“Would you hurry up already?”
Yes, that’s been me, more times than I’d like to admit. Usually around 7:55 AM, five minutes before my kids have to leave for the bus, when one of them is still walking around looking for his math homework. Wearing one sock.
Still, an occasional bit of nagging is better than my old M.O., which looked more like a full-on meltdown every morning as I tried to beg, cajole, and threaten my kids out the door (and half the time they still left without their backpacks.)
It’s normal to get stressed during school mornings, but over the years -- and by going through the routine over and over with multiple kids -- I’ve learned how to stay (mostly) calm and collected from the time I roll out of bed until I slam -- er, gently shut -- the door behind the kids.
Here are some ideas I’ve picked up along the way:
Stick to a routine. Fuzzy-brained kids (and mums) are not great at improvising. Create a school morning routine so that everyone knows what to expect. In our house, kids get dressed -- all the way to shoes -- before eating breakfast, so that afterward they can just brush their teeth and go. If we ever mess up the routine it sets us back.
Play to your strengths. You know how some people work best under the pressure of a looming deadline, while others need lots of time to plan and think? Same goes for the morning rush. I fall into the former camp, so contrary to popular advice, I don’t get my kids up super-early to let them ease into the day…instead, I purposely limit the allotted time to exactly what they need to get dressed, eat, brush teeth, get on their gear and get out the door (for us, about 25 minutes).