Tips for Beating the Morning Rush
We had a great discussion recently about how to beat the morning rush, getting everyone out the door for school and work. Our readers shared their best tips (and a few of us commiserated on having kiddos who need a little extra…ummm…motivation in the morning. Strength in numbers, friends!
As with most things, the keys are preparation and organization. A little extra time spent in the evenings pays off with less stressful mornings for you and the kids. Here are some of the great tips our Facebook friends offered:
Set out everything the night before: Clothes, backpacks, coats… “everything” means the little stuff too, like hats, gloves, shoes, all that stuff that can drive you crazy if you need to hunt for it when the bus is a minute away.
Pack lunches in the evenings: Get as much ready the night before as possible, adding a only the last-minute things like sandwich condiments in the morning. Whether you pack or the kids pack their own, this can take up valuable time in the morning, so having it done can help streamline things.
Even better: Prepare lunches on Sundays! Spend an hour or so on Sunday night getting everything cooked, cut, cleaned, and packaged up. Portion out any fruits, veggies, dips, snacks, etc. into ziplock bags/containers, enough for the entire week worth. Let your child choose the main course for lunch and stick to the same one for the entire week. That way, we have one “assembly line” going to prepare sandwiches, wraps, etc. In the mornings, it’s quick and easy to grab a bag/container of each item and throw them in a lunchbox, which also saves room by not keeping packed boxes in the fridge every night.
Allow more time: If you find things to be consistently hectic around your home in the mornings, everyone may need a few more minutes to help things run smoothly. Adjust bedtimes if needed, but more time in the morning may help.
Try two alarms: Have alarm clocks that go off twice — 1 to get up (music) then 2 when they have to be dressed, hair and teeth brushed, basically ready to go (beeping) to then come down for breakfast. This fosters independence, almost like a race to be ready before that second alarm goes off! Then they have 20 minutes to eat and gather book bags!
Send them off on a positive note: If you happen to have a “pokey puppy” who needs repeated encouragement throughout the morning to get moving, get dressed, chew, and swallow (I know I’m not the only one!), it can get a little frustrating for everyone. Make a conscious effort to be sure your final words as they head out are calming, positive, and loving — it’ll set a better tone for their day and yours, and remind them that we nag because we care!
Anyone else have more great tips to share for taking the chaos out of getting ready in the mornings? We’d love to hear them. I’m also curious if anyone has any tricks for packing lunches — how do you simplify things, prep things in advance, and help younger kids gain some independence in helping or packing their own? Join the discussion in the comments below or on Facebook!