Is getting out of the house in the morning difficult? Do you turn into scary mommy sometimes? You might need a few tips on how to streamline your morning routine so that you can get out of the door faster and sane!
Today, I am turning to my friend, Megan Flatt, for expert advice. Lucky for us, she is a total mama strategist and wellness expert.
Last time we met (in person), I was in awe at how much she was able to get done for her business around her children’s schedule. I’ve since learned that most of it is about attitude and strategy.
My son started kindergarten this year, and there are a few things I am worried about.
- “Will he make friends easily at a new school?”
- “Will his teacher be supportive and inspiring?”
- “Does he need a new box of 64 crayons?”
But at the top of my list of concerns:
“How are we going to get out of the house 45 minutes earlier than for preschool?”
So, I am tackling this concern the same way I tackle all my concerns—with a list and a plan.
My first step to a more streamlined morning is to make a list of everything that has to happen before we can leave the house—everything from our morning milk/snuggle/cartoon ritual, to eating, to not forgetting any schoolwork.
My second step is to eliminate as many of those items off the morning list as possible!
It all started with pre-packing lunches.
As a long-time MOMables reader and subscriber, I love Laura’s method of planning and packing lunches in advance. I would not only pre-pack my son’s lunch for preschool, but I would “pack” my toddler daughter’s lunch at the same time so it was all ready to go, whether we were eating at the park or at the kitchen table.
So, where else could I apply this method to our morning routine?
Lay out a week’s worth of clothes on Sunday night.
Now I admit, this one came out of a bit of laziness when it came to putting away clean laundry. Why put it all away, just to have to get it out each morning, right?
On Sunday night, I create a layered stack of clothes on my son’s dresser; pants, top, socks, underwear, pants, top, socks, underwear, etc. This way, I just grab the top items each morning, and we are ready to go!
Have an assigned breakfast menu each day of the week.
I borrowed this idea from a friend. Actually, I teased him about his method before I had kids of my own. As a single dad, he had assigned a breakfast item to each day of the week. For example:
- Monday: Toast or waffle with peanut butter
- Tuesday: Eggs
- Wednesday: Yogurt and fruit
- Thursday: Oatmeal
- Friday: Banana Breakfast Muffins
I thought this idea was a little over-the-top controlling and unnecessary until I had to ask my kids over and over again what they wanted for breakfast each morning, only to have them each want something different and then change their mind when I served them. Now we have assigned breakfast days too!
Write out and post your routines.
My husband and I usually trade off morning duty, with the other one leaving early for either work or a workout. Admittedly, my husband is actually better at the morning production than I am. So I asked him to go through his process, and I wrote it all down, and assigned a time.
Now I know: TV goes off at 7, Breakfast at 7:15, Get dressed at 7:35, Shoes and Backpacks at 7:45, and out the door at 8. I can look up at the clock and know where we are in our schedule and not have to remember and re-juggle what still needs to be done.
This year, I am going to make this routine into a wall sign for my son to start to follow along with the routine and to start to learn time.
Follow all the same rules for mom.
It happens to all of us; your kids are all pre-packed and pre-planned and ready to walk out the door at exactly the right time, when you are frantically looking for your wallet/keys/phone. Or worse, you get where you are going and realize you have forgotten an important item of your own at home. I now lay out my own clothes the night before and pack my bag with everything I need (and I keep a $5 bill in my glove compartment for the morning I do forget my wallet because that is probably the morning I really need a fancy coffee anyway.)
I am not entirely sure if I am emotionally ready for my son to start kindergarten, but between MOMables school lunch ideas and my list making, at least we are prepared.
—Megan Flatt is a Mama Strategist and a wellness expert. She helps busy moms rediscover what fulfills them, and then find the time and energy to pursue that passion, without the guilt! She believes as moms, we can give our kids the world, without giving up our own. She loves vanilla lattes, her iPhone, and books meant for 13-year-old girls. Megan lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her two amazing kids and her awesome husband. You can visit Megan’s website for more information.