Back to school can mean back to hectic for many moms. Trying to get yourself ready for work while also feeding, cleaning, and dressing your little ones is truly an art--especially when your kids are being gremlins and resisting the new school year tooth and nail! Below are some easy ways to simplify your family's morning routine.
1. Prepare lunches the night before. You can easily chop up fruits and veggies the night before and place them in Tupperware containers. Sandwiches are less straight forward, as they have a tendency to get soggy. However, you can still save time by making the fillings before bed.
2. Lay out everyone's outfit the night before. This will save you and your loved ones an incredible amount of time. Be sure to always check the weather the night before, so you put the right sorts of clothes out.
3. Don't put on the T.V. Studies have shown that people take longer to get ready in the morning when they have T.V. playing in the background, so turn off the tube!
4. Set up a family bathroom schedule. This is especially important if you live with a teenage girl! Work out time slots where each family member has priority of the bathroom.
5. Do showering/bathing at night. It's amazing how much freer your mornings will be when you don't have to struggle with your five year old to get their hair washed!
6. Have a special place where you put your essentials. How many times have you been on schedule, only to fall behind because you can't find your keys? It's a good idea to have a special place where you store your purse, keys and phone. Mine is a wicker basket beside my dresser.
7. Establish a strict morning schedule--and stick with it! Always do the same morning activities in the same order. For example, if your family usually eats breakfast after getting dressed, make sure you always do this. Kids thrive with routine, and establishing one will make mornings much more efficient.
8. Reward kids for being ahead of schedule. Have a reward system based on how ahead-of-schedule your kids are. For example, if they are ready five minutes earlier than necessary, put one dollar into a "family fund". If they are ready ten minutes early, put two dollars in. You get the picture!
9. Teach kids the habit of placing homework in their backpacks as soon as they have completed it. This makes mornings more efficient AND instills organization and responsibility in children. I wish that I had mastered this skill as a youngster! In university, I got docked late marks more than once for forgetting an important assignment at home.
10. Establish an early bed time for the whole family. The more well-rested your kids are, the easier it will be for them to get out of bed, and the more efficient they will be in the morning. The same goes for mum and dad!