If you’re a parent who’s a morning person, you probably don’t need to read this.
But if you’re like me, getting out of bed and jumping into the morning rush is my least favorite thing about my kids going back to school. To be honest, I seriously considered homeschooling for no other reason than to avoid these harried mornings.
However, after enough practice with my first, third and fifth grader, I’ve picked up a few tricks that have made our morning routine quicker, easier, and relatively painless — most of the time.
We still have the occasional melt down because a shirt doesn’t fit right or if there’s too much syrup on a pancake. But overall, my husband and I get our 3 kids fed and out the door in 30 minutes or less.
If you’re a parent looking for ways to make your mornings less chaotic and more relaxed, keep reading.
Make a Morning Checklist
Check lists are an easy way to help your children learn how to be responsible and help out with the morning routine.
A checklist in the morning can get your kids involved in making the bed, putting on their shoes, feeding and watering the dog and brushing their teeth.
You can also put your children in charge of making sure they have everything ready the night before. This can include getting their backpacks packed, gathering all library books that need returning, and of course finishing homework.
With your kids taking some of their morning responsibilities off your shoulders, you’ll have more time to focus on priorities and get your kids (and yourself) out the door on time.
Chose a Quick and Filling Breakfast
Make breakfast easy and packed with protein to keep your kids energized. At our house we eat a lot of eggs for a quick and filling breakfast.
Fruit smoothies, yogurt and granola, and low-sugar instant oatmeal are also favorites in our family. At least one morning every week, we start the day with a ready-made baked good with fruit. Neither of these foods require meal prep so we’re full and out the door fast.
Prep Lunch the Night Before
Starting last year, all three of my kids started making their lunch the night before (this is when they were in kindergarten, second and fourth grade.) We use Planet Box lunch boxes, which help guide our kids in making well-rounded, healthy lunches.
If our kids have a busy night (or just plain don’t want to make their own lunch), then they get a hot lunch at school.
Layout Clothes the Night Before
Luckily, my kids aren’t too picky about their clothes — at least not yet. But from my own experience growing up, knowing what I was wearing the next day was imperative to not being stressed out by indecision in the morning.
If you’ve got a style-conscious kid, ask them to pick out what they want to wear the night before so you can lessen your chances of an outfit-centric meltdown three minutes before the school bus arrives.
Bathe at Night
Let’s be honest — if I’m lucky, my kids get a bath or shower in 2 or 3 times a week. But I can guarantee showers are not happening before school starts.
Bathing at night frees up a ton of precious time in the morning so we can focus on the primary elements: getting dressed, getting fed and getting out the door.
Most Importantly? Let it Go
When all else fails — when your kids can’t find matching socks, when the eggs get burned, and when their backpack rips open in the driveway — just let it go. You always have tomorrow to try again.
Whether your mornings are quick and simple or chaotic, what’s most important is that you’re able to send your kids off with a hug, kiss, and an I love you.
Here’s to mornings filled with more love, and less stress.
These are a few morning tricks that work for my family. What’s your favorite morning time saver? Please share below!