Organising weekday mornings with children
When both parents are working, organising weekday mornings can be really difficult. Most mornings consist of making breakfast, getting the children ready and sprinting out of the house in a panic, trying to reach work on time. Although the morning panic and rush is probably inevitable, here are a few things you can try to ease the morning drama!
Get everyone to bed as early as possible – Moms, Dads and babies! The later you sleep, the more tired you will be. Waking up groggy is sure to make the whole morning routine unbearable, more stressful and result in further delay. Also, it is important to ensure that your child is getting enough sleep for their mental and physical health – you shouldn’t have to be dragging them out of bed every morning. Getting through the morning routine requires a great deal of energy from the parents too so everybody will benefit from getting to bed earlier.
Prepare the night before – try to get some of the work out of the way the night before. Ensure that uniforms are ironed, bags are packed and very little work is left for the morning. You can even prepare breakfast the night before or have easy DIY breakfast for the children so that it needs as little involvement as possible from your side.
Get your children used to a routine – everyone should know their role in the morning. Your children should know that they need to brush their teeth, have breakfast, change into their uniforms and pack their bags, etc. without you having to tell them (or do it for them) every morning. Remember, they will probably need your help or a little push to move through the routine but that’s normal. Here are some tips on setting routines for your children
Give yourself some time – try to wake up earlier than your children so you can sneak in a little “me time”, get dressed without stress and prepare yourself before the little ones are up. Wake the children up 5 minutes before they need to be up so you can enjoy a little cuddle time before they get out of bed. Snuggling up next to your little ones in the morning is bound to have all of you in a good mood for the day. Besides, children can be especially needy for cuddle time and connection in the morning.
Plan to get to work earlier than you need to – this means you will not be stressing if everything is not going according to plan because you will have a little leeway. This in turn should result in less panic and rushing in the mornings.
Start before school starts – summer holidays usually mean routines go down the drain. However, it is much harder to get back into the routine on the first day of school so make it easier on yourself and your children by easing back into the routine 2-3 weeks before school starts.
Make a chart – if your children are younger, not at the reading age, make a chart with pictures of everything that needs to be done before everyone can leave the house. Include all the things that need to be done and remind them to check the chart every morning.
Make it fun – enjoy the morning routine and the time you spend with your children. Try playing some music that will set the mood and get everyone moving!