The next school year is rolling out and kids and parents are adjusting to new teachers, new classmates, and new routines. As great as it is to get back to the school-year routines, school mornings can be an incredibly stressful time trying to get everyone ready and out the door.
Here are a few ideas for how to lessen the morning frenzy and get everyone where they need to be on time – without going insane or butchering anyone in the process.
1. Create and Stick to a Routine
Get out a pen and paper, a whiteboard, or a big poster board with stickers, use an app, and write down your morning routine. Make one for yourself and one for each child. Post these in a prominent place and make it easy for everyone to follow. Instead of barking orders, ask your children what's next on their routine chart to help them stay focused and on track. Keep distractions to a minimum - including for yourself.
2. Prepare Ahead
Do as much as you can ahead of time to lessen the stress the next day. Get breakfast, lunch, and after-school snacks ready the day ahead. Breakfast items can be made or bought over the weekend and stored in the freezer for quick and easy breakfasts for the week. Make sure homework is done, in the book bag, and by the door or in the car the night before. This goes for the diaper bag and purse as well.
3. Expect and Accept the Unexpected
When things happen, like leaking poopy diapers 5 minutes before it’s time to go, or someone spills milk all over their school clothes, or alarm clocks don’t go off – accept it and move on. It’s good to have goals and general ideas of how the morning should go, but when things don’t go exactly as planned or expected be flexible and do the best you can with what it is.
4. Ask for Help
You are one amazing person who is a master multi-tasker but you don't have to do everything all by yourself. School-aged kids are old enough to take on more responsibility for themselves. Teach them how to get dressed and even get breakfast started if they are able. Older children can help younger siblings change diapers and find lost shoes. Talk to your spouse, a neighbor, a friend, or a relative about how they can help you get everyone ready, out the door, and to school on time.
5. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY
Pray - when you wake up - for strength.
Pray - as you dress and dress others.
Pray - as you eat and get others food.
Pray - when everyone is moving about as fast as a slug in a coma and the carpool is idling impatiently in your driveway.
Pray – for grace not to yell [in anger].
Pray - for patience to wait for everyone to realize this is not a nightmare, they are awake, and time does not stand still, even if they do.
Pray – for understanding and compassion, remember you were once a child, too, who had no concept of time and commitments.
Pray – for peace and gratitude for your children, your spouse, relatives and friends, your children’s educators and classmates, and for the time that you have with your children now. They will grow up, move out, and this time too shall pass away.
What are Your School Morning Routines? How do you get everyone ready, fed, and out the door without going crazy and bringing everyone down with you?
Copyright 2014 Erika Marie