- Get up about 20-30 minutes earlier than you would need for a "perfect-world" morning. This leaves you some wiggle room for the occasional kiddie meltdown, lost school work, and dressing dilemma, not to mention mom misplacing her keys.
- Stagger wakeup times if you have a shortage of bathrooms in your home. Also consider having kids bathe the night before.
- Eliminate distractions such as television to keep kids focused on getting dressed, fed, and out the door on time.
- Pre-pack school lunches the night before or have the kids make their own lunches in the morning or night before.
- Select outfits the night before. Lay out or hang everything needed for the outfit including underwear, socks, shoes, and accessories. This little tip works well for mom and dad too!
- Create checklists of chores or tasks that the kids should do before leaving the house in the morning (i.e. make bed, brush teeth, feed pets, gather up lunch, backpack, musical instrument, gym clothes, library books, etc.)
- Set a kitchen timer to go off ten minutes before it's time to head out the door.
- Create a "launching pad" next to the door for backpacks, jackets, musical instruments, gym clothes and mom and dad's briefcases and keys. Make sure cubbies and hooks are low enough for young kids to reach them.
- For those really hectic mornings, grab breakfast foods that can be eaten in the car such as fruit, cheese sticks, squeezable yogurt packets, muffins or bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter, and the trusty old standby of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
With a little bit of pre-planning, you and your kids can leave home feeling less stressed and better prepared to face the day ahead.