an option.
I recently came across a video with health and family blogger, Deborah Lowther that gives some excellent tips on developing healthy school routines. Deborah definately has some great systems in place.