In Mamamia’s Parenting Hacks series, real women share their tips and tricks on everything from meal prep to organisation to nailing the morning routine.
This week, organisation expert Bridget Johns shares her tips to make the school morning rush easier.
For years, I hated the sound of my own voice on school mornings.
Part-drill sergeant, part-sheepdog, I’d herd my children around the house, nagging them to get dressed, eat breakfast and brush their teeth.
I was a pro at eventually getting everyone out the door on time, but it ALWAYS came at the expense of my own sanity. Then one day, I realised that there had to be a better way.
Watch: Have you heard these classic mum phrases before? Post continues after video.
So, I made a list of all the things the kids need to do each morning (and each night) and stuck it on the fridge. There is a "to do" and a "done" column and the kids move a magnetic marker across when it’s done.
Now, at a glance, I can see where they are up to. If things are running a bit slow, I can just say, "Where are you up to on your list?" to prompt them into action.
You'd be surprised by how much energy this saves me.
Without the list, I'd live on an unrelenting Groundhog Day of "have you cleaned your bloody teeth yet?" and I’d be in a state of stress and annoyance all morning.
If you're living in a similar morning rush nightmare and it's costing you time and energy, here are my favourite school morning hacks to reduce the mayhem and work towards a smooth-sailing morning.
Stop, focus, notice. How do you want your morning to run?
STOP. This is the first step of one of my favourite mantras 'Stop, Focus, Notice'.
If mornings are stressful for you, stop doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Focus on what is actually happening. Write it down. Talk to your partner and kids. Have a family meeting and explain how mornings feel for you. Then notice what your options are for changing things.