The back to school morning routine is one of the most challenging parts of a mom's day. From the minute the alarm clock goes off, you're in full-on rush mode. Once the kids wake up, it's teeth brushing, showers, breakfast, lunches, shoes, and everything in between. And that doesn't even include the "oops, I forgot about my math worksheet," or "Mom, you need to sign this permission slip," or the dreaded "the office needs a note excusing my absence." Thankfully, mothers around the country are feeling the same pressure to find ways to get kids to school on time, and by working together, they've come up with easy ways to get the kids ready for school.
Don't wait to start the routine
Over the summer, the kids probably sleep in a bit later than they will for school. About a week before, start having them wake up and go through their school routine. This will help minimize the shock on the first day of school.
Update the calendar
Today, most moms run the world from their smartphones. While smartphones are incredibly helpful, nothing beats a fridge calendar to keep everyone's schedules in order. Get a calendar with large squares. Have each kid pick a color and write all of their activities in one color. That way, "red" has soccer practice at 3:30 today and "purple" has ballet at 4:00. Taking a quick look in the morning offers a visual reminder of what is happening so you're less likely to forget.
Pack the backpacks at night
It sounds simple, but if you have kids, you know how hard it can be. Encourage the kids to get their homework done early, put everything in their backpack, and place it on a hook by the door. If you pack up everything the night before, you decrease the risk of leaving important papers or folders at home. Because, as most of us know, when the kids leave something, it's mom who has to run it back to school.
Make lunch trays
Moms use plastic bins for storing jewelry or shoes, but use them to store pre-made lunches and you're good to go. Obviously, perishables like sandwiches should be made the night before or the morning of, but if you have the week's worth of snack items already organized, you can cut a ton of time out of the lunch packing routine. Include drinks, crackers, cookies, fruit rolls, etc. When it's time to pack the lunch, empty one section of the bin and you're done. No questions, no hesitation.
Write down the routine
Kids work well when they have a routine to follow. Write down what each kid needs to do and make it a game. The first one dressed sits in the front seat or gets ten extra minutes of TV that night. Make it fun and it might be easier to get them to cooperate.
Keep breakfast simple
Sure, we all love waffles shaped like our favorite mouse, but breakfast like that takes time. Plan a big family breakfast once a week (we like Fridays). The rest of the days, keep it simple and healthy. Try quick foods like yogurt, fruit salads, cereal or oatmeal.
Don't fight for the little things
If your kid wants to wear green pants with a pink t-shirt, let them. It's not worth fighting over. All it does is create tension in the house and delays the out the door process.
Wake up first
You might not want to lose an hour of sleep, but get yourself ready before the kids wake up. This leaves more time for you to get involved with their morning routine. Help your daughter pick an outfit or help your son tie his shoes. If you're busy drying your hair, you miss out on some of those great moments.
Do you have other tips that work for you and your family? Please share them with the other moms out there!