Mornings at my place are like a scene from Jurassic World. There are people going in all directions, things flying everywhere and nobody knows what the heck is going on. In the midst of it all a giant scary creature is roaring.
The creature is me.
I never realised that even putting on clothes requires a wrestling match when you have a toddler. It would be easier to catch and pin down a velociraptor.
My only hope of showing up for work at all, let alone on time, is to be as organised as I can before I go to bed the night before.
Here are some ways to ease the pandemonium of the morning routine:
1. Tidy up before bed.
If the toys are out of sight, the little ones are less likely to be drawn into a game of fire trucks vs helicopters when they should be in brushing their teeth. It’s also less to step over and trip on while you are rushing back and forth looking for your hairbrush.
I try to stick to the rule that my son brushes his teeth and puts all the toys away before we have our reading time together at night.
2. Make the food prep easy.
Domestic goddesses have lunch for the next day prepared before they flop into bed for the night. Super mums get the whole week’s worth ready on Sunday nights.
Confession: I don’t do this. Most nights I’m too tired to operate sharp instruments. What I do is buy a lot of things that can be easily thrown into a lunch box without having to be fiddled around with. I also make sure I think the night before about what I’ll be packing. That way I’m not standing in the kitchen trying to come up with ideas and failing to notice that my son is pouring milk all over the floor.
3. If nothing else, locate your keys and all the shoes.
Yes, they should always be in the same place. But chances are your car keys are in the wash basket. Or they’re outside because your little one was using them to dig a hole.
Think of the things that you and the kids absolutely can’t get through the day without and make sure you know where they are before you go to bed. You can run out the door with unbrushed hair. It’s not so easy without your wallet.
4. Go to bed earlier.
Go to bed as soon as you can after the little ones have gone down and you can reclaim the time in the morning before they wake up. The more you can get done while they sleep, the less frantic the morning will be. You might even find a moment or two to drink a coffee and play Candycrush.
Or better yet, don’t get up super early. Waking up feeling more rested means you’ll be better equipped to cope with the daily fight over whose turn it is to use the bathroom.
5. Write a checklist for the morning.
Who has swimming and needs to take bathers? Who needs to remember their flute and who needs $5 for the office fundraiser?
A calendar or a nightly or weekly checklist will help reduce the morning mayhem.
If you are more organised than Martha Stewart after a trip to Howard’s Storage World, you’ll have a mini timetable with set tasks for the kids to work from to get themselves ready.
And I will wish I was you.
WATCH how to set a bedtime routine. Post continues after video...
6. Put them to bed in their clothes.
Yes, I have done this. But only for extreme early starts when I have had to drop hubby at the airport for an early morning flight.
Ok and maybe one other time when I was not feeling particularly copey and I was tired of the velociraptor wrestling game.
If you pack all the bags the night before and they sleep in what they have to wear the next day all you’ll have to do is slip shoes on their feet, whack a piece of toast in their mouths and shove them out the door. Then bribe them in the car not to tell anyone your little secret.
What do you do to beat the morning rush?