Recently I read a Mother’s Day related social media post about how busy mothers are. We regularly check our email before we get out of bed. Many of us apparently view dry shampoo as one of the 21st century’s great inventions. Unfortunately, I completely relate. In order to make it out the door each morning and assure my son makes it to the bus with time to spare, every minute counts. –There is NO missing that bus. If we miss it, I have to add a 60 minute round trip to school to my day. Disaster.
Tip #1: Develop A Workable Routine
Two years into my current routine I have it down cold. Now, even when I’ve had a sleepless night and can barely think straight, I’m in enough of a groove that if I see that it is 6:15 I know I should be brushing my teeth and getting some makeup on. If it is 7am, my son should be getting dressed and if it is 7:23 we should be walking out the door. For the first month, I gave myself lots of extra time but if you can develop a solid routine that works most days you won’t waste time wondering what you should be doing.
Tip #2: Multi-Tasking is a Must
Every minute counts in the morning. While I’m all for focusing and “being present”, that is better left for other times. I listen to the news through an app on my phone while I get my coffee and cut up fruit. The other half of breakfast is heating up while I’m waking up my son.
Tip #3: Plan Ahead and Shift Tasks to the Night Before
If it weren’t for the self-timer on my coffee maker I’m not sure any weekday morning would work. No matter what function I might need to attend in the evening I always make sure I have a pot of coffee timed and ready to go for the next morning. When I need to send lunch in I also get as much of that taken care of the night before as humanly possible. If your kids are fussy about what clothes they are wearing make them lay out their selections the night before.
Tip #4: Make Rules and Stick to Them
My son knows he won’t be walking out the door without some sunscreen on his face or brushing his teeth so he doesn’t even try. While I allow myself time to look at email before my son gets up, I never do after. I’ve learned that it is far too easy for me to loose track of time while composing the perfect email response during that precious last 30 minutes before we head out the door. As much as my son would like to play a game or read in the morning, I’ll allow it only if he is fully dressed and his backpack and coat are set out and ready.
Tip #5: Turn things into a Race
My son used to be extremely slow about getting his clothes on. Shifting books and games to the end of our routine helped but not quite enough. So I turned getting dressed into a race. I get all ready except for my clothes before he wakes up. I save the getting dressed part for our race. Once I leave his room the race is on. He regularly wins and the novelty wore off a year ago but he still manages to speed through this portion of the morning. His smile is particularly big when he beats me by a mile. Not a bad way to start the day.